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70 years of the NHS: Innovation in digital health technology


Mariel Rubinstein

Articles by Nova’s Marketing Executive, Mariel Rubinstein.

Updated 20 April 22



As we celebrate the NHS turning 70, the transformation it’s gone through over the years is overwhelmingly clear. Back in 1948 when the service first launched, free healthcare was profoundly life-changing for the general public. Today the NHS continues to evolve with the help of new innovations in technology.

The use of digital technology in healthcare can improve quality and efficiency of patient care as well as work as a preventive and palliative measure. With demand on the NHS rapidly increasing, the need for digital innovation is more prevalent than ever before.

Over the last 3 years, we’ve innovated within the NHS to identify opportunities and problems which have enabled the creation of a number of digital health startups. Through unique partnerships with hospitals such as Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, we’ve worked with doctors, clinicians, nurses, patients and other industry leaders to develop digital solutions and improve the quality of care across the country. “I get to work with doctors and physiotherapists that want to change their field… that’s really exciting”, explains Katie-Rose, one of our digital health startup consultants. “These people experience the problems first hand, so collaborating with them is the way to make real change happen”.

Hackathons are just one of the ways we’ve been able to delve deeper and establish key opportunities to explore. Ian Sinha, Respiratory Consultant at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, explains “In terms of the people we see coming through Alder Hey, we’ve been stuck with the same problems year in year out and actually we just need a new way of thinking about things. In particular, we need to be in the position where we can think about it with other people with different ideas and different backgrounds, because that adds a new perspective to what you thought you already knew”.


Hackathon at NHS for digital health startups


Working for the NHS is a vocation, making a difference in people’s lives, for neurosurgeons to nurses, pharmacists to physiotherapists. Co-founding digital health startups with these kinds of people has allowed us to really understand the difficulties that NHS workers and patients experience on a regular basis. From helping children manage their autism to improving hand hygiene compliance in medical institutes, we build startups that make a significant impact on the NHS, and more importantly, that stay within the NHS.


Rebecca Taylor, founder of Aquarate (one of our co-founded digital health businesses), is driving innovation in healthcare. “As the NHS becomes more digitally aligned, Aquarate is providing smart products to track vital hydration-related information” she explains. “We’re working in partnership with The Royal Liverpool Hospital and Broadgreen University Trust to put clinicians and patients at the heart of our research. That will always be really important to us”.


Inspire and build digital solutions


As pressure inevitably continues to grow on NHS resources, the healthcare service is embracing innovation and the efficiencies that comes with it. By working with the people who turn up everyday to the make the NHS happen, we encourage change from within. The more we can inspire and build complementary digital solutions within the NHS, the more extraordinary it can become.

Have you got an idea for a digital health business and are looking for investment & support? Work with us.





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