- Challenging the digital community to reimagine healthcare beyond the 21st century.
- Programme to address challenges outlined in NHS Five Year Forward1 View through accelerating digital start-ups in healthcare.
- Prevention and preventative healthcare initial focus.
- Up to £64K investment is available for start-ups.
London, Thursday 24th September, 2015: Merck Sharp & Dohme Ltd (MSD), a global healthcare company, and Wayra Open Future, Telefonica’s digital start up accelerator, are investing in digital innovation in healthcare to address the challenges outlined in the NHS Five Year Forward View.
Velocity Health, the first digital preventative healthcare accelerator programme in the United Kingdom, powered by MSD and Wayra Open Future, is challenging the digital start-up community to create solutions that reimagine how healthcare can be delivered to help improve patient outcomes.
Out of these, a selected number of start-ups will be chosen to take up a 10-month accelerator programme where a network of mentors, coaches and investors will nurture the entrepreneurial talent and technological expertise of each business to enable the development of innovative products and services to help deliver savings and efficiencies to the healthcare system.
Up to a total of £64K will be offered in investment to each start-up which will include 50 per cent funds and the rest made up of dedicated acceleration services such as access to a network of mentors, coaches and investors. This will also include office space within Wayra Open Future’s academy in Central London and potentially, access to Telefonica’s customer base (more than 300 million) and MSD’s networks locally and globally.
“Technology is revolutionising how we manage healthcare and the UK can be at the heart of it,” says Mike Nally, Managing Director of MSD. “Digital start-ups are at the forefront of this innovation. As a healthcare company with a long legacy of investing in innovation and R&D, we want to actively invest in these types of businesses and harness the amazing talent that is emerging so that we become equally good at ‘recognising and preventing’ disease as ‘diagnosing and treating’ to help reduce demand for expensive acute services and capacity in the long term.”
The preventable health sector has been selected as the initial focus for the programme. At present,only 4 percent of the NHS budget is spent on prevention programmes.With the NHS facing a funding gap estimated at£30bn by 2020/21,both MSD and Wayra Open Future believe that by taking full ownership of managing our health and engaging in prevention activities, this could lead to better patient outcomes and a healthcare system which becomes more cost effective and better fit for the future.
“We know that to make a real impact, we need to have a long term vision and look ahead to the next century of delivering innovative health care solutions.” says Gary Stewart, Director at Wayra Open Future, UK. “Through Velocity Health, we want to empower patients to take more control and ownership over their well being and believe emerging digital technologies have a vital part to play in achieving this goal.