SBRI - AI supporting early detection and diagnosis in heart failure management

Organisations can apply for a share of £120,000 inclusive of VAT, to develop an AI tool to provide accessible heart failure data from routine patient information.

Opportunity Details


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Feasibility study R&D contracts will be up to £10,000 per project inc VAT in phase 1, with up to £40,000 per R&D contract in phase 2.


NHS Scotland

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This is a Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) competition funded by NHS Scotland. Successful applicants will receive 100% funding and have access to advice from NHS Tayside, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Health Board and the University of Dundee Health Informatics Centre.

The aim of this competition is to develop a system that can provide accessible, timely and accurate data on heart failure from healthcare information which is routinely collected in primary and secondary care.

We are looking for digital and data-driven partners to work with clinical and informatics experts in Tayside.

Together they will develop a solution to automatically evaluate and accurately extract meaningful data from a number of healthcare data sources, such as:

  • image
  • quantitative
  • unformatted text

The output will be a national dashboard to give clinicians, managers and policymakers timely access to data so that they can manage, develop or improve patient care.

This is phase 1 of a potential 2-phase competition. A decision to proceed with phase 2 will depend on the outcomes from phase 1 and assessment of a separate application into a subsequent phase 2 competition.

Only successful applicants from phase 1 will be able to apply to take part in phase 2.

Phase 1: research and development contracts, feasibility study

The first phase involves research and development (R&D) contracts being awarded to demonstrate technical feasibility of the proposed solution. A total of up to £40,000 inclusive of VAT, is allocated to this phase.

Feasibility study R&D contracts will be up to £10,000 inclusive of VAT. This is for each project for up to 3 months. Projects are expected to start on 1 February 2021.

We expect to fund up to 4 projects. The assessors will consider fair value in making their evaluation.

We would welcome bids from a single entity that bring together sector specialists.

Phase 2: research and development contracts, prototype development and testing

The second phase will involve up to 2 R&D contracts being awarded to businesses chosen from the successful phase 1 applicants. Up to £40,000 inclusive of VAT, will be allocated for each contract, in order to develop a prototype and undertake field testing for up to 15 months.

The contract is completed at the end of phase 2, and the successful business is expected to pursue commercialisation of their solution.


To lead a project, you can:

  • be an organisation of any size
  • work alone or with other organisations

Contracts will be awarded only to single legal entities.

You must use computer infrastructure in the Health Informatics Centre’s “safe haven” ISO27001 environment.

Your application must have at least 50% of the contract value attributed directly and exclusively to R&D services, including solution exploration and design. R&D can also include prototyping and field-testing the product or service. This lets you incorporate the results of your exploration and design, and demonstrate that you can produce in quantity to acceptable quality standards.

Aims and scope

The aim of this competition is to develop a system using AI or machine learning algorithms which will provide accessible, timely and accurate data on heart failure from patient healthcare information collected in primary and secondary care.

The University of Dundee Health Informatics Centre (HIC) is recognised as a world leader in health data linkage. It currently maintains a clinical data repository of eHealth data covering approximately 20% of the Scottish population.

The eHealth repository combines routine collected datasets for the Tayside and Fife population, with local speciality research, and clinical datasets extending back 30 years.

Data associated with heart failure diagnosis will be available to you on the HIC platform. This may include (but not be limited to), a combination of:

  • echocardiogram imaging
  • additional medical imaging
  • biological data

You will benefit from working with NHS Tayside, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Health Board and HIC to develop and test your innovative solution.


An online briefing event will be held on 28th October 2020 at 10am – click here to register to attend.

If you want help to find a project partner, contact the Knowledge Transfer Network and Scottish Enterprise.


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