The National Institute for Health Research has funded vitro diagnostics cooperatives (MICs) to expedite healthcare technology innovation and NHS adoption, as well as reducing the associated Surgical tech online programs costs of technology.13 These MICs span across England and represent a range of clinical areas. Their primary aim is to provide research infrastructure to improve interdisciplinary collaboration between stakeholders such as: clinicians; the NHS, university academics and scientists; patients and the public; and industry, thereby providing a platform to facilitate the translation of technologies from the idea stage to patient benefit.
The surgical MIC is based in Leeds but has a national remit. It focuses on a broad spectrum of surgical technologies and devices for surgical care and surgical training. In 2015, the surgical MIC launched its trainee engagement initiative, the MedTech Foundation. The MedTech Foundation has established centres in Leeds, Birmingham, Cambridge and Edinburgh (with many more being set up), attracting interdisciplinary members from medicine, surgery, engineering, physics, chemistry, computer science and business.
This initiative aims to address the need for training the next generation of surgical innovators in medtech and innovation skills. It offers skills workshops that give participants the ability to develop their ideas from concept towards patient benefit. The process of taking an innovation from a fresh idea through to widespread NHS adoption and patient benefit is complex, takes time, and varies depending on technology and geography.
The MedTech Foundation guides participants through the technology development process, beginning with the importance of starting with an understanding of the unmet clinical need. Participants then collaborate within an interdisciplinary team to iteratively generate and theoretically evaluate possible solutions to identify their potential for innovation and adoption by the NHS. Next, the teams are taught how to facilitate translation of their solution from bench to bedside by understanding how to gather the necessary evidence to inform the design, development and (finally) evaluation of their solution. The training highlights the importance of interdisciplinary working, having early and consistent clinical and technical input with the end user as well as patient