Dr Amber Hill

The problem

Best practice in patient and public involvement and engagement (PPIE) in research and technology is essential for healthcare researchers and institutions. Currently it relies on costly, manual and time-consuming processes, as well as unstandardised quantification practices that impact funding and research.

Approximately £6.3 billion is spent each year in the UK and USA on healthcare research and development (R&D) that requires PPIE. However up to 72% of funding applications are rejected for not meeting PPIE standards such as lacking in overall research quality or methodology that patient/public insights could have improved. There is no infrastructure for quantifying PPIE data and associated R&D impact to improve future outcomes.

The solution

Amber HillDr Amber Hill, a translational neuroscientist, software engineer and entrepreneur, has developed software called R.grid by , to streamline PPIE activities and quantify its impact in healthcare R&D.

R.grid software digitalises human-centred design and data in healthcare and engineering. It supports researchers and institutions with tools to create, manage and implement the delivery of PPIE activities that save money, increase efficiency, and improve research.

R.grid can support savings of up to 91% by reducing the levels of investment needed to develop high-quality PPIE (£30,000 to £70,000+ per research department and several million GBP for institutions). These funds can be reallocated or reinvested in key research protocols, while engaging stakeholders, improving further funding opportunities and improving research.

Amber draws on her experience across healthcare research, software engineering, digital strategy development and social engagement to accelerate the development and scale of R.grid technology in preparation for its public launch.


  • R.grid is a University College London (UCL) startup (and is also a UK Department for International Trade company. She has validated the market in the UK and USA so far.

Dr Hill was awarded a 2018 Enterprise Fellowship to support her in developing and launching R.grid’s technology to the public.



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