A Lancashire health tech firm has won a £500,000 funding boost to develop its ground-breaking technology that helps patients better manage their medicines in their own homes.
CONNECT Care’s innovation features a dashboard that links patients, carers and clinicians and empowers the patient to develop more independence and take medications with greater confidence.
The funding package from Innovate UK is part of a £25m scheme to back cutting-edge innovations that are significantly ahead of others in their field.
It will help CONNECT Care significantly enrich its existing technology which currently gives carers and clinicians information about the patient’s medications use and sends alerts to carers if anything is amiss.
The extra funding will help the Preston company create a ‘novel data insights engine’ that will generate predictive insights and notifications with more context for carers.
The Innovation Agency, the Academic Health Science Network for the North West Coast, helped CONNECT Care make the funding application and supported it in running a pilot for its existing technology in Lancashire.
Issa Dasu Patel, co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of CONNECT Care, said medication non-adherence was a major challenge for the health and care system: up to half of medicines prescribed for long-term health conditions are not taken as intended, costing the NHS more than £500m every year.
He said: “Innovate UK gives funding to innovations that are significantly ahead in their field and we are glad to have been recognised as such. We have already integrated medicines data in a unique way, and we want to use that vast drug-specific knowledge to create richer insights.
“All our team has worked in pharmacy, digital health or social care for a number of years and one thing we realised is that managing medicines is a real challenge in the community.
“Once the doctor has written the prescription for the patient there’s very little support. The Innovate UK project will help change that. It will bring together social care commissioners, carers, pharmacists, hospitals, GPs and innovation leads – it’s one of the largest medicines collaborations we’ve ever seen in Lancashire.”
Company co-founder and Chief Operations Officer Rachel Wickenden added: “Our technology ensures that all the information flows between patients, caregivers and clinicians, that are often disconnected, will be fully connected.
“It’s really all about empowering people to better manage their medicines. It’s about driving better engagement by bringing together all the people who matter when it comes to medicines – we want to close the loop between patients, carers and clinicians.”
The Innovation Agency has also contributed to a stakeholder group that will allow patient and clinical representatives to guide the technology development as part of the Innovate UK project.
Mr Dasu Patel added: “The Innovation Agency has been vital for us in developing our value proposition so that it’s in line with what the NHS needs. They’ve facilitated the introductions we needed to get the pilot off the ground, so they’ve been fundamental to it happening.”
Steve Adams, the Innovation Agency’s Commercial Programme Manager for Lancashire, said: “We could see the value of what CONNECT Care were developing and we were very pleased to help them meet the right people to ensure the project took place.”
CONNECT Care aims to scale its existing technology across health and social care over the coming year, supported by the Innovation Agency.