The NHS is often criticised for its slow uptake of new products and technologies with the innovation landscape of the NHS representing a significant challenge for technology providers. Pilot adoption represents a way for companies to navigate through this landscape by providing an opportunity to have a technology or service evaluated in an actual NHS setting. This process enables both the company and the NHS to explore and address the clinical, financial, cultural and workforce implications involved in the adoption of a new product in an NHS setting.
During a pilot adoption companies may work with the NHS organisation to develop a case study to help find effective ways of working with other clinical and organisational networks across the NHS in the future. Such case studies can enable technology providers to market their product effectively to other NHS Trusts, illustrating how the technology is able to benefit the NHS and improve outcomes. Pilot adoption therefore represents a mutually beneficial opportunity for both technology providers and the NHS.
Pilot adoptions can be facilitated in many ways and there is no single route for them. It requires engagement from both clinical, management, financial and procurement directorates in the NHS.
Pilot adoption does not guarantee sales to the organisations involved at the end of the process – once a pilot is completed, normal procurement processes must be followed if the product or technology is to be purchased.
Support may be provided by a range of organisations and vehicles, including:
- Academic Health Science Networks via their own funding programs and initiatives such as the Greater Manchester AHSN’s Innovation Nexus and linked funded support
- NHS England via their Regional Innovation Fund (RIF) - RIFs can be aligned to support the spread and adoption of current innovations promoted within NHS England or to support the development or adoption of new ideas. RIFs are open to NHS England, as well as the NHS and AHSNs and bids can be developed in collaboration with partners including private healthcare and industry
- Innovation hubs, e.g., TRUSTECH, through the strategic partnerships they have with their NHS member Trusts
- Individual Trusts may have local schemes and initiatives
Are you interested in working with the GM AHSN to provide support to businesses working in the healthcare sector? Would you like to be listed as an Associate on the Innovation Nexus portal? Contact us to discuss how we could work together.