MedTech FUTURES conference highlights devices to save healthcare costs
The UK is facing a healthcare crisis and the problems that the NHS faces – not least catastrophic underfunding for the past decade – are so severe that a complete rethink is needed on how we approach healthcare.
That was the message from clinicians at last week’s Health Tech Enterprise’s MedTech FUTURES conference.
The March 1 event, held at Hinxton Hall Conference Centre, highlighted the need for technological solutions to meet the current, unmet clinical needs within the NHS and ensure it delivers world-class care for health problems.
One of the reasons the sector is seeing an annual growth rate of 20 per cent is that telemedicine was deployed out of necessity during the lockdown stages of the pandemic, giving medtech companies, patients and healthcare workers the opportunity to implement the initial changes.
“Eighty per cent of cardiovascular deaths are preventable,” said keynote speaker and panellist Dr Pegah Salahshouri, consultant cardiologist, Royal Papworth Hospital. “We need to be looking at prevention and how technology can support improved patient experiences and outcomes.
“During the pandemic, the NHS app was adopted by almost everyone and it demonstrated what we [the NHS] can do without compromising safety.”
Supporting people to age well is a fundamental pillar of the NHS’s Long Term Plan and Dr Lis Boulton, health and care policy manager, Age UK, shared data with delegates on how successful some technological innovations have been to support the UK’s aging population.
Robert Tansley, partner, Cambridge Innovation Capital, noted: “There are still lots of opportunities in a downturn and venture capital trusts are an important source of funding for innovators. Medtech is a particular favourite for them and venture capital trusts raised £1.13bn in 2022 to invest in small innovative UK companies.”
Stuart Angell, chair, Regulatory Affairs Working Party, British In Vitro Diagnostics Association (BIVDA), highlighted that the medicines and healthcare products regulatory agency (MHRA) is engaging with medtech developers, manufacturers, suppliers, and others to develop regulatory guidance that makes the UK an attractive market for medtech development.
The winner of the Health Tech Enterprise NHS innovation voucher competition, sponsored by eg technology Ltd, at the event was Dr Luke Lintin, Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust for his “device for the treatment of stress urinary incontinence in women”.
Dr Anne Blackwood, CEO, Health Tech Enterprise, said: “Innovation is everybody’s business within the NHS, it belongs to everybody. We all need better services, and technology has a clear role to play in the delivery of these services. The conference highlighted opportunities to get innovation into action to deliver a positive impact on patients, and the value of technological innovation.
“I would like to thank all of the experts who shared their insight, experiences, and advice with our delegates during the conference and look forward to supporting innovators as they seek to develop the solutions that are so desperately needed within the NHS and wider healthcare systems.”