The Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs) in partnership with the Association of British HealthTech Industries (ABHI) has just launched a report of the MedTech landscape aimed at accelerating the entry, adoption and spread of innovations for the benefit of patients and commercial success.

This is an exciting time for the industry as innovative solutions to meet pressing healthcare needs have never been in greater demand.  Furthermore, successive improvements in national policy have helped to support the sector, including the commitments in the Accelerated Access Review and recent NHS Long Term Plan to create a new funding climate. However, the report has identified that in addition to securing finance and supporting policy there is a need for practical advice and support to help the industry thrive. 

Established by NHS England in 2013, AHSNs champion companies with game changing innovations and seek to maximise their potential to achieve significant population health impacts. As the only organisations designed to connect all partners across the sector – NHS, academia, local authorities, the third sector industries and citizens – the networks are ideally placed to help MedTech innovators whose advances often sit at areas of convergence between industries including biotechnology, telecommunication, artificial intelligence and consumer wellbeing. 

The report uses the network’s understanding of the NHS ecosystem to outline how technologies need to be incorporated into a much wider service redesign in order to demonstrate impact and value. It highlights an integrated approach necessary to supporting MedTech innovations, including checklists and practical steps for each aspect of the pathway, including creation, development, regulation, evaluation, market access, commissioning and adoption.

“The health and science infrastructure in the UK is uniquely positioned to take advantage of the opportunities for economic growth and improved patient outcomes created by MedTech,” said Piers Ricketts, vice-chair of the AHSN Network and chief executive officer of the AHSN. “Within this report we have set out how, as a network, we can help developers navigate through a MedTech innovation pathway to support patients, clinicians and UK plc.”