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UK government calls upon health tech startups

The UK government has called upon startups and entrepreneurs to sign up to a funding contest to find the next big technology idea in digital health.

Entrepreneurs with potential technology solutions to major health challenges have been called upon to enter a £175,000 funding round backed by Innovate UK. Jamie Oliver, Bupa and AXA PPP healthcare are amongst the brands looking for the next digital health innovator in a £175,000 competition funded by IC tomorrow, the digital arm of Innovate UK.

It is hoped that startups will come forward with apps or tech that could tackle issues like mental health, nutrition and improved wellbeing for the elderly. Fitness tech is a huge market, with devices like Fitbit and Jawbone leading the way, but the government is looking at how it can bring innovative technology ideas into public and private healthcare in the UK. The UK government estimates that the number of people over the age of 60 will rise to 20 million by 2030.

As well as each receiving up to £35,000 in funding, five winners will also set up partnerships with industry leaders for a pre-commercial trial. This includes working with Bupa, Saga, AXA PPP healthcare and Toshiba.

Dr Mark Winwood, director of psychological services at AXA PPP healthcare said: “Maintaining the psychological health and wellbeing of our working population is one of the biggest challenges facing Britain today.

“The health technology revolution offers the chance to make a big difference and, as a result, we are delighted to support Innovate UK’s Quantified Self contest that will encourage a new generation of technology developers to bring healthcare into the hands of working age people.”