UK Government’s ‘GameChanging’ MedTech Investment

The UK government has recently injected a ‘game-changing’ investment into eight groundbreaking medical technology firms. These companies hold the potential to revolutionise disease detection, including identifying life-threatening conditions like liver cancer tumours, strokes, and Alzheimer’s disease.

But how does this latest investment hope to proactively achieve improved disease detection, and what implications does this investment have for the broader landscape of UK Medtech?

“Countless Lives Could Be Saved”

In its latest press release, the UK government claims that “Countless lives could be saved thanks to a multi-million-pound government investment in potential breakthrough medical devices.”

This £10 million funding package will go towards funding the innovative operations of eight Medtech companies to bring their devices to support the UK disease and disability market.

An example of one of these devices is from HistoSonics, and it aims to identify and destroy liver cancer tumours using focused ultrasound waves to break down the tumours without damaging healthy tissue. This provides an alternative and less damaging way of treating tumours, whereas before radiotherapy could damage healthy tissue as part of its treatment.

Consequently, not only does the HistoSonics device provide a safer, more efficient way of treating liver cancer tumours, but it also provides a treatment that helps patients undergoing treatment have a better, and less painful, quality of life.

Another example of these technologies is a portable blood test from Upfront Diagnostics. This technology could help paramedics identify stroke patients more quickly so they may more efficiently refer them to urgent treatment at stroke centres rather than local hospitals.

An Answer To Problems Facing The NHS?

The UK government’s investment announcement comes as part of its long-term plan to ensure the National Health Service and its patients can get quicker access to new groundbreaking technologies, aiming to boost NHS Medtech and turn innovation into tangible benefits for UK society.

This blueprint plan comes at a crucial time for the NHS which, particularly since the COVID-19 pandemic, has been under a tremendous amount of pressure, having been pushed nearly to breaking point in the last few years.

Such pressures have caused multiple strikes and walkouts to be undertaken by NHS staff. Union members of the NHS have stated that health workers want to improve patient safety which they being is currently being compromised by inadequate staffing levels and staff burnout.

Concerns over pay have also arisen, with the NHS struggling to maintain staff without improved pay levels to incentivise them.

The UK government hopes that its latest investment will not only help to support innovative Medtech companies across the country but it will also help to relieve some of the greatest problems facing the NHS today.

In this regard, Health Minister Andrew Stephenson stated: “NHS staff need access to the latest technology to deliver the highest quality care for patients and cut waiting lists – one of our top five priorities.”

Evidently, the government hopes that this investment will provide the technology so desperately needed by the NHS to relieve the pressure of long waiting lists causing staff burnout.

What This Means For UK Medtech Startups

This latest investment primarily showcases how the UK government envisions healthcare in the UK going forward. This investment is a show of commitment that the government sees technology as the way forward for future healthcare.

As stated by the Health Minister: “Our investment in these pioneering companies is part of our long-term plan for a faster, simpler and fairer health care system, and demonstrates our clear commitment to ensuring the UK is the most innovative economy in the world.”

The idea of a “faster, simpler and fairer health care system” refers to the UK’s ongoing commitment to fund Medtech innovation and research to improve the quality of private healthcare and, most importantly, the NHS.

The UK is home to one of the largest Medtech industries globally, with world-leading university research facilities attracting a constant stream of global talent.

This makes the UK a seemingly perfect environment for breeding innovative Medtech startups.

In fact, according to Beauhurst, the UK Medtech industry has grown rapidly over the last decade at a staggering growth of 204% since 2005.

The publication continues to note that a quarter of Medtech companies are academic spinouts, supporting the notion that the UK’s world-leading university research facilities are helping to foster this positive Medtech startup environment.

Beauhurst identifies some of the most successful companies in this regard as CMR Surgical, Quanta, Osler Diagnostics and Cambridge Epigenetix, each already making waves in the global Medtech scene with their innovative solutions to worldwide health issues.

As such, this latest investment promises to fuel an already upward growth in the UK Medtech trajectory, and one can only hope that advancements in this field will subsequently work to relieve NHS pressure and improve its overall performance and staff quality of life.

Indeed, the timing couldn’t be more opportune for aspiring Medtech startups to embark on their professional journey, leveraging the burgeoning momentum and resources now available in the industry.