UK life science strategy is great news for medtech

by Joel 22. December 2011 15:38

MB medtech news The new UK life science strategy and NHS innovation review, launched by the Government this month, has been praised by the UK medical technologies sector for its promotion of innovative research and the rapid uptake of high-value technologies.

The NHS Chief Executive’s review Innovation, Health and Wealth: accelerating adoption and diffusion in the NHS outlines a number of measures the NHS will take to work in partnership with industry in order to implement effective new medical technologies throughout the NHS.

The document draws in attention, in particular, to the potential of telehealth systems to improve the management of long-term conditions, reducing hospital admissions and GP visits and so reducing the overall cost of care while improving patient outcomes, as demonstrated by the recent Whole Systems Demonstrator project.

Other areas of medical technology highlighted by the innovation document include the use of fluid monitoring in acute care and the use of assistive technologies, including wheelchairs, to improve the access of disabled people to working and other everyday environments.

Peter Ellingworth, Chief Executive of the Association of British Healthcare Industries (ABHI), the leading UK medtech trade association, said: “I welcome the Government’s focus on the life science industry. As highlighted by the Prime Minister our sector is part of ‘the virtuous circle of health, wealth and well-being’ – a real growth area for the Government as well as having the potential to make a difference to patients through the innovation we bring.

“Measures such as reform to the tariff system, enforcement of NICE guidance and the development of a procurement strategy, if done properly, could make a real difference to the medical technology sector.

“ABHI will work with the Government to make sure that the measures outlined in the Innovation Review are translated into firm actions. The measures could make a real difference to the SMEs in our sector and it is crucial that we are able to take advantage of them and continue to grow.”

Doris-Ann Williams MBE, Chief Executive of the British in Vitro Diagnostics Association (BIVDA) and a member of the Innovation Review’s External Advisory Group, commented that the Government’s announcements “represent a crucial opportunity for the life sciences sector” – and that the life science strategy and the innovation review in combination “will reinforce a genuine partnership between industry, the NHS and government.”

“To accelerate the use of innovative technologies to benefit patients and the NHS, tangible and realistic proposals were needed,” she added. “The NICE Implementation Collaborative, an innovation scorecard and a commitment to examine reimbursement mechanisms for diagnostics will all help the IVD industry to do what it needs to do to turn the vision into reality.”

Tony Davis, Chair of health technology business support organisation Medilink UK, noted that the new life science strategy “sets the stage for telehealth and telecare technologies to be made available to every person with a long-term condition or in need of care in the UK, helping them manage their health while maintaining their independence.”

“Medilink UK has been working with industry, other trade associations and the Department of Health to accelerate the roll-out of telehealth and telecare services in the NHS and social care, which will enhance the lives of three million people over the next five years,” he concluded.

ABHI and Medilink UK plan joint working

by emma 5. September 2011 16:49

Concordat image (web)

The Association of British Healthcare Industries (ABHI) and Medilink UK have signed a concordat to support joint working.

Trade association ABHI’s members include many leading medtech companies in the UK, while industry specialist Medilink UK represents many innovative life science SMEs.

The two organisations will explore ways of working together to improve the industry’s representation to Government and in Europe and its access to NHS evaluation, as well as offering its members joint events and shared information.

The concordat is intended to create a framework for joint working, with four overall goals:

  • To create a favourable political and economic environment for the UK medtech industry.
  • To develop a joint policy on NHS purchasing and UK uptake of medical technologies.
  • To develop a co-ordinated approach to international trade.
  • To encourage adoption and recognition of the principles of the ABHI Code of Business Practice.

Tony Davis, Chairman of Medilink UK (right in picture), said: “It’s a natural fit for our two organisations to work closely for the betterment of UK healthcare and industry. The statistics and anecdotes we gather from day-to-day work with SMEs supports the crucial work ABHI is doing to raise the profile of the medical technology industry within Government.

“The healthcare supply chain is strong within the UK, made up of nearly 4,500 companies, with innovative solutions that can go a long way towards achieving the savings and patient experience goals of the NHS. The concordat gives us the structure to work together to encourage the adoption of these innovative UK technologies for the benefit of UK patients.”

Peter Ellingworth, Chief Executive of ABHI (left in picture), added: “The concordat will allow ABHI and Medilink UK to improve the representation of the medical technology industry in the UK. This collaboration will strengthen both our organisations; joint representation will help us raise the profile of the sector and improve the value of membership through sharing information and access to events.

“This is a crucial time for the NHS and the medical technology industry wants to engage and support it. The much discussed £20billion savings target will only be achieved if the NHS is willing to change the delivery of healthcare, something medical technology can enable them to do. It is important that industry has a strong voice.”

ABHI is the leading industry association for the UK medical technologies sector, including medical devices, equipment and consumables.

Medilink UK is a national healthcare technology business support organisation that connects manufacturers and suppliers with potential partners and customers to promote business development.

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