It’s not all the NHS’s fault, is it? Are medical technology companies dragging their feet?

Healthcare in the UK is an evolutionary landscape, requiring continuous innovation and medical advancements to meet the ever-changing health needs of society. To secure a healthcare system ‘fit for the future’, the NHS (National Health Service) launched its Long Term Plan in 2019 outlining its commitment to accelerate the uptake of selective innovative medical devices, diagnostics and digital products to patients in an attempt to improve patient outcomes and service delivery.

Since its inception and with the support of the MedTech Funding Mandate, the NHS has never been so receptive to medical technology (medtech). In recent years, we have witnessed an influx in investment and adoption and innovative technology in the UK. From wearable devices that support the management of chronic conditions to the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in providing precision diagnostics for oncology, the medtech industry has revolutionised healthcare as we know it – allowing people to live longer, happier and healthier lives and equipping the NHS with the tools to uncover ground-breaking discoveries and expand its capacity for learning.

The NHS needs support, now more than ever

Despite these advancements, uncontrollable waiting lists, staffing issues and bed occupancy being at an all-time high has pushed the NHS to a crisis point. Whilst the NHS needs help now in easing the burden, an interested observer might assess the integration of medical technology as painfully slow and piecemeal, with only 11 technologies receiving a mandate for use in 2023/4. The process might be clunky but there are examples such as GreenLight XPS, SecurAcath and Gammacore who have made the cut and offer inspiration for the rest of the market. Within the field of orthopaedics, we are already witnessing a progressive shift towards a more technological approach to surgery, with companies such Smith+Nephew at the forefront of using next-generation robotics to improve precision and outcomes for patients receiving knee arthroplasty.

New medtech brings new challenges

Bringing new technologies to the market is one of the biggest challenges. Results of a survey conducted by Deloitte found that a majority of medtech companies (88%) rated advances in technology as a top challenge and only 38% said that they are prepared for developments in non-traditional technologies such as robotics, nanotechnology, or tissue engineering. Coupled with the added complexities surrounding issues with accessibility and sustainability of manufacturing, regulations and procurement, it is often difficult to cut through the noise and make a lasting impression on the healthcare sector.

As specialists in medtech PR, we have supported medical and technology companies in navigating the medtech and diagnostic landscape, helping them communicate in a way that amplifies the benefits they bring to medical outcomes.

If you are a diagnostic medtech innovator or marketing professional looking to get MORE from your communications, contact us today to find out how we can help you achieve your goals and make a healthier difference to your brand.

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