Monthly news from Eastern AHSN - July 2019
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As we hit the midpoint of the calendar year, summer is well and truly underway and whilst many are heading off for their holidays there’s no reduction in pace at Eastern AHSN.

I’m excited to share that we have launched a new initiative to convene some of the brightest brains in the region across industry, academia and the health service to tackle some of healthcare’s biggest challenges with AI solutions. Our MedTechBOOST programme is now open to applications from anyone who has an early stage idea using AI to meet the NHS long term plan’s priorities related to mental health and healthy ageing.

Additionally, we are pleased to share a new guide to cross-sector working between NHS integrated care systems, sustainability and transformation partnerships and industry which we developed with Mid and South Essex Sustainability and Transformation Partnership and the Association of British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI). This new guide sets out some governance and process recommendations aimed at de-mystifying how the NHS can develop practical collaborations with industry partners around new medicines and technologies to address specific local health need  We need to work much more closely with our industry partners to deploy the proven innovations that our patients need. This guide gives some practical recommendations for how we can do this more easily.

Last month I also thoroughly enjoyed making connections and having insightful conversations with NHS leaders at Confed19, the NHS Confederation’s annual conference. The AHSN Network launched its latest impact report and The Innovators magazine to illustrate how the network is transforming people’s lives through innovation.  At the conference we also announced that I will be taking up the role of Chair of the AHSN Network at the end of the Summer, following the departure our current Chair Dr Seamus O’Neill. I’m really excited at the prospect of building on all the excellent work that the network has achieved and I look forward to sharing more of my vision in the coming months whilst also remaining focused on my role leading the team at Eastern AHSN.

Best wishes,

New initiative: call out for the brightest brains come together to develop AI solutions

Eastern AHSN, Cambridge Judge Business School, Central Working and Studio Zao have launched a new initiative to tackle healthcare’s biggest challenges. Applications are now open for MedTechBOOST – a novel programme bringing together the health sector, universities and the tech industry to develop ground-breaking new AI-based solutions.

Successful applicants will join a five-day programme in September, where they’ll be given the best available support to transform interesting ideas into viable tech solutions. They’ll access expert guidance and mentoring from an array of programme partners including sponsors Cambridge Judge Business School, AstraZeneca, ARM, Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, Johnson & Johnson Innovation and some of Eastern AHSN’s own senior team. At the end of the programme, participants will pitch their refined ideas as new ventures for investment and collaboration with programme partners and sponsors.
Eastern AHSN, in collaboration with Cambridge & Peterborough Foundation Trust and VOICE have developed two challenges for innovators which are major areas of focus in the NHS Long-Term Plan:

  • Mental Health - can AI be applied to improve patients’ safety and prevent suicidal behaviour or detect impending violent behaviours?
  • Healthy Ageing - can AI facilitate targeted, personalised care in older people with multiple co-morbidities and to detect Alzheimer’s disease before symptoms arise?

Entrepreneurs, students, early stage start-ups, tech practitioners and healthcare professionals are all invited to apply online at by 31st July. Experience in the healthcare sector is not a requirement – applicants must simply have an early-stage idea or concept to bring to the programme. 

MedTechBOOST takes place between 2-6 September 2019 at The Bradfield Centre on the Cambridge Science Park.

New guide to cross-sector working between the NHS and industry

The AHSN Network has published a new guide to de-mystify cross-sector working between NHS Sustainable Transformation Partnerships (STPs), Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) and industry, with practical recommendations to make collaboration easier.

The guide, which is published in partnership with the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI), is based on a framework which we developed with the Mid and South Essex Sustainability and Transformation Partnership and sets out governance and process recommendations to make those working in the NHS more confident in their collaborations  with industry and work effectively together to address local health needs.

By building this framework into cross-sector projects, we hope to ensure a ‘triple win’ - improving patient outcomes, making more efficient use of NHS resources and generating evidence of impact for industry.

Find out more in this blog post from AHSN Network Chair, Séamus O’Neill, and ABPI CEO, Mike Thompson.

Piers Ricketts will succeed as Chair of the AHSN Network in August

Dr Séamus O’Neill has announced that he is to be succeeded by Piers Ricketts as Chair of the AHSN Network when he steps down in August.
Piers, who has been the network’s Vice-Chair since November, will continue his current role as Chief Executive of Eastern AHSN, which he has held since April 2018.

