Our business priorities

Our priorities and enablers

At Health Innovation East we work with health and care organisations and businesses to support the spread of all types of innovation within the NHS and the wider health and care system – from new technologies to ways of working and service improvements. Our priority areas support our mission of bringing the region’s most promising innovations to those who need them most.

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Health Inequalities

Health inequalities are avoidable, unfair and systematic differences in health between different groups of people. Evidence shows that a comprehensive, multifaceted approach to tackling health inequalities can make a difference.

We continue to support programmes to meet four of the clinical priority areas in NHS England’s national Core20PLUS5 programme – cardiovascular disease, maternity, mental illness and early cancer diagnosis – to reduce health inequalities in our region.

Blue outline of a computer with patient information.

Health system transformation

The NHS is committed to increasing capacity to deliver more procedures and scan to tackle waiting lists – with an increase of nine million more tests and checks by 2025. Innovation is essential to build capability and capacity and deliver better outcomes for patients.

  • We co-funded the roles of innovation leads within Suffolk and North East Essex (SNEE), Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes (BLMK), Norfolk and Waveney and Cambridge and Peterborough integrated care boards (ICB) to support innovative activities within, supporting the priorities of ICSs and the local population.
  • We co-funded the role of two innovation ambassadors at Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust to raise the profile of innovation and facilitate a culture that empowers staff with innovative ideas.

Our clinical focus areas represent the needs of the population in the East of England and are…

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Cardiovascular disease

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) affects around seven million people and is responsible for one in four deaths in the UK. Despite being largely preventable, CVD is a leading cause of morbidity, disability and mortality in England.

We are working with our partners to help improve the detection, management and optimisation of high-risk conditions related to CVD.

  • We supported the Blood Pressure Optimisation Programme to encourage primary care networks in our region to implement the UCL Partners Proactive Care Frameworks that helps to manage long-term conditions, such as high blood pressure.
  • We supported the education and upskilling local health professionals in the importance of lipid optimisation and we have supported providers in the region to increase the detection of Familial hypercholesterolaemia (FH) via population management approaches and through a FH child-parent screening pilot across the East of England.
  • We are delivering the NHS National Heart Failure Programme to support with increasing timely diagnosis and optimised treatment for heart failure patients.
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Macmillan Cancer Support estimates that three million people are living with cancer in the UK, and this is due to rise to four million by 2030. Earlier cancer diagnosis is one of the five clinical areas of focus targeted within NHS England’s Core20PLUS5 programme.

We are supporting innovation to aid the earlier diagnosis of cancer so that patients in our region can receive effective treatment faster.

  • We helped to implement diagnostic tools within the NHS to support early detection of cancer, including an AI integrated clinical decision support tool and a minimally invasive test that can be perform in primary care to help detect oesophageal cancer.
  • We worked with innovators to improve patient care for people with cancer, including supporting the development of an at-home finger-prick blood test to check whether a patient is at an increased risk of developing neutropenic sepsis – a life-threatening whole-body reaction.
Blue outline of the brain

Mental health

One in four adults and one in 10 children experience mental illness in their lifetime. We are helping to tackle mental health illness by supporting programmes aimed at enabling people to receive treatment for mental health sooner.

  • We supported the implementation of national programmes tackling mental health conditions, including the roll-out of an objective test for diagnosing ADHD and the adoption of early intervention models for eating disorders.
  • We helped young people tackle their anxiety by supporting the evaluation of digital therapeutic interventions to ensure timely and accessible intervention.
Blue outline of a pregnancy person


In the UK, one in 12 babies are born preterm. Premature babies can have serious medical problems and preterm birth is the single biggest cause of neonatal mortality and morbidity in the UK.

We are working with maternity units across the region to improve the outcomes of very premature infants to give these babies a stronger start in life.

  • Through the Maternity and Neonatal Safety Improvement Programme (MatNeoSIP) we have supported the spread and adoption of the preterm perinatal optimisation care pathway which aims to reduce stillbirths, neonatal deaths and hypoxic brain injury.
  • We have supported the rollout of PIGF testing, a new diagnostic test tool for pre-eclampsia to help doctors and midwives quickly and easily determine the most appropriate level of care required for their patients.

If you could help deliver health and care solutions in line with our priority areas, find out how we can work with you here.


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