Health Innovation Accelerator
Rapidly improving the diagnosis and treatment of disease across the Greater Manchester population
The Health Innovation Accelerator has been established to rapidly improve the diagnosis and treatment of disease across the 2.8m Greater Manchester population.
The Accelerator encompasses two projects, the Advanced Diagnostics Accelerator and the DEVOTE programme, delivered through a partnership between Health Innovation Manchester, Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust (MFT), The University of Manchester, and industry partners.
Funding has been awarded by Innovate UK, and allocated to innovative projects in sectors where Greater Manchester has existing research strengths, including advanced materials, artificial intelligence (AI), diagnostics and health innovation, and net zero. Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, is the UK’s innovation agency working to create a better future by inspiring, involving and investing in businesses developing life-changing innovations.
Advanced Diagnostics Accelerator (ADA):
The ADA is series of projects looking at Greater Manchester’s major morbidities (liver, heart and lung disease including lung cancer) in which academic and industry excellence from advanced diagnostics, digital and data will be brought together to improve health outcomes for patients. This project includes – please click the tabs below to read more about each individual programme:
Patients with diabetes are at a high risk of developing Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD). If left untreated, CKD can lead to kidney failure and premature death. In its early stage, CKD can be asymptomatic, meaning there are no visible symptoms, making it difficult to detect until it has advanced. Diabetes is the primary cause of kidney failure; therefore early diagnosis of CKD is important so patients can begin preventative interventions which slows down its progression.
Our Industry partner Gendius has developed a software tool to identify patients at high risk of CKD so they can be prioritised for screening. These patients can then be treated more quickly and at an earlier stage, helping to prevent progression and worsening of the disease. This will improve the quality of life for patients so they can live well for longer in addition to reducing pressure on the NHS. Ultimately the aim is that people will live longer healthier lives by detecting CKD earlier.
Public, patient involvement and engagement is key to overcoming barriers and ensuring effective, inclusive communication with patients, GPs, practice nurses and healthcare professionals. We will collect data around CKD from GP practices across Greater Manchester to monitor and evaluate the tool’s usability. We will collaborate and co-design approaches with patients at risk of developing CKD to understand their needs, raise awareness among local diverse communities and explore ways to make health checks more accessible for early CKD detection. The insights gathered will be used to inform improvements to streamline the CKD diagnosis pathway.
The Early Detection of Liver Disease research project (ID LIVER) is building on the expertise developed through an existing the Innovate UK-funded project – Integrated Diagnostics for Early Detection of Liver Disease. This project will expand into Greater Manchester via a targeted approach to assessing patients at increased risk of liver disease in underserved communities.
Liver disease is one of the UK’s largest health challenges and in advanced cases a liver transplant may be the only treatment option. There are currently a wide range of single tests for liver disease. These are effective in identifying late-stage disease but not the early signs or patients at greater risk. Three quarters of people are currently diagnosed at a late stage, often when lifestyle changes and other interventions can have a limited impact.
Developing software that combines a wide range of tests, could help us detect disease earlier and improve treatment outcomes for patients. Early detection could also create cost savings for the NHS whilst a more targeted approach will also help to tackle health inequalities in high-risk groups. Patients consenting to participate in the study will be subject to various tests which when combined with other clinical data, will be more effective at detecting liver disease in the early stages.
In addition to early detection, an important element of this project is raising awareness of liver disease amongst underserved and marginalised groups. Working in partnership with communities to co-design communications but also how liver detection service can best be provided in community settings, will be at the heart of this project. Through community collaboration we will ensure that we address health inequalities using Innovatie solutions.
Heart failure (HF) means that the heart is unable to pump blood around the body properly. Heart failure is an escalating public health problem in the UK estimated to affect 1-2% of the adult population with data indicating that citizens across Greater Manchester are at a significantly higher risk than other UK areas.
A significant challenge is that heart failure is currently diagnosed too late when for example, a patient has experienced a heart attack or stroke.
The EARLY-HF project aims to develop a new approach to detecting and treating patients with heart failure. A ‘risk calculator’ will identify patients at greatest risk of HF, before they develop later stages of the disease. An inclusive engagement strategy is key as the focus will be on the patients and communities most in need such as those from socio-economically deprived and ethnically diverse backgrounds. The project team will assess the uptake of the ‘risk calculator’ within local GP practices and evaluate the effectiveness of this new way for working.
The project will recruit 600 local people from Greater Manchester to participate in this research which will involve attending Wythenshawe Hospital for blood tests and a cardiac MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging). The patient’s health care journey will be monitored for the next five years.
The benefits include detecting HF at an earlier stage, preventing long term ill health and premature death. The project will also calculate the cost saving of the risk calculator for HF if applied on a larger scale. The ambition is that this project will also create the right environment for further collaborative research around heart health moving forward.