Commenting on his appointment, Piers praised the progress of the AHSN Network:
“The AHSN Network has made a step change in the last year, in which we have demonstrated our ability to introduce innovative solutions at scale into the NHS as shown in our impact report.
“Our connections with healthcare, industry and research give us huge opportunities to do even more. I am excited at the prospect of continuing to build on our excellent work to drive change and deliver better patient outcomes across the NHS whilst generating economic growth by supporting our innovative healthcare and life science businesses.”

Piers was previously a partner at KPMG, where his leadership roles included running the healthcare management consulting practice and leading major transformation projects in higher education, social housing and the wider public sector. Piers is a Chartered Accountant and previously spent ten years in KPMG’s Transaction Services practice, supporting private and public sector clients in major commercial deals.

An announcement on the successor to Piers as Vice-Chair of the Network will be made in due course.

The NHS FutureTech Roadshow: Making the most of new technologies across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough

“AI has the potential to transform the delivery of healthcare in the NHS” – The Topol Review, 2019

Have you ever wondered what artificial intelligence might mean for healthcare in the coming years? What is blockchain? Can patient outcomes be improved using virtual reality?

12 July 2019, 10.00am - 1.30pm at Rowley Mile Conference Centre, Newmarket

Our Future Tech Roadshows are open to all and bring together the NHS workforce with academics, industry experts and regional business leaders to explore how disruptive tech innovations might transform the way we deliver health and care.
Aimed at anyone with an interest in understanding the innovation and future tech landscape working in healthcare in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.
The session aims to:

  • Expose you to the rapidly changing technological landscape and establishing a virtual network to continue to learn
  • Support STPs to understand and leverage technology
  • To build upon the regional tech assets and facilitate cross sector learning
  • To support the translation of learning and insights from the world’s best organisations

“I’m so glad I came” - see what previous delegates thought of the Future Tech Roadshow.
Book your place at, and look out for future events as more dates are added across the region.

New educational film on atrial fibrillation screening 

A new educational film tells the story of an atrial fibrillation (AF) screening service at Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust through the staff who run it and a patient for whom it has  made a difference.

The team reviews selected inpatients electrocardiogram (ECG) tests which measures the electrical activity of the heart to check for signs of atrial fibrillation – a heart condition which greatly increases the chance of a stroke.

They then follow up with patients who show signs of AF, giving advice and treatment for anticoagulation where appropriate.

You can view the film or read more about the programme and ways to get involved on our website.
Preterm labour initiative to prevent cerebral palsy scoops HSJ patient safety award

The Prevention of Cerebral Palsy in Preterm Labour (PReCePT), is a nationwide programme that is being successfully spread nationally across the UK by the AHSN Network. The programme is embedding best practice and encouraging maternity units to administer magnesium sulphate during preterm labour, which has been shown to reduce occurrence of cerebral palsy in babies.

The programme was announced as a winner at the HSJ Patient Safety Award for Maternity and Midwifery Services Initiative of the Year on 2nd July, in recognition of the impact it is having across England.

There are PReCePT lead midwives in every maternity ward in our region, with Eastern AHSN supporting them as a network to share their experiences and pool resources to help embed PReCePT and make sure all premature babies get the best start they can. Help us spread our short film for the programme across your networks as we hope to get the message to patients and primary care colleagues across the east.

What does virtual reality mean for primary care?
How can primary care benefit from the use of virtual reality and augmented reality? Will it change the way you work?

In the latest episode of our Primary Care Talks podcast, we talk to Jonathan Tustain. Listen here>>

Upcoming events

NHS Readiness events
Our NHS Readiness series of events are aimed at companies and innovators who need advice and support to sell their transformative healthcare products to the NHS.
NHS Readiness events cover a variety of topics to support companies and innovators working to transform healthcare, from raising investment and understanding NHS commissioning, to NHS procurement and support for developing business cases. Upcoming dates:

If you want to hear the latest information on our NHS Readiness events and industry support opportunities, be sure to subscribe on our newsletter web page, and select  industry and funding news and events list under preferences.

Heart Rhythm Congress
6-9 October, Birmingham
The UK's largest annual heart rhythm event is calling for abstract submissions, including posters and oral communications, by 31 May. Selected abstracts will be published in the peer-reviewed EP Europace journal. 
 Find out more>>
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