A new initiative striving to boost London’s position as a global centre for the uptake and commercialisation of pioneering digital health technologies has had its official launch in London this week.

DigitalHealth.London, a collaboration between MedCity and London’s three Academic Health Science Networks - Imperial College Health Partners, UCLPartners and the Health Innovation Network - aims to accelerate the use of new digital health technologies by bringing together clinicians, healthcare providers, research institutes, entrepreneurs and industry.

A key aim is to give companies a clearer pathway to market based on the needs of patients and the NHS. It will tackle current barriers to the spread of new technology, supporting the development of processes for NHS procurement and tariffs for digital health products and helping to build evidence for the health and economic benefits of digital health.

“This initiative will position London at the forefront of digital health innovation - bringing together the city’s world-class strengths in life sciences and digital technology and channelling that innovation to develop new ground-breaking products,” said Mayor of London Boris Johnson MP.

The initiative’s first major project is a new Digital Health Accelerator programme that will support 30 emerging companies in the sector each year, for an initial period of three years, promoting engagement with clinicians and healthcare experts to help them refine their products to meet healthcare needs and access opportunities to showcase new technologies in hospitals. 

The programme is jointly funded by the European Regional Development Fund and the six delivery partners - Guy’s & St Thomas’s NHS Foundation Trust operating through the Health Innovation Network, UCLPartners, Imperial College Healthcare Partners, Chelsea and Westminster Health Charity, MedCity and Digital Catapult.

News of the move comes just days after Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt promised £4.2 billion to pull the NHS into the digital age, and switch to a fully paperless system by 2020.