Software and AI companies secure major funding to develop technologies

Ufonia

Rugby-based software development company OpusVL, and Ufonia, based in Oxford, are two of five companies nationally to benefit from a £9 million government award intended to support breakthrough digital health technologies

Rugby-based OpusVL, has developed eObs, which allows clinicians to observe patients digitally through hand-held devices. The device can then send an automatic alert to specialists or consultants if patients are identified as ‘at risk’. This can shorten length of stay, reduce transfers within hospitals, and reduce ICU referrals. The system also gives ward managers and bed managers a view of the workload across their area of responsibility, so that they can deploy the right people on the right ward, at the right time

Working with the University of Oxford, Ufonia will deploy AI-driven voice technology to call patients and have a fully autonomous, natural conversation, to assess their health status against specified criteria. In live clinical use, the technology will assess the health of nearly 1000 patients who have had surgery at a large NHS hospital Trust over 6 months

Funded through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, the Digital Health Technology Catalyst (DHTC) is a £35 million fund, being run over 4 years.

Ian Campbell, Interim Executive Chair, Innovate UK, for UK Research and Innovation, said: “The UK is a world leader in health innovation and the projects for which we have announced funding today showcase the very best of British knowhow. Using breakthrough technologies such as AI and machine learning and deploying apps and hand-held devices, outcomes for patients can be immeasurably improved. Supporting these innovations is a key element of the government’s Industrial Strategy and will create the industries and jobs of tomorrow.”