Janssen is partnering with the UK National Health Service (NHS) on a new programme that seeks to inspire innovative ideas that will help reshape and improve the way dementia care is delivered. The company recently launched the inaugural NHS innovation challenge prize for dementia, which is designed to harness the expertise of those working at the frontline of dementia care in the UK. Janssen is offering a prize of up to £150 000 for solutions that can make a real and sustained difference to the lives of those affected by dementia, both directly and indirectly.
The NHS innovation challenge prizes are now in their third year, with a dozen currently open. This new dementia challenge, however, marks the first time a private sector company has been involved in this way with the NHS.
“Janssen Healthcare Innovation is committed to exploring and developing novel ways of delivering healthcare to improve patient outcomes, particularly in areas of significant need such as dementia. We are delighted to be the first industry partner to support the NHS in these important innovation challenges. We hope this initiative will help identify forward-thinking solutions to help transform care for people with dementia and better support their caregivers,” said Marco Mohwinckel from Janssen Healthcare Innovation in a press statement.
To determine the scope of the dementia challenge, Janssen is inviting doctors, patients and care groups to help identify the key issues around treatment, diagnosis and management of people with dementia. Once the scope has been identified, interested parties will be invited to submit their innovative approaches to address the specified challenge. Submissions must be in by 20 March. An expert panel consisting of NHS clinicians and managers as well as innovation leaders from academia, industry and other sectors will pick the winning entries.
Dementia is one of the greatest health challenges facing society today. In the UK, there are approximately 800 000 people currently living with dementia with an estimated 670 000 family and friends acting as primary carers. According to the Department of Health, the number of people affected could reach 1.7 million in the UK by 2050. The condition places a significant burden on NHS resources, with an estimated £23 billion spent on health services each year; this figure is predicted to increase by £5 billion over the next five years.
“It’s no secret that dementia is one of the biggest challenges that we currently face in the UK,” said health secretary Jeremy Hunt. “Innovation sits at the very heart of the way the health service works. Projects that foster innovation play an important role in driving forward progress and I look forward to hearing the ideas in response to the dementia research challenge.”