Intelligent Issue 05 | Page 17


Patients across the UK are set to benefit from access to safe , effective and innovative equipment and medical devices as part of the country ’ s new Medical Technology ( MedTech ) Strategy .

The blueprint for boosting NHS MedTech will focus on accelerating access to innovative technologies , such as the latest generation of home dialysis machines that enable patients to manage their health at home and in their day-to-day lives .
It also sets out steps which need to be taken to ensure patients can access safe , effective and innovative technology through the NHS , which can help diagnose , treat and deliver care more quickly , freeing up clinician time . The NHS spends £ 10 billion a year on MedTech including syringes , wheelchairs , cardiac pacemakers and medical imaging equipment , such as X-ray machines .
Building on learnings from the COVID-19 pandemic and the rapid development of medical technologies during that time , such as lateral flow tests and ventilators , this strategy will ensure the right product is available at the right price and in the right place . As a result , patients will continue to have access to high-quality care , alongside improved patient safety and health outcomes .
The strategy aims to deliver value for money , using the latest data on the effectiveness of new technology to ensure prices are reasonable for the health system . It will also help build resilient supply chains and ensure the UK is prepared for future pandemics , just as demand for technology – like syringes and ventilators – rapidly increased during the pandemic .
Dr Timothy Ferris , National Director for Transformation at NHS England , said : “ Medical technology has an enormous role to play in benefitting patients now and in the future . The importance of MedTech was made clear during the COVID-19 pandemic and as the NHS moves through its recovery , it will play a key role in addressing the challenges we face .”
The UK Government has announced its first-ever Medical Technology Strategy , placing importance on medical technologies , and intending to create a reliable , innovative and effective healthcare system for all .
Using MedTech effectively will be critical in reducing waiting lists for treatment caused by the pandemic as it has the potential to speed up diagnosis and deliver new and improved ways to treat and support patients . For example , COVID-19 demonstrated the importance of fast and accurate diagnostic testing and genome sequencing to process and share results , and home lateral flow testing showed the potential for increased use of diagnostics outside of formal clinical settings , to support earlier diagnosis and free up staff time .


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