Driving improvement in non-medicines technologies
Strategic plan (2016–2018)
Non-medicine technologies encompass a wide range of healthcare
interventions, ranging from devices and diagnostic tests to changes
in treatment pathways in health and social care. There are over
500,000 medical devices on the market with an annual UK market of
£11 billion for medical devices alone and 1 in 25 people have an
implanted medical device. This group of interventions may prove to
be transformative in the delivery of care, however the assessment
and regulatory structures, processes and profile of nonmedicine
technologies are significantly less visible than for medicines.
Medicines have historically received greater focus within the
research community, with closer integration to the structures that
deliver health care and greater prominence in the wider media.
There is some evidence that this focus may have produced a mismatch
between the priorities of patients and clinicians for research and
the research that is actually done.
Certainly, the non-medicine technologies arena has received less
attention despite an innovative environment, a greater number of
interventions with potential safety and risk implications and a
significant capital spend. If we are to gain significant
opportunity from non-medicine technologies to improve health
outcomes and experience, a significantly greater focus and resource
is required to support the key issues and challenges described in
This document outlines our plan to improve the use of
non-medicine technologies and our key actions for 2016–2018.
Our plan for improvement
Our framework for improvement will ensure that Healthcare
Improvement Scotland plays a lead role in NHSScotland and beyond in
relation to the evidence, improvement and quality assurance of
Addressing the challenges and opportunities identified will
require both partnership and ownership by a range of key
stakeholders across NHSScotland.
Our plan is based around thematic areas which reflect the
landscape and key challenges.
There is a need to:
- raise and improve awareness of the importance of safe, clinical
and cost effective use of non-medicine technologies.
- work collaboratively to understand roles and responsibilities
with a wide range of nonmedicine technologies stakeholders,
including evidence assessment and regulatory organisations,
manufacturers and patient and public bodies.
- improve communication networks and structures to ensure that
evidence assessment and improvement information are received and
considered by the most appropriate local groups. There is a need
for clearer focus and co-ordination for non-medicine technologies
and a clearer landing zone for advice and improvement
- contribute to the development of a shared framework for the
assessment of nonmedicine technologies at a local level. There is
an opportunity to share local assessment and reduce duplication and
improve equity of access.
- support the pathway for assessment of CE marked innovative
technologies, ensuring structures are sufficiently flexible to
permit assessment and ongoing surveillance.
Published Date: 27 May 2016