National health innovation leaders gather for the launch of DiTA

Manchester University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (MFT) and Health Innovation Manchester (HIM) recently welcomed delegates to Manchester’s CityLabs1.0 for the launch of the new Diagnostics and Technology Accelerator (DiTA).

Delegates from across the NHS, healthcare, industry and universities heard how DiTA will support evidence generation and commercialisation between the NHS and industry across In Vitro Diagnostics (IVDs) and medtech.

Neil Hanley, Director of Research & Innovation at MFT, said:

“We know early detection and diagnostics is critical to ensuring patients get the best care and treatments possible. Greater Manchester has fantastic networks and infrastructure to foster innovation, and DiTA will really help us to work with our industry partners to develop, test and roll out new and exciting technologies to help us achieve this.”  

Chaired by DiTA management team Professor Rick Body and Dr Katherine Boylan, the pair were also joined by HIM Chief Executive Ben Bridgewater and Roche Diagnostics’ Director of Health Care Development Chris Hudson.

Speaking after the launch, Professor Body said:

“It was great to see so many key stakeholders from across industry, NHS and academia, join us for this event. Their enthusiasm highlights the absolute need for the support available through the DiTA initiative and we look forward to working with them to achieve DiTA’s ambitions.”

Health Innovation Manchester Chief Executive, Ben Bridgwater said:

“DiTA is a fantastic initiative that illustrates the intrinsic value placed on innovation within the Greater Manchester health and social care system and the acknowledgement that collaborating with industry to leverage their expertise and know-how is critical to transforming health and wellbeing and improving patient experience. I view DiTA as an integral part of the city-regions unique innovation infrastructure that will bring benefits not only to patients of Manchester University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, but also to citizens across the wider city-region.”

The use of innovative technology to improve diagnosis and treatment is a key driver for the NHS, with IVD and medical devices expected to play an increasing role in caring for an ageing population with multiple health conditions, and against a backdrop of NHS efficiency drives and funding constraints.

Panel discussions focused on how DiTA can foster effective collaboration between the NHS, industry and other sectors, with panellists from LumiraDx, the Department for International Trade, the Association of British HealthTech Industries (ABHI) and the British In Vitro Diagnostics Association (BIVDA) sharing insights.

Presentations around wider support and opportunities featuredInnovate UK, the National Institute for Health & Care Excellence(NICE) and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), as well as exhibitors from across the sector.

Throughout the day partners shared updates on Twitter via the hashtag #DiTA_MFT, and you can view highlights from the event here.

Over the coming months DiTA will be releasing a call for pump prime funding, as well as formalising its consultancy service for companies and small and medium enterprises (SMEs). We will also be launching further focused workshops, patient hack events, and subject-specific webinars.

Find out more about DiTA over on the MFT website, or get in touch via DITA@mft.nhs.uk.