NHS accelerator returns with call for startups tackling inequality

NHS accelerator Image credit: NIA

The NHS Innovation Accelerator (NIA), a programme to support health startups, has launched a call for new company applications.

First launched in 2015, the NIA is a nationwide programme, supported by Accelerated Access Collaborative and the Academic Health Science Network, that helps scale promising developments in the health industry that can be incorporated into NHS England.

The programme provides mentoring from industry experts and a pipeline to provide health tech products to the NHS.

The 2024 edition of the accelerator will follow the theme of addressing health inequalities. The call for startups is open to firms with solutions relating to maternity, mental health, cancer, respiratory disease, hypertension, diabetes, epilepsy, oral health and carbon reduction in healthcare.

“At the NIA, our core belief is that no one can solve health and social care’s biggest challenges alone. That’s why we champion a collaborative and mutually supportive approach to innovation that makes an impact,” said Konrad Dobschuetz, NIA national director.

“We’re looking forward to receiving another strong set of applications this year, and to meeting our new cohort of innovators who are committed to creating an NHS that is fit for the future.”

According to NHS England, the NIA programme has already supported the creation of 1,244 jobs and generated revenue of more than £18m through solutions deployed across more than 3,000 NHS sites.

Alumni of the programme include founders from the healthcare staffing solution Locum’s Nest, melanoma tracking app SkinVision, the health records system Patients Know Best and the Organisation for the Review of Care and Health Apps (ORCHA).

Prof Bola Owolabi, director of healthcare inequalities at NHS England said the NIA is “offering is uniquely positioned in several important ways and on account of the expertise in the team and amongst the mentors, the reach it has into and across the NHS, and the access it has to the health and health tech industry”.