Yesterday I attended the Health Social Innovators’ Challenge Day in London and saw 6 companies pitch their business’ to a panel of experts judges. The Health Social Innovators’ programme is supporting and accelerating the growth of early-stage social health ventures across England in order to stimulate innovation and create positive change in healthcare. The programme is a collaboration between Healthbox, UCL Business and Numbers4good, together with strategic investors Trafford Housing Trust and Janssen Healthcare Innovation with backing from the Cabinet Office’s social incubator fund.
The 6 finalists all demonstrated great ideas and solutions to a number of social health challenges we are facing right now. We saw presentations from :
- Go with the flow
- Hap Hub
Although all were fascinating there had to be one winner and it was decided that the best solution to meet the challenge as set out by the parameters was Path. Path is a walking aid that increases confidence, and helps maintain independence for longer. It is intended for users with mobility issues, reduced proprioception and fear of falling. The product is user-centred and non-invasive. It assists during day-to-day activities, using visual cues and touch. There are about 5 million people in the UK living with mobility related issues, and according to AgeUK, 1 in 3 people aged 65 and over fall each year. Evidence shows that this risk can be cut by up to 55% through exercise to improve strength and balance. Falls currently cost the NHS £2.3 billion yearly and with the number of people over the age of 65 in the UK expected to double to 20 million by 2050 and the prevalence of Parkinson’s disease doubling by 2030, falls will have major impact on healthcare costs in future.
The consequences of falling go far beyond the physical trauma from injury. The psychological consequences can be as disabling as the fall itself, reducing confidence to walk, thereby decreasing mobility, reducing activity levels and decreasing independence, all of which decrease the person’s quality of life.
Path’s products offer the opportunity to increase quality of life for the users and carers and reduce healthcare cost.
Lise is the inventor of Path. She holds a double Masters in Innovation Design Engineering from the Royal College of Art and Imperial College London. Prior to that, she worked for Invest in Denmark at the Royal Danish Embassy in London, where she was responsible for attracting foreign companies to Denmark within the sectors of life sciences and clean technologies. She has also worked in online advertising for AOL’s Advertising.com and in finance for J.P. Morgan. Lise also holds a BSc in Human Biology from King’s College London.
We would like to congratulate all the participants, especially to Lise and her team – great job ! Please check out http://www.walkwithpath.com/ for yourself !
For more information on the Health Social Innovators’ Programme and how to enter next year please visit www.healthsocialinnovators.org