November 2023 Newsletter

Welcome to Our Monthly Newsletter
November 2023

Formed through a collaboration of three NHS Boards — Borders, Fife and Lothian, with the latter taking on the role of lead host Board, HISES has a pivotal role in delivering innovative solutions to the health and social challenges, both regionally and nationally. Need to contact us?

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CAELUS update: First Drone Flight Trial to Golden Jubilee Hospital!

Project CAELUS led by AGS Airports in partnership with NHS Scotland has taken a step forward by conducting live flight trials in bid to deliver the UK’s first national medical distribution network using drones. Live flying took place between Glasgow Airport and NHS Golden Jubilee in Clydebank last week. You can watch the first flight taking off by clicking here. Yes, it is dark on the photo: that’s because the flight started from Glasgow Airport and at night when no other air traffic is expected. Well done to the team!

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Menopause Innovation Challenge – Progress update

On 27th June 2023, the Chief Scientist Office launched in partnership with CivTech the Menopause Innovation Challenge. With a maximum funding available of £1.3m, the challenge aims to develop innovative solutions to empower women to better understand menopause and access the right support for their individual needs at the right time.

Since 23rd October 2023, the challenge has entered a 3-week Exploration Phase, with six companies supported to further develop their proposals un 10 November 2023. Following this, two companies are expected to proceed to the Accelerator Stage which will begin on 11th December 2023.

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Children and Young People Remote Asthma Management SBRI Challenge Live!

The aim of this competition is to provide an opportunity for organisations, working in partnership with NHS Scotland, to develop disruptive innovative solutions focusing on the pro-active target management and prediction of asthma attacks in young people with asthma.

Organisations can apply for a share of a total challenge fund of £210,000. This is an SBRI competition funded by the Scottish Government Chief Scientists Office. HISES are hosting this challenge on behalf of NHS Scotland and is being led by Dr Kenneth Macleod, Clinical Lead and

Respiratory Paediatrician in NHS Lothian. Applications are open until 11am on 13th December via Public Contracts Scotland. Watch our virtual briefing here.

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Near-patient Bilirubin Testing to enable Neonatal Care at Home SBRI Challenge Live!

The aim of this competition is to provide an opportunity for organisations, working in partnership with NHS Scotland, to develop disruptive innovative solutions focusing on near-patient bilirubin testing with innovative care pathways, enabling family centred care at home for babies who do not require to be in hospital. Organisations can apply for a share of a total challenge fund of £220,000. This SBRI competition is jointly funded by the Chief Scientist Office, the Scottish Government’s Directorate for Children and Families, the Royal Hospital for Children, Glasgow, and Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity. The West of Scotland Innovation Hub are hosting this challenge on behalf of NHS Scotland. Applications are open until 11am on 13th December via Public Contracts Scotland. Watch the virtual briefing here.

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Midlothian CRT shortlisted for 2023 Scottish Healthcare Award

The Midlothian Community Respiratory Team (CRT) have been shortlisted as a finalist for the 2023 Scottish Healthcare Awards. The application for Asthma / COPD Project of the Year showcases developing an innovative approach to the use of data in Midlothian CRT with a focus on improving the quality of care for COPD patients in Midlothian through service improvements using data. We wish the team the best of luck for the awards evening at The Marriott Hotel, Glasgow on 29th November 2023 where the winners will be revealed.

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Midlothian's Community Respiratory Team helping to reduce admissions and make a difference to patients

Midlothian has the highest rate of the disease in Scotland, managing about 80 patients at any one time. The new community respiratory team aims to dramatically reduce hospital stays and free up NHS beds for other patients. Data from NHS Lothian estimates that it has led to 146 fewer admissions in the past year, with 136 patients able to get home from hospital sooner because the right level of care was available in the community. Claire Yerramasu, Advanced Physiotherapist, and Team Lead, says the team tries to help patients with acute flare-ups whenever they are unwell at home.  We are delighted to announce that Claire has been successfully awarded a place on the CSO Innovation Academic Fellowship as part of HISES. Claire will be leading a project on Utilising Routine Data and Digitally-Enabled Care to provide regional identification, triage, and management optimisation for COPD. Congratulations to Claire and the CRT for their amazing work! Watch BBC Reporting Scotland coverage here.

