The UK’s leading digital health innovators are to get a global boost with a new campaign that showcases their talents to healthcare systems across the world.

Major health tech bodies have come together to support ‘The First 100’ , which features some of the UK’s most impressive digital health companies and aims to provides a well-researched credible list for international healthcare organisations and governments to call upon to get support for their needs.

Each of the 100 companies has a proven track record of benefiting the lives of healthcare professionals and patients in the NHS and private health sector. They include innovators who have underpinned the country’s response to COVID- 19, and others whose ground-breaking technology can address the issues facing healthcare systems across the globe.

Organisations listed include Foundry4, which remotely delivered the UK’s COVID-19 home testing service in just eight days; DrDoctor, a patient engagement platform provider which is used by over 30 NHS trusts and has supported at-scale healthcare staff vaccination programmes; and IMMJ Systems, which has provided digitised records via the cloud, to enable numerous NHS trusts to deliver virtual clinics during the pandemic.

Such organisations could help healthcare providers across the world deal with the looming backlog in care. They can also provide the foundation for the digitised healthcare future where remote monitoring, patient apps, AI and augmented reality become the norm.

The campaign is backed by Healthcare UK, NHS Digital, the European Connected Care Alliance (ECHA), Association of British HealthTech Industries (ABHI), Scottish Development International, Innovate UK, Boehringer Ingelheim, HIMSS and Silver Buck.

“The UK is at the forefront of transforming healthcare services by using digital solutions to prevent, diagnose, manage and treat illnesses more effectively, as well as putting solutions in the hands of patients,” said Hassan Chaudhury, digital health specialist for the Healthcare UK initiative and Department for International Trade, who is leading the campaign.

“The First 100 articulates the exportable strengths that the UK has in health tech and showcases those that stand out for being tried and tested and most importantly, making a difference across one of the most complex health systems in the world, during its most challenging time.

“They’ve supported health and care professionals and patients in dealing with everyday issues and can undoubtably benefit other countries looking to solve problems to everyday health and care challenges.”

The chosen companies went through a rigorous vetting process, which assessed the global uniqueness of their innovation, responsiveness, track record of collaboration, successes within the NHS, and their ability and commitment to export and actively seeking international expansion.

Rachel Murphy, CEO of Foundry4, said: “The past year has created a need to think differently, even radically, in the way we all approach healthcare – from creating patient facing services, workforce-based solutions, and using data in a more effective way.

“It’s incredibly powerful to be recognised by the DIT for the contribution we’ve made to healthcare in doing just that.”

Tom Whicher, CEO of DrDoctor, said: “Digital patient engagement is the key to sustainable healthcare. We have seen through COVID-19 how shifting to digital first care can help healthcare systems across the world with their toughest ever test; now there is the opportunity to not just survive, but thrive.

“It is hugely welcome that the DIT is showcasing UK technology through the First 100, so the country’s vibrant digital health community can showcase its talents to our global peers as healthcare providers face similar challenges in the months and years ahead.”

The DIT has also created a ‘25 Ones to Watch List’, featuring companies such as Cellen, which launched the first online chronic pain clinic; digital consultation provider Numan, which has helped more than 300,000 people across the UK address health conditions; and Pep Health, a company working with the NHS to use AI to collate real-time patient experience insights from over 10 million comments a year on social media, forums and surveys.

Mark Lomax, CEO of Pep Health, said:With healthcare under tremendous pressure globally it has never been more important to understand in real-time what patients think.

“We know that by going directly to where patients are already talking about services we can identify areas of strength and weakness and help to measure care variability.

“This type of technology is easily transferable to international markets such as the US, so it’s fantastic to be recognised by the DIT as ‘One to Watch.’