Data Driven Futures

NICE launches online resource for health tech

Written by Peter Walker

HealthTech Connect, a new online resource provided by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) to help identify and support new health technologies as they move from inception to adoption in the UK, has been formally launched.

Developed by NICE with help from a range of partner organisations and funding from NHS England, HealthTech Connect is aimed at promoting the development of medical devices and diagnostic, digital technologies.

Once registered, companies enter and update information about their technology as it develops. 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 and 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, explained a statement from NICE.

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."

Boysen added: “Ultimately the aim of HealthTech Connect is to help get promising new health technologies to the people who will benefit from them, faster."

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 one technology - Sonata System - has already been selected by NICE for a MedTech Innovation Briefing
Sarah Field, sales manager for the UK and 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 treatment) to be evaluated. I thoroughly recommend other commercial organisations to use this route.”