The NHS is seeking innovative business ideas that could improve patient flow on acute wards and increase independence for children with long-term medical conditions.
More than £1 million is being made available to address the challenges, which have been identified by Academic Health Science Networks.
Acute care takes up around half of NHS spend. Improved management of patients in and out of acute care is seen as a significant opportunity to be more efficient.
Solutions could look at improved patient flow while a patient is receiving care, improved use of resources while the patient is in hospital and more efficient discharge.
Innovative ideas are also being sought to help children with long-term health conditions be more independent. These could be technologies that restore functions to limbs or technologies that improve self-care or allow for remote monitoring of a patient.
Initial contracts will be worth up to £100,000, and the best ideas that come out of the studies could be awarded up to £1 million to develop the work further in a second phase.
The competition is being run by SBRI (Small Business Research Initiative) Healthcare, an NHS England initiative that aims to encourage innovative products and services to address unmet needs in the heath service.
The deadline for applications is noon on 28 July 2016.