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Test Beds: the story so far

In January 2016, seven Test Beds were announced at the World Economic Forum in Davos. These real-word trials are testing ‘combinatorial’ innovation (new combinations of products and processes) aiming to improve patient outcomes at the same or less cost than current practice; whilst supporting economic growth.

The Test Beds are forerunners for demonstrating the type of collaboration between the National Health Service (NHS) and industry noted by Sir John Bell in his recent report to government on the Life Sciences Strategy. A conservative estimate is that the programme has leveraged £15 million from industry, alongside £9.5 million investment from NHS England, the Office for Life Sciences (OLS) and Department of Health (DH).

The Test Beds programme is unprecedented in scale: it includes 40 innovators, 51 digital products, eight evaluation teams and five voluntary sector organisations. They work with the NHS infrastructure and professionals in the seven different areas across England; supported by the work of the Academic Health Science Network (AHSN).

This document describes the programme’s story so far and how the Test Beds are tackling clinical challenges such as dementia, diabetes and mental health through technology including algorithms, sensors and the Internet of Things. It also shares the learning from the programme to date, so that the rest of the NHS can benefit from the experiences documented.