HEE launches online portal for collaboration between NHS and industry

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MedTech CONNECT is one of the key pillars of the MedTech NAVIGATOR programme, a scheme funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and delivered by HEE to enhance knowledge-sharing between NHS practitioners and the medtech industry. MedTech CONNECT is a portal for both clinicians and medtech SMEs that enables each group to pinpoint and connect with the most appropriate development partners on a free-to-access basis.

Tapping into clinical expertise is vital during the early medtech development phase to ensure that new devices address specific needs and can be effectively integrated into a clinical environment. Unfortunately, however, many companies currently struggle to identify research active clinicians who might be best placed to offer these insights and participate in a development project.

MedTech CONNECT aims to overcome this challenge by offering a more streamlined route to clinical engagement: companies can readily identify and contact suitable NHS experts, and by the same token, primary and secondary care clinicians have the opportunity to engage with industry innovators to co-develop the latest medical advances. Throughout this process, both parties can also access expert support and guidance from HEE where required.

Dr Chris Warwick, senior consultant at HEE, said: “In our experience, the quickest and most effective way to get new technologies that truly meet patients’ needs to market is for NHS experts and the medtech industry to work more closely together from the outset. MedTech CONNECT allows for easy, tailored two-way access which we believe could yield far-reaching benefits for patients, in terms of swifter access to innovative technologies. By removing some of the bureaucracy that can hamper innovation, we are confident that MedTech CONNECT will accelerate medtech adoption in our health service and ultimately improve patient outcomes.”

Once signed up, and approved, innovators can immediately begin searching for NHS experts by clinical specialty, job role, geography and field of research, in the knowledge that all clinicians on the portal have already confirmed interest in a potential industry collaboration.