Proposed MedTech pathway from NHSE and NICE emphasises need for evidence-based advice and lifecycle approach

NHS England and the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) have set out a proposed new route for MedTech developers to access NHS funding, revolving around the development of “an integrated, rules-based medical technology pathway” to help “create the right conditions for innovators to thrive, with the health service continuing to act as powerful driver of innovation.”

The pathway would be built around a number of guiding principles, such the need to be supported by evidence-based advice and guidance from NICE and the need to focus on technologies with “the greatest impact on patient outcomes and the most compelling cases for clinical and cost-effectiveness”. Additionally, the pathway will require a “lifecycle approach” to support new, early-stage technologies as well as supporting greater value from existing tech; it should “lead to the automatic identification of funding to support routine commissioning and adoption”; it should support the transformation of clinical pathways and services; and it should “drive up the quality and use of evidence” in order to help tackle biases in medtech.

More information on the proposed pathway can be found here.

Feedback on the proposal is sought from patients, clinicians, academics and industry; the consultation is to close on Thursday 15 August at midnight. More information, including an online survey, can be found here.

NHSE’s interim medical director for transformation, Dr Vin Diwakar, comments: “Medical technology plays a vital role in the nation’s health and these proposals outline how we can fully maximise its use for the benefits of patients. We are eager to hear from patients, industry, clinicians and the public to help us develop and shape the MedTech pathway to ensure it can provide the greatest clinical and cost-effective benefit, so please come forward with your views.”

The proposal has been developed by NHSE and NICE alongside input from the Department of Health and Social Care and partners including the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency and the Office for Life Science.

From NICE, we previously highlighted early guidance assessment for technologies to manage psychosis symptoms, along with draft guidance for tech to help lower back pain.

From NHSE, we published an interview with head of portfolio Henrietta Mbeah-Bankas, to find out more about her projects, programmes and priorities for 2024.

Additionally, we explored NHSE’s most recent board papers, which included discussion to improve productivity by “embracing 21st century tech”.