Spirometry is a simple test used to diagnose and monitor certain lung conditions. Currently spirometry services across Greater Manchester are unable to meet the current high demand which can result in delays in testing and could potentially have implications for patients.
The purpose of the Community Diagnostics – Respiratory project is to determine the effectiveness of an alternative option to the current delivery of face-to-face services within a primary care environment.
The project will look at the impact of implementing a remote spirometry service to eligible patients i.e. newly diagnosed COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) or asthma patients without a spirometry reading. This means the test will be undertaken at home.
Collaborating with healthcare professionals, industry partners and the public, the project aims to evaluate the remote spirometry service with 50 eligible spirometry patients (phase 1) and monitor and evaluate the feasibility of remote testing in the community setting with 1000 patients (phase 2). The project aims to make a positive impact adding value to improve care pathways, reduce backlogs and evaluate whether remote spirometry can be adopted within underserved communities.
Public, Patient involvement and Engagement for the project will be essential. We will engage with Greater Manchester citizens to ensure their voice and concerns are at the forefront of decision-making process. We will actively involve patients to drive meaningful change and transformation whilst improving accessibility. We will gather insights to evaluate and improve the user experience of remote spirometry. The project aims to empower and engage marginalised groups to ensure inclusive community involvement to improving healthcare outcomes.
There are approximately 7,000 people who have had a cardiovascular event with unmanaged cholesterol in Greater Manchester. Cholesterol travels through the blood on lipoproteins which are made of protein and fat. High levels of lipoprotein (a) increases your likelihood of having a heart attack, stroke or other cardiovascular disease (CVD) event. Evidence indicates Lp(a) levels are higher in African and South Asian community members.
The Lipids Optimisation project will focus on using novel approaches to assess the cardiovascular risk and will explore the value of including an additional new test for lipoprotein (a), alongside routine testing.
Using data insights, we will identify and target different localities using point-of-care testing focusing on ethnic diverse communities across GM who are at highest risk of poor health relating to cardiovascular disease and understand gaps in existing care.
A key aim of the project will be to identify and reduce health inequalities in the management and outcomes of those GM citizens at high cardiovascular risk through innovative approaches using data, diagnostics and patient engagement.
The project will target areas across Greater Manchester with population levels at high risk of CVD and use creative approaches to co-design work with community and voluntary sector groups build trust and raise awareness and promoting engagement and co-ownership.
We aim to understand and evaluate community enablers and address barriers to understand how we use diagnostics to ensure high risk community patients are referred earlier and managed in the care pathway to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the UK. It is commonly diagnosed too late due to there often being no symptoms at the early stages which unfortunately means patients have advanced incurable lung cancer when diagnosed. Lung cancer is more prevalent in deprived communities and the project will be addressing issue to improve screening rates and health inequalities.
The project aims to screen smokers at risk with low dose CT scans to identify early-stage curable disease. Lung Health Checks are a holistic approach to screening delivery.
The programme provides mobile clinic units across Greater Manchester which move to different areas in convenient community locations such as supermarkets. The check is targeted at people aged 55-74 years who have previously smoked or are current smokers.
The project aims to improve the early diagnosis of lung cancer by assessing novel diagnostic tests and approaches to improving screening uptake. We will seek to Improve access to research underserved communities by understanding and co-designing approaches to raise awareness and education through tailored communication and engagement strategies.
The programme has proved an effective way in detecting lung cancer earlier with approximately 79% of tumours being diagnosed at stage I or II. The programme also helps identify other conditions earlier, meaning more participants can receive the support and treatment they need.
Like similar programmes, not all those who are invited attend their appointment potentially leading to later diagnosis and poorer outcomes. Therefore, it’s important that people are aware of the programme, its benefits and risks, and how they can attend an appointment.
Chest pain is one of the most common reasons for emergency 999 calls averaging around 2,000 daily cases in England. Evidence has shown Manchester has one of the worst rates of premature death from cardiovascular disease in the country.
Symptoms associated with a heart attack and those of non-cardiac conditions are often similar. Following a 999 call, patients are routinely taken to A&E for further tests, although ultimately most patients do not have a health problem which needs treating in hospital.
Research has shown that we can spot heart attacks faster and more accurately with a decision aid called ‘T-MACS’, developed using machine learning allowing blood test to be performed in ambulances.
The project aims to improve emergency ambulance efficiency for acute chest pain patients with a suspected heart attack by implementing T-MACS and pre-hospital Point-of-care troponin testing. This will enable paramedics to accurately identify patients that may be suffering from a heart attack and to transport them to the most appropriate location for further treatment and care. This will expedite treatment, reduce secondary ambulance transfers, and free up ambulances.
