Stage 5

Adoption & Spread

The really hard work now begins! Creating, developing and demonstrating your innovation is one thing, but getting it taken up into everyday practice in mainstream healthcare is another. The landscape for supporting the adoption and spread of health technology innovations has improved in recent years, but don’t underestimate the effort that will be needed on your part.

Below is some information about possible funding and useful checklists things to propel you into the next stage.

Progress checklist

1 Pick a manageable number of NHS or other healthcare organisations to start with – maybe just your local one. Try to find out who makes the decision about trying out or adopting new technologies.
2 Seek out you local AHSNs, CLAHRCs and any NIHR Clinical Research Networks appropriate for your innovation.
3 Try to identify lead users in NHS or other healthcare organisations, and ‘believers’ or ‘champions’ in them who can take on your innovation and support it.
4 Find out about any specific procurement routes by talking to NHS Supply Chain.
5 Keep asking yourself questions like: Do I really have the convincing evidence for my product needed to persuade potential users?, How clear are the facts? How objective is the information?, Can I tell the story clearly and concisely?, Do I really understand what the impact of my innovation will be on users – not only the immediate user but the wider health system they work in?

Potential sources of support and funding

These sources of support and funding are most relevant to your innovation from the answers given.

Wellcome Trust

The Wellcome Trust a an independent global charitable foundation dedicated to improving health. Iyts funding ranges from basic scientific research, including social science, to supporting proof-of-concept research and development for new healthcare products. Its innovation funding stream aims to help bridge the gap between fundamental research and commercial application by funding applied research and development projects to a stage where they are attractive to a follow-on funder, such as venture capital firms, industry and public-private partnerships. There are a number of funding schemes, including Health Innovation Challenge Fund and Pathfinder Pilots.
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South East Health Technologies Alliance (SEHTA)

"SEHTA is one of the largest healthcare technology networking organisations in the UK with 1,300 members. It offers three services: Consultancy Plus, Care Review and Cluster Development & EU Networks. SEHTA covers a range of health technology fields, including assisted living, diagnostics, and medtech and smartcare and digital companies, and assists with all stages of product / service development, from ideation to long-term business planning, from customer needs analysis to useablity trialling, and from competitor and political landscaping to partner and supply chain selection."
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Knowledge Transfer Network Ltd

Knowledge Transfer Network Ltd (KTN Ltd) is funded by Innovate UK and is an interdisciplinary UK-wide network of knowledge intensive businesses and academics designed to stimulate innovation by promoting collaboration, best practice and knowledge sharing.There are 15 individual Knowledge Transfer Networks, including a Health Tech & Medicines KTN. KTN Ltd organises sector specific missions to different countries to help connect researchers and innovators in the UK with overseas opportunities. It can help UK organisations access overseas funding schemes and it works closely with Innovate UK on major international funding programmes,such as Horizon 2020.

Open the Knowledge Transfer Network
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Nesta is an independent charity with a mission to help bring good ideas to life, Nesta is a leading innovation think tank, an investor in innovative ventures and an innovation lab testing out new approaches to supporting innovation. It has produced a useful innovation policy toolkit which describes the UK innovation ecosystem, available here:
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Intellectual Property Office

The Intellectual Property Office helps businesses understand how to manage IP. This includes IP online tools.

Go to IPO
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Digital Health London

DigitalHealth London is a collaboration between MedCity and London’s three Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs): Imperial College Health Partners, UCL Partners and the Health Innovation Network. It is supported by the Mayor of London and the Academic Health Science Centres (AHSCs). It aims to help London pioneer the development, commercialisation and adoption of digital health innovation to improve health outcomes. It helps to create and support networks to bring together London’s existing critical mass of digital health expertise, identify digital solutions to meet the needs of patients and clinicians, and build an evidence base of the health outcomes and economic benefits of digital health. DigitalHealth London also helps businesses by tackling issues such as procurement and commissioning. A call will be going out in March 2019 for their fourth accelerator cohort. Successful companies will receive support from September 2019-August 2020.

