Transformation Directorate

NHS Innovation Lab

Solving today’s healthcare challenges using tomorrow’s technology.

The NHS Innovation Lab was established to develop novel solutions to challenges facing the health and social care systems. Using innovative thinking and user-centred design processes, between 2020 and 2023 it explored dozens of problems across many different areas which, if solved, had the potential for substantial impact for patients, staff and organisations.


The Innovation Lab is no longer taking on new projects. For information about how the NHS supports healthcare innovators, the NHS Innovation Service provides tailored information and support.


The Innovation Lab’s project roadmap was driven by user needs and real-world problems and was shaped by engagement with staff from across the health and social care sectors.

In line with the organisation’s priorities, the Innovation Lab was focussed on testing solutions which could:

  • reduce the burden on staff
  • help access clinical information
  • improve health and care productivity
  • provide tools to access services directly
  • improve safety across health and care systems

Key projects included:

  • Show My Patient ID

    How can we make the process at the reception desk more private, accurate and accessible?

  • Hospital Admission Notification Service (HANS)

    How might we provide notifications to social care providers when someone they provide care for is unexpectedly admitted to hospital?

  • Voice as a Channel

    What are the opportunities for citizens to interact with the NHS using smart speakers and their voices?

  • Where’s My Blood Test?

    Can we reduce calls to GP receptions by allowing patients to check the status of their diagnostic tests?

  • Report It

    How do we develop a culture of innovation by making it more convenient for staff to engage with the process?

  • Applications of OCR

    How can machine vision technology help to accurately digitise data displayed on non-connected devices?

  • My Non-Prescription Medicines

    If we allow patients to add non-prescription medicines to their clinical records and control who sees them, can clinicians use the extra information to make better decisions?

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