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The 2021 winners have now been announced for the inaugural TriTech Institute Health and Social Care Technology Challenge, a competition designed to identify, fund, and support new innovations and ideas that have the power to meet the ever-changing needs of Welsh patients.

A person in hospital being cared for by a nurse

Facilitated by Hywel Dda University Health Board’s TriTech Institute and Swansea University’s Accelerate Healthcare Technology Centre, the challenge received over 48 early-stage applications, intended to solve key clinical challenge themes identified by TriTech.

Each theme was specifically designed to stimulate a range of ideas, from the development of smart tech and connected medical devices, to harnessing the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI) for diagnostics.  The ultimate aim of the competition is to support and accelerate the development and deployment of innovations that offer the potential to improve patient outcomes and experiences, as well as to generate process and resource efficiencies for health boards and social care organisations.  

An intensive two-week virtual event hosted by Life Sciences Hub Wales’ innovation portal saw applicants pitch their ideas to a panel of industry leaders. From this, four successful submissions were each granted £20,000 of funding from Hywel Dda University Health Board and bespoke support matched from the Accelerate Healthcare Technology Centre to develop their ideas further.

Rhodri Griffiths, Innovation Adoption Director at Life Sciences Hub Wales said:

“As part of our commitment to fostering and growing a culture of innovation around Wales, we are proud to support Tritech’s first health and care innovation challenge. We look forward to the development of these exciting projects and their wider contribution to improving provisions and experiences for patients across Wales.”

The winners of the inaugural TriTech Institute Health and Social Care Technology Challenge, are:

  • Safehouse AI Falls Sensor A next generation falls detector developed by Secure Sensor Innovative Design (SSID) Ltd, this device uses GDPR compliant AI technology to identify if a person has fallen with over 95% accuracy. The detector can then open a voice call between the user and emergency services within 30 seconds.
  • Long Covid Chatbot - Working with Professor Keir Lewis and Hywel Dda University Health Board, Science & Engineering Applications Ltd has developed a mobile app that will help sufferers of Long Covid to track their condition and securely share their records with their GP/rehabilitation team.
  • AI Signposting – Linking with CHAI Community,  AI will draw down a library of video content specifically designed to support those living with comorbidities to offer personalised signposting and support. Around 200 broadcast quality, patient-based short films have already been made under the banner "PocketMedic". The library encompasses a variety of chronic conditions from diabetes to cancer recovery, as well as innovative training content for health and social care professionals.
  • Eupnoos Phone Spirometry - Eupnoos is developing a smartphone based application to diagnose acute exacerbation events and mild presentations in patients suffering from asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The application converts the smartphone into a spirometer and triage system to measure and score lung function to enable self-testing at home.

The TriTech Institute is an innovation led by Hywel Dda University Health Board, in partnership with Swansea University’s Accelerate Healthcare Technology Centre and the University of Wales Trinity Saint David’s Assistive Technologies Innovation Centre. The Institute supports the development of healthcare solutions on a local, national, and global level, offering designers and manufacturers a single point of access to the NHS through a collaborative and agile approach.

Professor Chris Hopkins, Scientific Lead and Head of TriTech Institute, Hywel Dda University Health Board, said:

“The rapid acceptance and adoption of new technologies has been critical in responding to the pandemic. While we are moving towards a period of stabilisation, our challenge winners provide us with an exciting opportunity to improve the health and wellbeing of our patients in Hywel Dda, Wales and beyond.”

To find out more about Tritech, visit: tritech.nhs.wales/