Funds awarded to innovative healthcare projects in Merseyside region

Eleven companies from Liverpool and Wirral have been awarded £245,000 by the North West Coast Academic Health Science Network’s (AHSN) Innovations with Impact scheme.

The scheme will help transform the health of patients across Merseyside and encourage greater innovation in the healthcare sector.

In Liverpool, children’s hospital Alder Hey will receive over £49,000 to fund two developments. One revolutionary project, and a first for Liverpool, is the SMARTinhaler, designed to remind parents and children to take their asthma medication. It will also incorporate a touch screen questionnaire to record the recurring symptoms of an asthma attack.

By recording the symptoms of the attack, it will give doctors and patients a clear understanding on what causes the incident and how it can be avoided in the future.

Between 50-80% of children with asthma do not take their inhaler regularly leading to increasing levels of asthmatic related hospital admissions. The North West has the highest hospital admission rate for asthmatic children and is three times higher than the national average in some areas, including Liverpool.

Dr Ian Sinha, consultant respiratory paediatrician and asthma lead for Alder Hey, said:

“This grant will help us evaluate whether reminding children and parents might improve treatment adherence and improve asthma control. We are focusing particularly on children who attend the Emergency Department with an asthma attack to see whether giving them a SMARTinhaler helps reduce the risk of them having another attack.

“If it does work, it could be the most simple, cost-effective way of improving childhood asthma outcomes across the North West.”

Dr Liz Mear, chief executive of the North West Coast AHSN, said:

“We have some of the most innovative and creative minds in healthcare sector working across the North West. This funding will help these people to experiment with new products that could change the way in which treatment is given across Merseyside and beyond.”

Other Merseyside businesses to receive grants from the North West Coast AHSN include Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group (£24,999), Clatterbridge Cancer Centre (£19,042) and Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospital (£2,016).

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