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Fix IT in healthcare prize

Applications are invited for the Fix IT in Healthcare Prize. Thanks to a generous donation from digital health expert Professor Harold Thimbleby, the Royal College of Physicians is offering an annual prize of £5,000 for the project judged to have made, or likely to make, the most significant difference in the safety or effectiveness of digital healthcare.


The Fix IT in Healthcare Prize rewards excellent innovation in digital healthcare, particularly digital initiatives that have, or promise to, improve patient safety and staff well-being within the NHS or healthcare more widely. All areas of digital healthcare are covered: apps and devices for patient use, medical devices, IT systems, laboratory systems, incident reporting and public health interventions.

The winning team will receive a prize of £5,000, awarded by Professor Harold Thimbleby, digital health fellow at Swansea University and author of the award-winning book Fix IT: See and solve the problems of digital healthcare.


Applications are invited from interdisciplinary development teams who build, research, or evaluate apps or medical digital systems, generally in partnership with clinicians or other healthcare professionals. Those working in digital healthcare education, training, regulation, investigations or procurement are also encouraged to apply. Note that a new digital system is not necessarily required to apply.

The teams may be led by clinicians but also by those working primarily in academia and/or industry. Teams from regulatory or professional bodies or other relevant organisations may also apply.

Although international ideas and innovations to improve digital healthcare are encouraged, it is highly desirable that the benefits or potential benefits to UK health and/or the NHS are made clear.

Applicants do not need to be members or fellows of the RCP.


Applications should define a problem in digital healthcare and detail how their innovation addresses this. Projects that have not yet reached proper deployment will be judged according to potential.

Please aim to provide evidence of the following when applying:

  • How your innovation has led to improvement in one or more of the following areas: patient safety, outcomes and experience; staff well-being; awareness of issues; sustainability and resilience.
  • How your innovation could have wider applicability beyond its original setting. For instance, what learning is there that others can build on in other areas of digital healthcare.
  • How you employed multidisciplinary working, human factors, user-centred design and formal methods in software when developing your innovation.
  • How the prize could be used to progress or leverage your innovation. For example, if the project is at an early stage, the prize could make a big difference; and less well established teams, like students, academics, and start-ups may need the recognition of winning to help trigger further investment.
  • You should ensure that you have clearly defined the innovation itself and the team and team member roles and confirm that the application can be considered open and does not involve private personal or proprietary information, unless explicitly approved. Please also provide a short non-specialist description of the innovation that can be used in press releases if your application is shortlisted.

How to apply

To apply, please submit an application form in PDF format to fundingandawards@rcp.ac.uk by 11:59pm, Sunday 5 May 2024. Please do not send any additional information as the panel will only review information contained in your application form.

For more information, please contact the funding and awards administrator: