The HealthTech sector covering medical devices, diagnostics and assisted living is both a large market for industry and a sector impacting directly on quality of life and UK wealth generation.
Innovation is critical for the UK to compete in the global market, to capture niche areas for development and to ensure best patient care can be provided at best cost. The Technology Strategy Board identifies this sector as a strategic market and sponsors the Health Technologies Knowledge Transfer Network (HT KTN) to connect all key players in the sector and to provide mechanisms to catalyse and accelerate new innovations into the marketplace.
The DOH European Collaboration Team ? Healthy Aims
The HT KTN operates at a strategic level, liaising with relevant government departments and trade associations to enable a better climate for innovating in the UK, and at an operational level to support groups or individual businesses to access the knowledge and resources needed to move innovations forward. Strategically, current topics include:
Operationally, the HT KTN is active in the following:
Professor Angus Wallace
Regional collaboration ? the Yorkshire-based White Rose Health Innovation Partnership, of which the Health Technologies KTN is a partner, has successfully awarded £1.1m to 32 Proof of Concept projects all of which have demonstrated new or enhanced partnerships between business, academia and the clinical base.
National collaboration ? a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) was established between Vascutek Ltd and TWI to develop manufacturing methods for a new nitinol based endovascular aneurysm repair system.
European collaboration ? the ?26million 25 partner Healthy Aims Framework 6 programme was supported by the HT KTN and has just reached a successful conclusion after four years of extensive research into innovative microsystems medical products including cochlear, functional electrical stimulation, ambulatory measurement, intracranial pressure sensor, retina implant and glaucoma sensor ? www.healthyaims.org.
International collaboration ? three UK-China symposia have been held with HT KTN support, enabling businesses to gain high-level access to Chinese government, trade associations and business contacts and leading already to jointventure opportunities for innovative products.
ASSISTED LIVING INNOVATION PLATFORM
The ageing population is a challenge that faces the UK alongside many other developed nations, with current care models becoming unsustainable and an environment of greater care in the community is needed. Such challenges lead to opportunities with a large market potential, encouraging innovation and linking it through to procurement. In collaboration with the Department of Health and the Research Councils, the Technology Strategy Board is leading the Assisted Living Innovation Platform (ALIP) to make significant advances in the technology needed to enable people who suffer from chronic long-term conditions to live independently.
ALIP is addressing new collaborative programmes to accelerate the take-up and scale-up of telecare and associated technologies that enable a new paradigm in care provision, and connect UK strengths in health technologies, digital comms and sensors, to name but a few. Knowledge transfer as apart of ALIP, will bring the different communities and local initiatives together to ensure the UK can make a national and global impact in this key area.
THE NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR HEALTH RESEARCH (NIHR) ? INVENTION FOR INNOVATION (I4I) PROGRAMME
New microcapsules used for drug delivery
The NIHR Invention for Innovation (i4i) Programme aims to improve the identification of promising healthcare technologies and accelerate the development of new healthcare products for the 21st century.
i4i is stimulating the flow of new product ideas into its new funding streams ? i4i Future Product Development ? and is improving links to other organisations and activities across the innovation landscape by investing in them through the i4i Challenge Fund for Innovation. Further, i4i will actively seek new collaborations and will aim to establish closer links between existing product funding streams and a range of ?ideas generators?.
i4i is building on two existing, successful NIHR programmes ? New and Emerging Applications of Technology (NEAT) and Health Technology Devices (HTD) ? which have now migrated to the i4i Programme.
Activities included under the umbrella of i4i are:
I4I FUTURE PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT
i4i Future Product Development offers investigators three funding streams capable of supporting projects anywhere between post-basic research and prior to undertaking large-scale clinical trials or health technology assessments, thus providing:
The essential feature of i4i Future Product Development is that there must be a device in view from the start. Applications for i4i Future Product Development are made online through the NIHR Central Commissioning Facility (NIHRCCF) website at: www.nihr-ccf.org.uk/site/programmes/i4i.
PILOT HEALTHCARE TECHNOLOGY CO-OPERATIVES
Based in two NHS Trusts, the pilot Healthcare Technology Co-operatives (HTCs) being funded as part of i4i are a new type of NHS-led virtual organisation, which bring together stakeholders with a common purpose. Patients and carers, academics, clinicians, nurses and other healthcare providers are working in partnership with industry to catalyse the development of innovative healthcare technology products.
The pilot co-operatives fulfil a recommendation of the Healthcare Industries Taskforce and are a result of collaborations between government, industry and research councils working with patient groups and clinicians. The NIHR and the Technology Strategy Board (TSB) with support from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and the Medical Research Council are investing up to £250,000 a year for two years in each of the pilot co-operatives.
The Bowel Function HTC is hosted within the Centre for Academic Surgery at Barts and The London NHS Trust and School of Medicine and Dentistry and aims to identify and develop new devices and procedures to improve the healthcare outcomes for those affected by disorders of bowel function. Website: www.bfhtc.org.uk. The Devices for Dignity HTC is based at the Sheffield Teaching Hospitals Foundation Trust and focuses on improving dignity and independence in long-term conditions, working across boundaries to make a tangible difference to patients? lives.
I4I CHALLENGE FUND FOR INNOVATION
The i4i Challenge Fund for Innovation is one of the mechanisms whereby NIHR is stimulating the flow of innovative ideas, which can be turned into products for the NHS. Some of these ideas are quite near market and require a different approach to those that are supported under i4i Future Product Development. i4i is gaining access to good ideas by coinvesting in appropriate activities operated by other organisations such as other government departments, research councils and the private sector. NIHR?s investment can be in the form of working closely with the organisation to help set the agenda as well as contributing funds to specific projects.
Current i4i collaborations support NIHR involvement in:
In the future, NIHR may also challenge industry through the i4i Challenge Fund for Innovation to provide the products the NHS needs through directed calls for proposals.
Health Technologies KTN
Added the 10 September 2008 in category Innovation UK Vol4-1