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Irida Health successfully awarded Phase 2 contract for Home Monitoring for Glaucoma SBRI Challenge

The Home Monitoring for Glaucoma SBRI challenge aims to better identify patients at risk of losing vision, and to reduce the individual and societal costs of sight loss. Funded by the CSO, with NHS Forth Valley as the lead Innovation Hub, HISES will host one of the two companies awarded Phase 2 contracts.  Irida Health will assess the accuracy and feasibility of using their technology of “Eyecatcher” to perform portable VF assessments directly within care homes and private residences (“domiciliary care”).  The project started on 8th November 2023 and will run for 12 months

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DataLoch enhancements

To further extend research and service-development opportunities, DataLoch has added valuable new data, including details about GP visits and patient journeys through hospitals.

The DataLoch Respiratory Registry has also been substantially expanded through the inclusion of Asthma and Wheeze cohorts to enable novel research into these conditions.

Beyond hosting data, the DataLoch team improves data quality to speed up research. Their efforts include the incorporation of HDR UK Phenotypes to harmonise codes across primary and secondary care systems and applying Natural Language Processing techniques to better support privacy risk assessment. Discover how DataLoch supports research and development.

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Accelerating Trustworthy AI in Radiology grant awarded

We are pleased to announce that a funding application submitted by NHS Lothian, NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde and the Usher Institute at the University of Edinburgh, has been successful for Accelerating trustworthy AI in radiology: scalable software for clinical users to independently validate commercial products at local sites. Innovate UK, as part of UK Research and Innovation, will be offering a £1.2M grant for the above project as part of the ‘Accelerating trustworthy AI: Phase 2 Collaborative R&D’ competition. The proposal looks at a radical and novel innovative solution that will allow healthcare providers and hospitals to rapidly evaluate and test radiology AI products independently, and at a fracture of the cost of current evaluation frameworks. Dr Rishi Ramaesh, Consultant Radiologist in NHS Lothian & NHS Fife will be the Lead Investigator for the project which is due to start in February 2024 and run for 12 months.

CivTech 10 - Do you need a problem solved?

The CivTech Accelerator is designed to create digital solutions to problems as quickly and effectively as possible. Teams in the public and third sector can contact CivTech with a problem they have, and work to define it as a set ‘Challenge’ which is then put out to tender for companies to solve, and in doing so they become a Challenge Sponsor. CivTech Round 10 will launch in the Spring and if you’re interested in learning more about becoming a Challenge Sponsor and all the ways it can benefit your business then why not join their online information session? You’ll learn about the CivTech model, hear from previous Challenge Sponsors and be able to ask the CivTech Team any questions you might have about the process. Register here for the online session on 22nd November 2023 from 11am– 12pm.

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Edinburgh Uni’s Smart Scalpel helps hone surgical skills

University of Edinburgh researchers have developed a low-cost ‘smart scalpel’ that is able to track the force surgeons use during operations, with potential to support future robotic surgeries. Developed by researchers in the School of Informatics, the scalpel is connected to a sensor-loaded circuit board that fits inside its handle. A machine learning model analyses the data captured by the force applied when the scalpel is used and researchers who studied the data during trials found its sensors could accurately track how much force users were applying during surgical procedures.

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NHS Lothian Long COVID project shortlisted for Innovation Award at 2023 Scottish Health Awards

A big thanks to the organisers of the Scottish Health Awards for a brilliant evening! Whilst we came home as finalists instead of winners this time, it was great to hear about so many inspiring individuals and innovative projects taking place across the country. We’d like to say a big congratulations to Douglas Bell from NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde for winning the Innovation Award. NHS Lothian, Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland (CHSS) and Pogo Digital Healthcare were shortlisted for the Innovation Award for their partnership over the last several years to create an integrated care pathway to support people living with Long COVID. Tailored Talks – the app being used within the service – is the first of its kind to connect the public, private and third sectors in an integrated care pathway.

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Pre-announcement: Cancer Immunotherapy Response Research Platform

The UK Office for Life Science and the Medical Research Council have announced an opportunity to submit an informal Expression of Interest (EoI) to establish a £9m Cancer Immunotherapy Response Research Platform (CIRRP), ahead of the formal, full funding call in 2024, as part of the UK governments Cancer Mission. CIRRP will establish a UK platform to understand and predict response to cancer immune-based therapies. EoIs are invited from multidisciplinary consortia of academic, NHS and industry partners, to a deadline of 13th December 2023.

