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Stroke and Technology competition - addressing the challenges faced in stroke care

June 29, 2021

Carmel Meredew
Proposal Manager

Powered by NHS England and NHS Improvement, SBRI Healthcare is a pan-government initiative aiming to bring innovation to the NHS and improve patient care and pathway efficiency. Competitions are themed to address unmet challenges facing the NHS and are open to organisations of any size throughout Europe. These competitions are particularly suited for SMEs, funding 100% of project costs and providing a fast turnaround time for project commencement. Competitions are split into a 2-phase approach:

Phase 1: Feasibility Projects ≤ 6 months in duration, with costs ≤£100K

Phase 2: Further Development ≤12 months in duration, with costs ≤£1M. (Upon successful completion of Phase 1, applicants are invited to apply to Phase 2).

In partnership with the Stroke Association and the AHSN network, the Stroke and Technology Competition is themed to address the unmet challenges faced in stroke care. Stroke is the leading cause of disease and disability in the UK, costing the economy £26 billion a year with costs predicted to reach £91 billion by 2035. This competition takes an end-to-end approach and aims to support promising, game-changing solutions that tackle the challenges during three key areas of care:

Pre-hospital diagnosis: Time is of the essence- a stroke patient will lose an average ~1.9 million neurons/minute. There is a need for rapid and accurate assessment and triage processes. Current transitions between pre-hospital care and hospital admissions are complex, with specialist stroke care offered only at limited locations. How can technology be integrated into care pathways to improve efficiency?

  • ‘FAST’ (Face, Arms, Speech, Time) is 20 years’ old, and still remains the only mechanism used in pre-hospital assessment. This is a low specificity method, giving false positives for other indications which present similarly to stroke, and failing to distinguish between the three forms of stroke, which each require different treatment methods. Can your technology address this need?
  • Can the technology be introduced into the ambulance setting, which operate continuously and exhibit fluctuating and unprecedented demand?

Rehabilitation and Life after stroke: Multidisciplinary teams in hospitals, community and voluntary services provide rehabilitation during hospital-stays and post-discharge over time at the right intensity to support recovery. Impairments resulting from stroke can lead to limitations and restrictions in daily life. How can technology ameliorate this, consider both physical and emotional/mental aspects and take into account the multi-faceted nature of stroke patients? This could take a range of forms:

  • Rehabilitation platforms and interfaces (including telerehabilitation for remote support)
  • Robotics for upper and lower limb recovery
  •  App-based platforms which facilitate patient progress and performance feedback, and peer-to-peer support for patient and carers alike.
  •  Communication and data transfer mechanisms to facilitate the smooth transition between different actors across the care pathway.

The online competition portal opens to applications on 13th July, with a submission deadline of 24th August. Following assessment in September, shortlisted applicants will be invited to submit a 3-minute video pitch to be discussed by a panel of experts. Phase 2 applications will open towards the end of Phase 1 projects. For further information take a look at the competition landing page, and contact Inventya’s specialist bid writing team.

June 29, 2021
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