Boost for MedTech sector as Government announces new academic health science networks

Industry body, the ABHI, welcomes designation of 15 new academic health science networks which will drive innovation in healthcare technologies

The Association of British Healthcare Industries (ABHI), the industry body for the UK medical device industry, has welcomed the announcement that NHS England has completed the designation of 15 new Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs).

The announcement that 15 AHSNs have been designated and will begin working with manufacturers is potentially a big boost for the UK medical device industry

AHSNs have the potential to improve patient outcomes and stimulate economic growth by placing innovation at the heart of the NHS and transforming the way healthcare is delivered. They are uniquely placed within the NHS to pull together the adoption and spread of innovation with clinical research and trials, informatics, education, and healthcare delivery.

AHSNs will develop solutions to healthcare problems and get existing technologies spread more quickly by building strong relationships with regional scientific and academic communities and industry.

ABHI chief executive, Peter Ellingworth, said: “The announcement that 15 AHSNs have been designated and will begin working with manufacturers is potentially a big boost for the UK medical device industry.

ABHI will continue to provide a link between AHSNs and the medical device industry to ensure that we see a lasting impact that supports patients to get access to innovative technologies

ABHI has worked alongside the NHS and the Department of Health throughout the designation process and I now look forward to working with AHSNs directly.

“AHSNs will play a critical role in connecting industry, NHS and the academic community to help the development and adoption of innovative medical technologies. Working with industry to address critical issues such as the generation of evidence and how we can achieve the systematic adoption of medical technologies is critical to healthcare delivery and prosperity of industry.

“This role means AHSNs are uniquely placed to have a lasting impact on the how innovation is utilised by the NHS.

“ABHI will continue to provide a link between AHSNs and the medical device industry to ensure that we see a lasting impact that supports patients to get access to innovative technologies.”

AHSNs offer a more systematic delivery mechanism so that innovation spreads quickly and successfully through the NHS, making the best possible use of precious NHS resources and in ensuring the most advanced treatments, technologies and medicines are available to patients

AHSNs bring together commissioners, providers, academia and industry to spread innovation and pace across the NHS. They have a dual purpose: to improve health and create wealth by delivering a step-change in the way the NHS identifies, develops, adopts and spreads new innovations; and to implement the key local commitments within innovation health and wealth.

The AHSNs are licensed and funded by NHS England and they will work in a partnership to improve patient care and deliver defined tasks and outcomes.

Announcing the designations, NHS England chief executive, Sir David Nicholson, said: “The NHS is full of brilliant people with brilliant ideas. To spread ideas right across the NHS means working collaboratively with all those who have an interest.

“AHSNs offer a more systematic delivery mechanism so that innovation spreads quickly and successfully through the NHS, making the best possible use of precious NHS resources and in ensuring the most advanced treatments, technologies and medicines are available to patients.”

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