The much-anticipated short-list of healthtech start-ups competing in this year’s Digital Health Rewired Pitchfest 2021 have been announced.

Among those short-listed are start-ups pioneering the use of drones, virtual reality, artificial intelligence, smart wound-dressings, and platforms to support respiratory conditions, retinal screening, social prescribing, MRI referrals, children with disabilities and speech and language difficulties.

All 16 start-ups on the short-list will be on show at Digital Health Rewired, the virtual festival celebrating the best in digital health and data, 15-19 March. At Rewired, the last 16 will compete in daily heats to be named Pitchfest winner 2021.

The heats will run at lunchtimes, Monday to Thursday, with each start-up delivering a three-minute lightning video pitch to the judges. One winner will be selected from each heat to go through to the live online final on Friday 19 March.

Jon Hoeksma, chief executive of Digital Health, said: “Rewired will once again bring together current and future NHS digital leaders and their teams with the very best start-ups and innovators to showcase the art of the possible, learn from one another to help sustain the digital transformation of healthcare.

“The remarkable dynamism of start-ups in the sector gives reason to believe the NHS can continue the remarkable digital progress it has achieved throughout the pandemic.”

The Pitchfest 2021 final 16 are:

  • Concentric Health – a digital consent and shared decision making web application
  • FeelTect – a smart leg ulcer dressing and platform
  • Feebris – an AI tool which helps carers to identify health risks and deterioration within elderly communities
  • Eupnoos – an app which uses AI for lung condition diagnosis and monitoring
  • MediShout – an app which allows healthcare staff to report operational issues and uses AI to help predict potential issues and bottlenecks
  • EnrichMyCare – a remote personal health monitoring platform for children with disabilities
  • MRI My Pacemaker – a cloud-based referrals platform for MRI scans
  • Digital Health (OXDH) – cloud-based platform help to enable remote consultations
  • Joy – a social prescribing app which involves connecting patients to non-clinical services that improve health and wellbeing
  • VUI Diagnostics – a device which provides simple retinal screening to help tackle global blindness
  • Apian – helps connect the healthcare industry with the drone industry via an application programming interface (API)
  • Peppy Health – an app which provides access to specialist support and resources specific to major life transitions such as menopause, fertility and parenthood
  • Kids Speech Labs – online platform which uses data and clinical experience to benchmark children’s language and speech
  • Open Medical – digital platform which allows doctors to triage, track, plan and review the care of patients
  • Virti Healthcare – uses mixed reality (XR), artificial intelligence and gamification to help healthcare employees learn faster and remember training for longer.
  • Tekihealth Solutions – digital hub which facilities remote consultations

Applications for the 2021 edition of Pitchfest opened in November 2020 with a panel of judges given the hard task of whittling down the final 16 from the 120 plus entries.

The judging panel consisted of:

  • Jon Hoeksma CEO of Digital Health
  • Chris Chaney, CEO of CW+
  • Jenny Thomas, programme director at DigitalHealth.London
  • Emma Harvey, head of Innovation Lab at NHSX
  • Richard Corbridge, CIO at Boots
  • Stephen Watkins, managing Director at Boots, Ireland
  • Megan Morys-Carter, programme Director at The Hill
  • Chris Sawyer, innovation lead for digital health at Innovate UK

Now in its third edition, Pitchfest 2021 will be run in partnership with Digitalhealth.London and CW+, the charitable arm of Chelsea and Westminster NHS Foundation Trust.

For the second year running, the CW Innovation programme – run jointly by Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and CW+ – will offer winners a real-world test bed in whichever care setting their concept or start-up is based.

Chris Chaney, CEO of CW+, said: “Congratulations to all those shortlisted for Pitchfest 2021. The Covid-19 pandemic has created a need to innovate at pace and it’s exciting to see such a fantastic range of digital health innovations and ideas with the potential to support the evolving and increasingly varied needs of our patients and staff.

“We are looking forward to the final and are delighted to provide a real-world test bed for this year’s PitchFest winner again, who will join our CW Innovation portfolio of next generation systems, services and care tools.”

Another partner for this year’s Pitchfest is DigitalHealth.London – an organisation which helps facilitate collaboration between digital health startups and health and social care providers.

Jenny Thomas, programme director at DigitalHealth.London, said: “Congratulations to all of the 16 finalists in this year’s Pitchfest.

“The shortlisting process was highly competitive and each and every one shortlisted has a fantastic offer to the NHS and social care sector today. I look forward to participating in the event next month.”

Rewired 2021 is the virtual festival showcasing and celebrating the best of digital health and care across the UK and internationally. The event will bring together 10 different festival events, including the Digital Leadership Summit, Digital Transformation Summit, and AI and Data Summit.

Register your place at Rewired 2021 today and get a flavour of what is to come from the video below.


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