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NIHR & OLS Cancer Mission: Early Cancer Diagnosis Clinical Validation and Evaluation Call

The NIHR i4i Programme, in collaboration with the Office for Life Sciences (OLS), is inviting applications to the Cancer Mission: Early Cancer Diagnosis Clinical Validation and Evaluation Call. The funding competition of up to £12 million intends to provide funding for the clinical validation (assessing that the approach does what it is intended to do, accurately and reproducibly in real people in a clinical setting) and evaluation (assessing whether the approach informs clinical practice in the intended way and/or has clinical impact on patient outcomes) of innovations with the potential to increase the early detection and diagnosis of cancer. Applications open on 24th October 2023 and close on 12th December 2023.

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New AI Life Sciences Accelerator Mission with £100 million fund to capitalise on AI’s game-changing potential in life sciences and healthcare

The UK Government announced the launch of a new mission to accelerate the use of AI in life sciences along with £100m investment funding. The £100 million in new government investment will be targeted towards areas where rapid deployment of AI has the greatest potential to create transformational breakthroughs in treatments for previously incurable diseases. It will further help drive forward the work on the Life Sciences’ Vision of 8 critical healthcare missions that that government, industry, the NHS, academia, and medical research charities will work together on at speed to solve – from cancer treatment to tackling dementia.

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Innovation challenge to tackle bias in AI systems

The Fairness Innovation Challenge, led by Innovate UK in partnership with the Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation (CDEI), will fund up to £400,000 in innovation projects (up to £130,000 per project) to develop novel solutions to address bias and discrimination in artificial intelligence (AI) systems. Your proposed solution must adopt a socio-technical approach to fairness, seeking to address not only statistical but also human and structural biases associated with the AI system in question. Applications close at 11am on 13th December 2023.

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MHRA to launch the AI-Airlock, a new regulatory sandbox for AI developers

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is launching a a new ‘regulatory sandbox’, providing developers with a regulator-monitored virtual aerial to general robust evidence for their advanced technologies. The AI-Airlock will assist in the development and deployment of software and AI medical devices, safely providing patients with earlier access to cutting edge innovations that improve care

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Interconnected Innovation - healthcare learnings from animals and the environment

Join InnoScot Health for its last informative webinar of this year, which will be an interactive session and an opportunity for progressive healthcare thinkers to hear innovation experiences drawn from rural affairs and climate change. The focus will be on two distinct but interrelated areas – the relationship between animal and human health and where those connections meet; and the environment, sustainability, and the NHS Scotland drive to hit Net Zero by 2040. This online event will take place 12 – 1pm on 30th November 2023.

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Edinburgh Care Homes embrace AI technology to help assess pain and comfort levels for residents

Two family-run care homes in Edinburgh are using AI to help assess pain and comfort levels for residents – by monitoring tiny changes in their facial expressions. PainChek uses AI facial recognition to analyse facial expressions from a smart device’s camera. It detects pain indicators like grimaces and winces and guides caregivers through observing other pain behaviours like vocalisations and movements resulting in an overall pain score to help monitor the effectiveness of pain management over time. The app aims to improve the quality of life for those with cognitive difficulties who may struggle to communicate their discomfort, such as people living with Alzheimer’s and dementia

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North of Scotland Innovation Hub launch new web presence

The North of Scotland Innovation Hub are delighted to announce that they are now live across social media platforms and have their own webpage. The North of Scotland Innovation Hub includes NHS Grampian, NHS Tayside, NHS Highland, NHS Orkney, NHS Shetland, and NHS Western Isles. Building a visible online presence is a major milestone for the Hub and welcome all engagement. You can connect with the team and stay updated with all North innovation activity via Twitter or LinkedIn or visit the website via the following link.

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Latest funding opportunities

Check out the latest health and care funding opportunities from across the sector on the funding section of our website.

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Secure your FREE place at Digital Health and Care Scotland 2024

Secure your FREE place at Holyrood’s annual Digital Health and Care Scotland conference, returning to Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh on 21-22 February 2024. The event will bring together health, social care and housing professionals from across Scotland to look at how innovative digital solutions are being used to help alleviate pressure on the system by improving service delivery and demand management. The annual Digital Health and Care Awards are also now open for entries! Taking place on the night of 21 February, the Awards recognise the achievements of the individuals and teams working in the health, social care, and housing sectors whose innovation and creativity have put Scotland at the forefront of the digital revolution.

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