Open call to the healthcare industry for new tech ideas to support the mental health of young people in the UK

Not-for-profit organisation, Creative England has teamed up with The West of England Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) and The Wellcome Trust to launch Create Open Health. This new healthcare initiative is an open call for digital or technology-based solutions, which could be implemented within the health sector to support the mental wellbeing of young people in the UK.

With support and advice from Off the Record, a charity which provides mental health support for young people across Bristol and South Gloucestershire, Create Open Health is looking for talented people with remarkable ideas that will positively impact communities and young people’s mental health. It offers successful applicants access to technical, marketing and sales expertise to help plan and develop their solution. Opportunities to receive investment, including potential introductions to investors and direct investment, will also be offered in order to cultivate commercially sustainable propositions which could viably work within the UK health sector.

Tim Evans, Investment Manager at Creative England, comments, “We are looking for ideas that directly support and empower children and young people, their caregivers or their community, and the healthcare industry is the perfect place for us to start. As many in the industry know, 1 in 10 children between 5-16 years old have a diagnosable mental health problem and yet just 0.7% of the NHS budget is spent on children’s mental health.

“With this programme, we hope to tap into the vast wealth of knowledge and experience of our healthcare industry and help develop solutions that can have a real impact on the mental wellbeing of children and young people in the UK. These ideas and solutions can be conceptual, or they can already be in place and in need of support to develop them further. Above all, applicants should be passionate about bringing their ideas to life and, by doing so, want to make a genuine social impact.”

“We are passionate about making innovation relevant to everyone and working with end users in the co-production of new products and services,” says Lars Sundstrom, Director of Innovation and Growth at The West of England AHSN. “Create Open Health breaks new ground as a fertile environment for innovation, allowing the insourcing of ideas across a wide sector of expertise. We are strong advocates of both of these things and by bringing them together in one initiative, we will be able to  build on our experience and that of our partners in a common objective to share knowledge and pool expertise.”

Create Open Health is welcoming submissions that leverage digital or technology solutions which improve young people’s experience of mental health care, with the aim to help parents, schools and communities identify early signs of mental health issues. Ideas can include, but are not limited to, digital or technology-based solutions which support social inclusion, empower young people to take control of their mental wellbeing, address the stigma associated with mental health conditions, and improve access to quality care and information.

Applications can be made by individuals or on behalf of a team, organisation or charity. There is no requirement for those applying to be currently working full time in their product area or have the necessary digital or technological capabilities to execute it. What is required is viable ideas supported by a genuine interest, personal experience or   insight into the mental health and wellbeing of young people.

As part of the programme, Create Open Health will be working with technology and software specialists, Simpleweb, and digital marketing and business development consultancy, Disruptive Thinking, to deliver an intensive two-day bootcamp for shortlisted applicants. This session is designed to give the proposed solutions a strong business development groundwork, kickstart the product or service development process and introduce the intricacies of implementing innovation within the healthcare sector. Following this, the organisations affiliated with Create Open Health will continue to support the creation, launch and implementation of the final product or service.

The deadline to submit ideas for the Create Open Health programme is midnight, March 31 2019. Applicants must be based in the UK and those who are successful will need to commit to attending the business and idea development bootcamp in Bristol on both Friday 26 and Saturday 27 April 2019.

To find out more about Create Open Health and to apply to be part of the programme, please visit: www.creativeengland.co.uk