Developed by NICE with help from a range of partner organisationsi and funding from NHS England, HealthTech Connect is for health technologies (medical devices and diagnostic and digital health technologies) that:
- offer measurable benefits to patients (or other health and care service users) compared to those already offered by current routine practice in the UK, or
- provide measurable benefits to the UK health and care system compared to those already offered by current routine practice in the UK.
The system, which is free to use, will help companies to understand what information is needed by decision makers in the UK health and care system, and clarify possible routes to market access. It will also help the UK health and care system to better plan for the introduction and adoption of health technologies - for example by reconfiguring services or enabling reimbursement.
Once registered, companies enter and update information about their technology as it develops into www.HealthTechConnect.org.uk. This information is used to determine if the technology is suitable for consideration by an organisation that offers support to health technology developers; for example with funding, technology development, evidence generation, market access, reimbursement, adoption.
It will also be used to identify if the technology is suitable for consideration for evaluation by a UK health technology assessment programme.
Technologies that are suitable for support or evaluation will be able to access this through HealthTech Connect. This will avoid companies having to provide the same or similar information about their technology separately to a different organisation or programme.
Meindert Boysen, director of the Centre for Health technology Evaluation at NICE, said: “HealthTech Connect is a clear and simple point of entry for companies developing health technologies, be it medical devices, diagnostics or digital health technologies, to access support and potential routes to national evaluation programmes.
“As well as helping national organisations like NICE, that have a responsibility for developing guidance on the use of health technologies in the NHS, better identify and track technologies that offer novel benefits, HealthTech Connect will also enable transformative technologies to be identified and fast tracked through relevant processes within the Accelerated Access Collaborative.
“Ultimately the aim of HealthTech Connect is to help get promising new health technologies to the people who will benefit from them, faster. We expect it to contribute to reducing the complexity, and often duplication, involved in getting medical devices, diagnostics and digital health technologies adopted in the UK.”
Since the initial “soft” launch of the system in February, over 100 companies have registered to use HealthTech Connect, 13 technologies have been submitted, and 1 technology [Sonata System] has already been selected by NICE for a Medtech Innovation Briefing
Sarah Field, sales manager UK & Ireland for Gynesonics, said: “The HealthTech Connect portal was a great way to interface the interaction between our organisation and NICE. This enabled a swift pathway for our new technology (the Sonata treatmentii) to be evaluated. I thoroughly recommend other commercial organisations to use this route. The registration process was quick and simple. This is a really helpful initiative.”
Further information about HealthTech Connect is available at the HealthTech Connect website
i ABHI, AXREM, BIVDA), NIHR and the NIHR Innovation Observatory, the AHSN network, Office for Life Sciences, MHRA, NHS Clinical Commissioners, NHS Supply chain and the devolved administrations in Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland.
ii The Sonata System combines real-time intrauterine ultrasound guidance with targeted radiofrequency ablation in an incisionless procedure to treat symptomatic uterine fibroids.