Developing Innovative Products for the NHS

‘Co-creating’ was the key theme of the Health Innovation Exchange’s (HIE) ‘Med Tech access to NHS’ two-day workshop run by the Innovation team at Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust.

Health is one of the biggest and fastest-growing growing sectors in the world, with spend projected to reach $8.7 trillion by 2020 and in the Liverpool City Region, over £3bn is spent on the delivery of health & care services and increasing levels of investment is being diverted towards technology enabled activity within the NHS.

It is this rate of growth that is creating unprecedented opportunities for businesses currently not working in healthcare.  During the event, over 40 SMEs heard detailed insights into the opportunities and benefits of working with the NHS/wider care system and specifically on the work happening in the Innovation Hub at Alder Hey.

The event was kicked off by Health Innovation Exchange’s (HIE) partners Jason Taylor from Alder Hey and Mike Kenny from the Innovation Agency. Jason introduced the key features of the Hub such as simulated clinical areas, specialist equipment, co-working spaces as well as discussing the importance of partnership working and how the HIE is supporting companies to accelerate the development of innovative products and services; while Mike gave an overview the Innovation Agency, how working in partnership is vitally important and how they support Health & Life Science businesses.

Delegates also heard firsthand accounts from Brunswick Medical’s Jon Avent as well as Molly McGuiness from 3D Life Prints on their successful journeys into the health sector and how the HIE project helped both companies.

Philip Carvil from the Science and Technology Facilities Council spoke about developing a HealthTec cluster for the North and the importance of cross-sector collaborations to achieve this.

Thomas Rice and Gemma Nanson introduced the Clinical Research Network to the audience about the role of the North West Clinical Research Network as the research arm of the NHS.

Day one of the event was concluded by Mr. Iain Hennessey, Clinical Director of Innovation at Alder Hey who talked about Alder Hey and the importance of embracing technology and getting the best people out there and do extraordinary things. Iain spoke about how Alder Hey Innovation works with clinicians, patients, industry and academia to co-create game changing innovations that improve outcomes for patients, families and staff.

Day two of the event started with an overview of information governance in the NHS and what businesses need to be aware of and the things they can do if they want to work with the NHS.

The role of research was next discussed by Dr Dan Hawcutt from Alder Hey who explained why Alder Hey is the ideal place for businesses to come collaborate and innovate to develop and how the Innovation Hub fosters such an excellent relationship with businesses.

Steve Begley from Alder Hey spoke to delegates about how procurement works in the NHS and how procurement teams in Trusts are eager to engage with suppliers in any areas which may improve patient care, reduce costs and promote innovation.

Louise Shepherd CBE Chief Executive of Alder hey gave an inspiring talk on the work Alder Hey undertakes and how working closely in partnership across industry, higher education and the third sector is so vitally important.

Understanding the value of IP and IP in the NHS was then discussed by Ben Pragnall of Shipley IP. Ben spoke about how IP applies to all businesses and it is important to understand what it is and how to use it. Ben stressed the need to look at the guidelines about working with health professionals.


The event was concluded by Emma Hughes from Alder Hey who spoke about  how Innovation is key for-  better kids (creating solutions specifically for pediatric application); better experience (improving patient and family’s experience of their hospital journey); better hospital (Alder Hey is an NHS Global Digital Exemplar); and better staff (enabling improved productivity and efficiency). Emma also discussed how innovation is new to Trusts and how Alder Hey are leading the way on this as “we have a strategic intent to innovate.”

A film of the event can be viewed here

If you would like to explore the NHS as a target market for your products or services, get in touch with the local growth hub to see how we can help accelerate your business.