The Department of Health and Social Care has published its ‘first ever’ medical technology (medtech) strategy designed to ensure that the health and care system can reliably access safe, effective and innovative medical technologies.
The establishment of the Medtech Directorate within the Department and NHS England in 2021 reflects the priority of medtech including “digital” health within healthcare policy and government.
The strategy is said to be the blueprint for accelerating access to innovative technologies, such as home dialysis machines that enable patients to manage their health at home.
Strategy sets out four areas of focus
- Ensuring resilience and continuity of supply of medtech products
- Supporting innovation and encouraging thriving, dynamic markets
- Developing enabling infrastructure across data and industry partnership
- Specific focuses on key issues and markets
The vision for medtech is focused on three objectives – right product, right price and right place – ensuring that the UK medtech sector supports the health and care system deliver improved health outcomes for patients.
The strategy aims to build on the Life Sciences Vision to improve collaboration between the NHS, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to ensure patients can access the right products safely.
An implementation plan for the strategy will be published later in 2023 with key initiatives set out across the four priorities, helping to deliver the vision of right product, right place, right price for medtech. Supporting the medtech vision is the new UK regulatory framework which is now expected to take effect in mid-2024.
There is a substantial programme of work underway to ensure that we have a medtech strategy fit for the future. We will update readers as further announcements are made.
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