The TITCH (Technology Innovation Transforming Child Health) network is a national network of experts dedicated to transforming child health through technology and innovation.
The TITCH network was established in 2014 to address common problems in child health technology:
- A lack of health technology designed specifically for children and young people.
- Health technology is often designed for adults and repurposed for children and young people.
- Many technologies used in paediatric healthcare do not account for the anatomical and physiological changes that occur throughout childhood and adolescence.
- The fragmented approach to developing and evaluating child health technology across the UK.
The TITCH network is comprised of experts across the UK seeking to support the development, evaluation, and adoption of child health technology.
Members of the TITCH network have a diverse range of backgrounds, including health care, education, academia, industry, patient representation, NHS research and development, and NIHR infrastructure.
We are interested in hearing from people who would like to join the TITCH network. Find out about joining the TITCH network below.
The TITCH network focuses on identifying and validating unmet needs and ideas for innovation in child health. The four main stages in our innovation pathway are outlined below.
The TITCH network can provide more support to unmet needs and innovations that fall within NIHR CYP MedTech’s and NIHR D4D MedTech’s themes. Unmet needs and innovations that fall outside of these themes can still be supported through the TITCH network; we can circulate a summary of the unmet need or idea for innovation around the TITCH network to gain expert feedback and find key stakeholders to form an effective project team.
£3.1 MILLION LEVERAGED FROM SBRI HEALTHCARE
The TITCH network worked closely with SBRI Healthcare, NHS England, and the Yorkshire and Humber Academic Health Science Network to leverage £3.1 million of SBRI Healthcare grant funding dedicated to child health technology. This SBRI Healthcare funding call focused specifically on independence and restoring function to children with long term conditions, and providing support for self-care and remote monitoring.
SUPPORT FOR NIHR MICs
The TITCH network supports the paediatric themes within the NIHR MedTech and In Vitro Diagnostic Co-operatives (MICs). There are 11 MICs, each with a different focus. The MICs aims to build expertise and capacity in the NHS to develop and evaluate new medical technologies and in vitro diagnostic tests.
NIHR CYP MEDTECH
The TITCH network demonstrated the need for a funded organisation solely dedicated to developing and evaluating child health technology. In January 2018, the NIHR funded the only MIC dedicated to child health technology, NIHR Children and Young People MedTech Co-operative (NIHR CYP MedTech).
The TITCH network teamed up with NIHR Devices for Dignity MedTech Co-operative and Sheffield Hallam University to secure funding from the Department of Health for the Starworks Innovation Programme. Starworks aims to accelerate the translation of new inventions and developments in child prosthetics into everyday use for children and young people with limb loss.
OVER 100 UNMET NEEDS IDENTIFIED
The TITCH network has identified over 100 unmet needs through extensive networks and numerous events with healthcare professionals, industry experts, children and young people, parents/carers, and academics.
OVER 40 MEMBERS
The TITCH network has grown substantially over the last few years, and now comprises over 40 members with expertise in a broad range of professions, including paediatric medicine, paediatric surgery, community medicine, general practice, allied health professions, small and medium sized enterprises, large corporations, academia, design, engineering, education, and patient/parent/carer representation.
The TITCH network is delighted to announce that an Industry Ambassador role has been awarded to long-term collaborator, Tookie Ltd.
The Industry Ambassador role has been created to enable industry to better understand how to innovate within the field of child health technology.
The role will highlight the value of collaboration and the importance of co-design with children, young people, families, and NHS clinical teams.
Steve Tooke, Commercial Director of Tookie Ltd, presenting at the NIHR about Tookie’s journey from idea to NHS adoption.