Digital Health London
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Wellcome Trust Innovator Awards

These awards support researchers who are transforming great ideas into healthcare innovations that could have a significant impact on human health.

Innovator Award
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Association of British Healthcare Industries (ABHI)

ABHI is the industry association for the medical technology sector in the UK. Its mission is to champion the benefits and use of safe and effective medical technologies to deliver high quality patient outcomes. ABHI engages with the NHS, government, regulators and other key stakeholders in the UK and abroad, in order to represent the industry. Its work focuses on UK market, economic growth, regulatory and ethics and compliance issues.
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Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI)

The ABPI represents large, medium and small research-based biopharmaceutical companies in the UK. It is recognised by government as the industry body negotiating on behalf of the branded pharmaceutical industry for statutory consultation requirements including the pricing scheme for medicines in the UK.
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British Healthcare Trade Association (BHTA)

The BHTA represents almost 500 companies making or selling healthcare and assistive technology products that help people live more independently.
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MedilinkUK is a national health technology business suppport service. It helps companies from concept to commercialisation and nurtures collaborations between academics, clinicians and industry. Medilink UK can provide bespoke market research for companies diversifying into the sector, or investing in research and development. Internationally platform, Medilink UK supports companies investing in the UK market as well as promoting the export of products and services to the US, Middle East and Asia.
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British In Vitro Diagnostics Association (BIVDA)

BIVDA is the UK industry association for companies involved in the in vitro diagnostics industry. It represents both manufacturers and distributors. As well as providing a range of support services for its members, BIVDA aims to raisies awareness of the clinical and cost utility of diagnostics in the provision of effective healthcare.
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Academic Health Science Networks

Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs) aim to improve patient and population health outcomes by translating research into practice, and developing and implementing integrated healthcare services. They will support knowledge exchange networks to build alliances across internal and external networks and actively share best practice, and provide for rapid evaluation and early adoption of new innovations. A core objectives is to speed up adoption into practice by supporting the identification and faster spread of research and innovation at pace and scale. They are also concerned with wealth creation through co-development, testing, evaluation and early adoption and spread of new products and services
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Department of Health Rapid Review Panel

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NHS Innovation Challenge Prizes

The NHS Innovation Challenge Prizes exist to encourage, recognise and reward these frontline ideas, and support innovators in getting them embedded across the NHS. The programme includes tailored training and mentoring for innovators than cash funding.
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Collaborations for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CHANGE TO GREEN)

There are thirteen Collaborations for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRCs) in the UK, established to carry out world-class applied health research focused on the needs of patients and to translate research evidence into practice in the NHS.
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NIHR Clinical Research Networks (CHANGE TO GREEN)

Aim to ensure patients and healthcare professionals from all parts of the UK are able to participate in and benefit from clinical research. They also increase collaboration with industry partners. A number of networks co-ordinate clinical trials for specific conditions, including cancer, stroke and mental health.
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Identify your strengths and weaknesses

Complete these useful quick checks on innovation risk and potential for adoption

Evidence needs and ease of adoption

Try to position yourself in the graphic below by asking yourself: What will organisations gain and what they will lose by buying your innovation.

Opportunistic sells A ‘smash hit’ Sure failures! Long hauls Edit your position

Assessment of project delivery risks

These questions will help you think about the likelihood of successfully bringing your project to the market. Please look at these categories and consider where your project sits on the sliding scale from 1 to 5 (1 = low)

Edit your innovation risk

Your level progress

It is important to identify where your innovation sits in relation to the typical stages of development. Sometimes these are called ‘technology readiness levels’ (TRL). These stages are a systematic way of identifying the maturity of a particular technology. There are variations, but broadly innovation stages are divided into the categories shown.

The "innovation stages" section goes into more detail about each stage

View the innovation stages
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Stage 0 Preliminary research
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Stage 1 Basic technology research
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Stage 2 Feasibility & development
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Stage 3 Demonstration
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Stage 4 Testing & Launch
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Stage 5 Adoption & Spread