While 3D printing is becoming more widely used in general engineering the use of 3D printing in the medical and allied sectors such as dentistry has only just begun.
The NHS has selected 138 entrepreneurs to design and deliver new technological solutions and innovations in healthcare, including the appointment of five healthcare scientists tackling conditions including sickle cell disease and allergic reactions.
The Clinical Entrepreneurs Programme, run by NHS England, supports NHS workers to work with, and learn from, leading health and technology industry experts to develop their own innovative ideas.
It provides a mixed package of education and mentoring support from leading medical technology experts to give budding entrepreneurs the business skills and ‘know how’ to make their ideas a reality.
NHS England has confirmed that more NHS staff will be provided with mentoring and other support to improve patient care.
Within the first year, Clinical Entrepreneurs recruited to the programme have already launched 50 start-ups, leading to the creation of 344 jobs.
The latest innovations to be supported include: a voice controlled data collection app for sickle cell patients that can be worn by patients to monitor their health, meaning data can be tracked and processed to help inform patient care for this type of blood disease; an Allergy Assist App that will help allergy sufferers share information and support on their condition and treatment; and a new online service, sci-connect, that will provide tailored online support and resources to undergraduates and junior staff in the early stages of their career who are studying healthcare and biomedical sciences.
Tony Young, director of innovation, NHS England, said: “Helping NHS professionals create new and innovative treatments is good for patients and good for our talented staff. Frontline workers have a unique insight into patients’ experiences and supporting all our staff to develop and deliver their ideas for better care will mean better outcomes for patients.”
Sue Hill, chief scientific officer, said: “Giving budding entrepreneurs in the NHS support and space to create new solutions to old problems will keep the NHS at the forefront of innovation in healthcare. I’m delighted to see even more of our staff join the Clinical Entrepreneurs programme, which will see nearly 140 doctors, nurses and scientists benefit from world-class industry expertise, even as they continue to deliver care for patients.”