Support to bring your digital health innovation to life

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Sara Ver-Bruggen
3 minutes

The prototype stage can make or break a new technology, so let SimDH help you get it right

The UK healthcare industry has the huge potential capacity to deploy digital technologies, yet for the most part, start-ups and software developers lack the knowledge and experience required to successfully commercialise their innovation within the NHS and wider UK healthcare sector.

Even before they have formulated a prototype for demonstration purposes or a minimum value product (MVP) there is a time-critical opportunity to get it right from the outset to improve the opportunity for commercialisation within the healthcare industry.

This is where LSBU’s Simulation for Digital Health (SimDH) programme can help.  

SimDH is a free programme supporting health tech start-ups and SMEs to innovate, develop and deliver new products and services, co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

Academic collaboration

As part of the application process to join the next cohort, start-ups and SMEs can propose projects with experts from across LSBU, in order to help further product development, as well as to conduct an independent evaluation and support progress towards market launch.

SimDH is relevant to start-ups and innovators that have a design prototype, which are in need of support to develop an MVP, as well as those that may already have an MVP and are ready to start independent testing. In both cases, businesses are encouraged to apply for Academic Collaboration as part of the programme.

SimDH’s modules cover a number of key themes that reflect the stage programme recruits are at in terms of commercial readiness.

This includes a module focused on product design and development, addressing:

  • Data science
  • Hardware design and prototyping
  • Medical engineering and software engineering support

There is also a module dedicated to product usability and acceptability, focusing on:

  • Guidance on an innovation's evidence road map and strategy
  • Product or service evaluation
  • Usability testing
Tap into LSBU’s academic talent pool

Once accepted onto SimDH, participants can tap into LSBU’s academic talent pool. The School of Engineering can offer support in the development of digital or physical products through its collective expertise in computer science, data science, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering and design. This can include academic consultancy on technical development strategy, or it can include opportunities for students in relevant disciplines to deliver projects developing or iterating a product as part of their course or through a paid opportunity funded by SimDH.  

Support for software and hardware development

Through academic collaboration SimDH participants can receive support with software or hardware development, or via research projects that can be on a prototype in preparation for market launch. Projects can be on products that are already launched, to help gauge the effectiveness of a product within the target market, which can inform product development leading to new functionality or a new version of the product or service.

SimDH has been specifically developed to help businesses accelerate commercialisation of their digital product or service within the NHS and wider UK healthcare sector. It can offer feedback and support in relation to key aspects in relation to prototype development, to help innovators understand the most suitable types of evaluation. These can range from acceptability/feasibility studies, to proof-of-concept/principle studies, to product testing and service evaluation, for example.

Previous cohort members have found the SimDH programme to be invaluable for support, motivation and feedback. Typically, they can take advantage of an initial diagnostic meeting to help SBI understand the needs of their business, before benefitting from a range of tailored workshops to help develop a product concept further.

Do you need support to launch or test a new-to-market healthtech product? SimDH is currently open for applications - but this opportunity will end on Sunday 5th December at 11:59PM. Find out more at