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Winner of SBRI Healthcare funding competition

December 19, 2022

Our project aims to accelerate our app innovation to help narrow inequality in maternity care.

We are delighted to announce that LatchAid has been awarded £100,000 from SBRI Healthcare.

SBRI Healthcare is an Accelerated Access Collaborative (AAC) initiative – a partnership between patient groups, government bodies, industry and the NHS hosted by NHS England – and is delivered in partnership with the Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs).   

Our project aims to accelerate our app innovation to help narrow inequality in maternity care.

‘Competition 20 – Health Inequalities in Maternity Care’ was launched in May 2022 as a Phase 1 development funding competition to demonstrate feasibility. In consultation with clinicians, nurses, midwives, and other stakeholders working in the provision of care across the maternity care spectrum, innovations were sought specifically for perinatal mental health, risk identification, stratification, and intervention, and support for women post-discharge.

While the UK is among one of the safest places to give birth, maternity care is impacted by health inequalities.

Black and Asian women are more likely to die during pregnancy, and childbirth and poor pregnancy outcomes such as preterm birth, foetal growth restriction, and stillbirth, disproportionately affect Black and Asian women from the most socio-economically deprived backgrounds.

1 in 4 women experience mental health difficulties during, or in the 24 months following pregnancy, and maternal mental health challenges are associated with both large and lasting personal and societal costs.

Tragically, maternal suicide is the leading cause of direct deaths within one year after the end of pregnancy.

SBRI Healthcare provides funding to innovators to develop solutions to unmet needs faced by the NHS. The programme aims to improve patient care, increase efficiency in the NHS, and support key NHS priorities such as reducing health inequalities and reaching Net Zero targets, and to support the UK economy. 

Dr. Chen Mao Davies, CEO and founder of LatchAid, said:

“We’re delighted to receive this funding from SBRI Healthcare which will help us develop at a key point in our journey. We’re looking forward to working with SBRI Healthcare and the AHSNs to build and test our offering over the next six months with the ultimate aim to benefit as many patients as possible.”

Matt Whitty, Director of Innovation, Research and Life Sciences at NHS England and CEO of the Accelerated Access Collaborative, said:

“The SBRI Healthcare awards help the NHS to develop new technologies and solutions to address some of the biggest healthcare challenges facing society.

“We have selected these innovations because they have the potential to make a big difference in tackling health inequalities in maternal health.

“By supporting the most promising innovations the NHS will continue to evolve, helping meet more patients needs and encouraging more innovators to come forward with ideas that make a difference.”

Dr Matthew Jolly, National Clinical Director for Maternity and Women’s Health, NHS England, said:

“The SBRI Healthcare awards are another step forward in delivering the NHS Long Term Plan commitments for maternity care, including postnatal care for women and their families.

“It’s fantastic to see so many projects promoting innovation and learning to support the NHS to achieve the very best, evidence-based maternity services – they will help to accelerate the NHS’ action to deliver the latest medical innovations to patients – improving access to support and reducing health inequalities in maternity care.”

LatchAid Ltd  – awarded £100,000 – LatchAid: A smart, scalable, and accessible solution for breastfeeding and early parenthood support to address health inequality in maternity care

LatchAid is an award-winning app utilising cutting-edge 3D interactive technology, an AI-powered virtual companion leveraging 1-to-1 specialist support, and virtual support communities, to provide families with scalable breastfeeding and early parenthood support 24/7 and address health inequalities in maternity care. LatchAid’s NHS pilot in four ICS’ demonstrated a x2 increase of exclusive breastfeeding rates at six weeks postnatally compared with the national average.

Find out more about the whole project here.

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