This approach aligns with the overarching goal of transforming healthcare to improving patient outcomes and optimising healthcare resource utilisation. It will have a huge positive impact in reducing unnecessary ambulance services whilst ensuring rapid response for those who need them and giving safe reassurance to others.
This project is part-funded by the Greater Manchester Innovation Accelerator programme. Led by Innovate UK on behalf of UK Research and Innovation, the pilot Innovation Accelerators programme is investing £100m in 26 transformative R&D projects to accelerate the growth of three high-potential innovation clusters – Glasgow City Region, Greater Manchester and West Midlands. Supporting the Government’s levelling-up agenda, this is a new model of R&D decision making that empowers local leaders to harness innovation in support of regional economic growth and help attract private R&D investment and develop future technologies.
Diagnostic Delivery Partners (please click each tab to read more):
Launched in December 2020, Mind Field are an advertising agency specialising in market research, creative, digital, media planning & buying; solving problems through informed intelligence and execution.
Mind Field will be using their communication, research and advertising expertise to assist key projects with public and patient co-production, identifying and engaging underserved communities and highlighting inequalities, understanding behavioural change and ensuring true engagement with innovative diagnostic development.
By Gamers, For Gamers are a team of experienced and passionate individuals dedicated to bringing audiences the best in PC tech, gaming and Esports through media publishing, empowering readers with the information to make informed decisions.
By Gamers, For Gamers will be working closely with healthcare staff, patients and the public to bring innovative and novel methods of engagement into healthcare. Using key lessons learnt from the field of gaming, they will explore how to apply key strategies from the gaming arena into health diagnostics to broaden the reach of communication, particularly with under-engaged communities within the region.
Sollis are population health management specialists, combining expertise and advanced health analytics to reveal insights from complex data, enabling better decisions to be made for patients and populations.
Sollis will be utilising their expertise to contribute to a common data platform across selected GM Innovation Accelerator key projects, using data already established and gained from the key projects to assist population health decisions concerning diagnostics.
Graphnet’s market leading shared care record software, CareCentric, is enabling local authorities, care services, Trusts, and other organisations within Integrated Care Systems (ICS) to share and compare records. Coupled with powerful population health tools, ICSs are able to use this data, gathered from across health and care settings, to see exactly where the gaps are in their regions, along with empowering patients by allowing them to view their own records.
Graphnet’s expertise within the GM Care Record will be instrumental in further developing how we collect and record diagnostic information through innovative new products and pathways, contributing to the advancement of a SEC data platform that can highlight the data from each key project and how it is implemented into real world services.
Jiva.ai is a no-code multimodal AI (Artificial Intelligence) platform to rapidly prototype AI models, including imaging, video, text, audio and structured data. The Jiva platform connects multiple data concepts and hierarchies together to create meaningful insights through AI systems that tell you why they behave a certain way as well as what the predictions are.
Jiva AI will be contributing to a common data platform across selected GM Innovation Accelerator key projects, using data already established and understanding where additional forms of media can be incorporated into records to further understand patient health and outcome predictions.
BCN is a Digital Transformation Specialist, creating, developing and transforming organisational technology to enhance success, through one provider. This includes cyber security, business applications and development, managed services and data and analytics.
BCN will be supporting the creation of additional capacity within the common data platform across key GM Innovation Accelerator projects; supporting key partners and healthcare providers as digital transformation continues to advance and change healthcare diagnostics.
Gendius are a health data and insights business that develops AI-powered certified medical devices to stratify patients by risk of complications. Their solutions identify which patients are likely to benefit from clinical actions, enabling smarter strategies that improve patient outcomes. Gendius help to get rid of the guesswork, empowering clinicians and patients with data insights.
Gendius have developed the Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) Screening Prioritizer which stratifies patients according to their risk of undiagnosed CKD. Within the Accelerator, this unique solution will be utilised to identify high-risk patients and accelerate their diagnosis pathway.
The Development and Validation of Technology for Time Critical Genomic Testing (DEVOTE) Programme will bring together academic, industry and clinical partners from across the region to deliver enhanced genomic diagnostics to optimise precision medicines for patients. The projects to be delivered are:
- Rapid Diagnostic Testing in Stroke: the project will develop a rapid, cost effective, point-of-care test to test for CYP2C19 genotype by the bedside to guide stroke therapy.
- Rapid Genetic Point of Care Devices: the project will use advanced materials to develop novel, ultra-rapid genetic point of care devices.
- Pharmacogenetic Passport: the project will develop an end-to-end solution for pharmacogenetic testing and reporting for a range of genetic variants to roll out across the NHS.
Each project will be underpinned by a shared ethos to reduce inequalities, forge new relationships with communities, and drive productivity through innovative collaborations with business and industry, as well building on assets already in existence within the Greater Manchester system.
Genomics Key Partners (please click each image to read more):