A winner has been announced in the Care Innovation Challenge 2019, a competition for entrepreneurs to come up with new ideas and businesses to resolve some of the sector's biggest pressures.
Run by Care Innovation Hub, an organisation looking to transform the care sector with fresh ideas, the competition saw entries from entrepreneurs from a range of backgrounds, including airport designers, engineers, social care workers and scientists.
Finalists presented their ideas and business plans to a group of sector leaders, hosted by the Department of Health and Social Care. Each finalist was given seven minutes to present, followed by three minutes of questions from a panel of judges and the wider room. Ideas tackled issues such as social isolation amongst older people, retention of staff, childcare for care workers and falls prevention.
The competition had previously seen teams come together for a 'Hackathon' weekend, where experts spoke on the issues for both the homecare and care home markets, before ideas were generated and plans were formed.
Each team was provided with a mentor, who supported them over a four-week period to develop their idea, research the market and, in some cases, begin trials and fundraising.
The winning model came from Team Orchard, who looked to solve issues surrounding medication management. The team's idea involves an automated medication system, which would avoid errors, automatically log when a person has or has not received their medication and would store medicines safely.
Runners up included Maaha Suleiman, who has established a viable resolution to ensuring culturally-appropriate care, and Olly Webb who came up with a simple solution to providing easy activities in care homes that support residents' general health.
Each finalist received a certificate, while the runners up received £250 and £500 respectively, and the winners received £1000 to continue to develop their ideas.
All finalists will be supported to see their businesses through to market, via expertise and mentorship from the founding partners of Care Innovation Hub.
More information on the Care Innovation Challenge and how to become involved can be found on the website.