Revolutionising Healthcare Worldwide: Leeds Digital Festival and the Global Approach to Solving Health Problems

As some of you may already know from my recent posts, I recently attended “International Innovators: A global approach to solving health challenges” as part of Leeds Digital Festival. With a keen interest in FemTech and Women’s Health, it was great to see an event local to Leeds championing the industry with HyIvy Health UK Director, Hannah Duraid, featured as a key speaker. Continue reading to find out about the three healthcare companies in attendance and how they used the Propel@YH programme to accelerate their market presence in the UK.

The exchange of ideas, innovations, and solutions knows no boundaries and nowhere is this more evident than in the field of healthcare, where ground-breaking medical technologies are continuously changing the landscape of patient care. Leeds Digital Festival brings together global innovators to discuss and showcase the latest healthcare advancements. Stay tuned as we delve into the standout players and programs, such as HyIvy Health, SingFit, Smart Crowding and Yorkshire & Humber AHSN (Propel@YH initiative), that are part of this global effort.

HyIvy Health: Revolutionising Women’s Health

HyIvy Health, a leading innovator in the field of Women’s Health, has been at the forefront of technology, using their Class 2 Medical Device – Floora Pelvic Rehabilitation Vaginal Dilator Device to address a range of up to 51 female health issues. The device performs hot and cold therapy, self-lubrication, and auto dilation that are used in combination with biosensors, which collect the first ever data set on the pelvic floor. This data is tracked using patient mobile application and remote patient monitoring, clinician software portal for professionals like OBGYNs and pelvic floor therapists.

Hannah Duraid, UK Director, explained patients suffering with Endometriosis, Pelvic Cancers and Vaginismus experienced a 90% decrease in muscle tension, pelvic pain and effects of nerve damage and a 60% increase in bowel and bladder functions, sexual activity and natural lubricant. With clinician benefits (Pelvic Floor Therapists, Cancer Centres and OBGYNs) experiencing an increase in patient care by 60% and revenue opportunities x2 and a decrease in referrals and ER visits.

UK clinical trial sites are secured, and the runway is set to globalise within the next 20 months. An exciting time for the HyIvy team and the Women’s Health/FemTech market!  

SingFit: The Healing Power of Music

SingFit is a non-pharmacological approach to managing various health conditions which can reduce the need for medications or to complement existing treatments. This innovative platform leverages the therapeutic potential of music to enhance cognitive and emotional health. By combining the joy of music with evidence-based therapies, SingFit’s approach is a testament to how technology can offer holistic solutions for a wide range of health problems, from dementia to mental health challenges.

In 2020, the team were awarded The Dementia SMART Award from the Dementia Society of America. The award stands for Simple, Meaningful, Accessible, Respectful and Trusted. SingFit scored incredibly high in all areas with clients using SingFit 3 to 14 times a week resulting in a mood elevation of 42% and a decrease of 40% in as-needed anti-anxiety medications. For dementia patients, there was also a noticeable decrease in the behaviour associated with the disease, including agitation, wandering and social isolation.

Rachel Francine, Co-Founder and CEO of SingFit confirmed SingFit are an official UK entity, with the UK launch set for January 2024. As a Musical Theatre graduate myself, I say let’s welcome “Music as Medicine” to the UK!

Smart Crowding: Optimising Healthcare Access

Smart Crowding is tackling a crucial issue in healthcare: overcrowded clinics and hospitals. Through smart scheduling algorithms and data-driven insights, they are streamlining patient appointments and reducing wait times. This not only benefits patients but also contributes to the efficient use of healthcare resources. Their work is a prime example of how technology can alleviate the burden on healthcare systems.

Oystein Evjen Olsen, Founder of Smart Crowding was previously head of the emergency department at Stavanger University Hospital (SUS) and saw the need for a more streamlined solution. After the introduction of Smart Crowding there has been a reduction in waiting time in the emergency department, corridor occupancy and hiring external personnel as well as an increase in patient and staff satisfaction.

Yorkshire & Humber AHSN: Driving Regional Innovation

The Yorkshire & Humber Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) connects healthcare organisations with innovators, they facilitate the adoption of new technologies and best practices. Their efforts have a ripple effect, fostering regional innovation and contributing to a healthier society.

Established by NHS England in 2013, there are 15 AHSNs across England. Spreading innovation at pace and scale is the aim – improving patient care and generating economic growth.

The Propel@YH Programme: Nurturing Start-ups for a Healthier Future

Propel@YH is owned and organised by the Yorkshire & Humber AHSN, welcoming UK-based small-medium enterprises (SMEs) and start-ups for a 6-month programme and international SMEs/start-ups for a week-long accelerator programme to support innovators wanting to bring their products to the UK healthcare market.

The programme covers a series of masterclasses from Yorkshire & Humber AHSN and their partners including content covering:

Since it’s inception in 2019, Propel@YH has supported more than 40 UK-based innovators and 44 international innovators, including HyIvy Health and SingFit. As well as creating £1.7MM in funding and NHS contracts generated.

Find out more in their Impact Report 2021-22:

“Now is the time to bring better pelvic health solutions to the UK for the 1-in-3 women living with pelvic pain. The Propel@YH Boot Camp provided Hyivy with support understanding the unique needs of the NHS, as well as providing useful introductions to key NHS stakeholders so we could bring our groundbreaking technology to transform the standard of care, and provide a data-driven, clinically validated approach to pelvic health to patients and clinicians across the UK.” – Rachel Bartholomew, Founder and CEO, HyIvy Health.

Looking forward to future Nexus events supporting Y&H AHSN and learning about more innovators in the healthcare space looking to expand into the NHS.

To round up, if you’re an SME/start-up in the healthcare sector, reach out to one of the 15 AHSNs in the UK to hear how they can support you. Dr Neville Young at Y&H AHSN will be happy to assist, I’m sure!

Written by Hattie Wilcox – MedTech & FemTech Partner

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