TITCH NETWORK

A national network dedicated to developing technology solutions to improve child health

MISSION

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:

  1. A lack of health technology designed specifically for children and young people.
  2. Health technology is often designed for adults and repurposed for children and young people.
  3. Many technologies used in paediatric healthcare do not account for the anatomical and physiological changes that occur throughout childhood and adolescence.
  4. The fragmented approach to developing and evaluating child health technology across the UK.
The TITCH network is managed by NIHR Children and Young People MedTech Co-operative and NIHR Devices for Dignity MedTech Co-operative.

OBJECTIVES

IDENTIFY AND VALIDATE UNMET NEEDS

The TITCH network works with health professionals, children, young people, families, and other stakeholders across the country to identify and validate unmet needs in child health.

FACILITATE COLLABORATIONS

The TITCH network is a network of experts with a broad range of professions. TITCH is therefore able to facilitate collaborations between the right stakeholders to develop and evaluate innovations for child health.

CHILD, YOUNG PERSON, AND FAMILY INVOLVEMENT

The TITCH network works closely with patient and public involvement groups across the UK to ensure innovations in child health are fit for purpose and wanted by the end users. Our ethos is to ensure that health technology for children and young people is developed collaboratively with children and young people.

DEVELOP AND EVALUATE CHILD HEALTH TECHNOLOGY

The TITCH network works across healthcare, NIHR infrastructure, industry, academia, and education, enabling the rapid development, evaluation, and adoption of child health technology.

INFLUENCE FUNDING CALLS

The TITCH network works closely with funding bodies to influence funding calls where there is an obvious unmet need in child health.

IDENTIFY AMBASSADORS AND CLINICAL CHAMPIONS

The TITCH network identifies and appoints individuals or organisations as ambassadors or clinical champions to drive forward an innovation for child health.

MEMBERS

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. Please use the link below to enquire about joining the TITCH network.

ACHIEVEMENTS

£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).

STARWORKS

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.

PROCESS

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.

CONNECT WITH TITCH

COLLABORATION REQUEST FORM

Complete our collaboration request form to let us know about an unmet need or idea for innovation in child health. Unmet needs and ideas for innovation for both NIHR CYP MedTech and the TITCH network are submitted using the same form. Please read the collaboration request guidance before completing the form.

JOIN THE TITCH NETWORK

Complete this form if you’d like to enquire about joining the TITCH network. We’re keen to hear from anyone with an interest in or experience of child health or technology, including young people and parents/carers.

EMAIL

Send us an email and one of our team will respond as soon as possible.

FOLLOW TITCH

Follow us and engage with us on Twitter to keep up to date with our latest news.

INDUSTRY AMBASSADOR

The TITCH network is delighted that an Industry Ambassador role has been awarded to long-term collaborator Tookie Ltd. This initiative has been created to showcase partnership collaboration as best practice for both small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and the NHS within innovation and the medical technology development landscape, for the NIHR and NHS.

The TITCH network and Tookie have a proud and successful history of collaboration and will create awareness of this to highlight best practice within medical technology development, through patient and clinician co-design and creation using Tookie’s own ‘Innovation Pathway Journey’ as industry best practice.

The TITCH network and Tookie Ltd believe this shared initiative will help support new and innovative devices, which is in line with Tookie’s goal of creating #ALifeMoreNormal for patients, when starting on the challenging journey from idea conception to eventual NHS adoption. The TITCH network will further support Tookie Ltd in the development of their product portfolio through to NHS adoption.

Steve Tooke being interviewed at the 2019 National Patient Safety Conference.

Joint case studies will act as a resource to SMEs in helping them understand the innovation pathway journey specifically:

  • Creating an innovation to solve a problem;
  • Identifying clinical champions;
  • Working with clinicians to develop an idea;
  • Working with patients at the centre to co-create a device that works for them and clinicians; and/or
  • Looking at the what next and how to investigate and identity relevant and specific funding to develop an innovation further.

Relevant SMEs that enquire through the TITCH network can be referred to Tookie Ltd for advice and guidance when considering developing a new medical product/innovation. The expansive networks of both the TITCH network and Tookie Ltd will be utilised where appropriate to support an SME.

This initiative is supported by both the NIHR CYP MedTech and NIHR Devices for Dignity MedTech Co-operative as well as the wider NIHR MIC network.

2022 © Sheffield Children's NHS Foundation Trust