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ABHI’s Ambitious HealthTech Plan Seeks to Make the UK A Global Leader

Topic : News and Press Type : Press Release

The Association of British HealthTech Industries (ABHI) has today unveiled its manifesto, The Plan for HealthTech, which articulates a clear and actionable 10-point programme for government. This strategic blueprint is designed to harness the full potential of the sector to benefit patients, clinicians, and the UK economy. 

Key recommendations focus on regulatory alignment, fostering innovation in healthcare practices, and ensuring long term investment in what is a sector that now employs 154,000 people across 4,465 companies in the UK. The UK has the opportunity to become a world leader in the evaluation, development and deployment of HealthTech, but we must do things differently to ensure it is our patients, clinicians and economy that benefit.

ABHI’s Chief Executive, Peter Ellingworth, said: “Developed through months of stakeholder engagement, the Plan for HealthTech outlines the essential steps to make the UK a HealthTech global leader. It focuses on the crucial areas of regulation, innovation, and investment, which taken together, are key to a world-class ecosystem. This manifesto is a collective vision, and is designed not just for ABHI’s membership, but rather, the entire industry, the health service and the patients we collectively serve.”

The UK will soon be holding a general, and as we await confirmation of a date, ABHI is engaging with policymakers on the key initiatives detailed in The Plan for HealthTech to overcome the barriers that have hampered the industry in recent years. 

The Chief Executive of National Voices, Jacob Lant, added: "The Plan for HealthTech provides solutions to common challenges for each part of the sector and sets a course that will allow the UK to harness the power of innovation to revolutionise healthcare, ensuring that every individual receives the quality care they deserve.”

The plan calls for the establishment of a world-leading regulatory system that fosters innovation and patient safety, the professionalisation of innovation and adoption processes within the NHS, and a long-term investment strategy to support sector growth. The manifesto emphasises the need for enhanced collaboration with NHS England and other healthcare providers to streamline technology adoption, and calls for improved NHS procurement processes, alongside increased support for UK-based manufacturing and R&D. It also advocates for expanded digital infrastructure to enhance early diagnosis and patient care, with a proposal for a comprehensive export strategy to boost the global reach of UK HealthTech companies.

Rachel Power, Chief Executive of The Patient’s Association added: “Many patients rely on and welcome the innovative products ABHI members offer, so we welcome the ABHI’s commitment in the Plan for HealthTech to partnership in the design and delivery of products and services. A patient-centric approach to healthcare offers real benefits to patients in the form of personalised holistic care that enhances lives and fosters well-being.”

Stryker’s Government Affairs Director, UK & Ireland, Dan Jones, who also Chairs ABHI’s Public Affairs Group, said: "The NHS, like many other healthcare systems, faces unprecedented challenges. Delivering the care patients need will require innovation and new ways of working. The HealthTech industry is ready to support this and unlock new ways of working. ABHI's 'Plan for HealthTech' sets a roadmap for enabling patients to benefit from innovative technology and treatments. NHS leaders, Government and healthcare providers now need to work together to make this plan a reality."

Carolyn Heaney, Director of Life Science Partnerships, Precisia Clinical Risk Analytics (a C2-Ai business), and Vice Chair of ABHI's Public Affairs Group, said: "The ABHI's Plan for HealthTech diagnoses effectively the challenges facing our sector which demand to be addressed if the UK is to meet its aspirations both to improve population health and health equity, and realise its ambition to be a leading contributor to development and adoption to life science innovation globally. Regardless of who is in Government in 12 months’ time, the challenges it sets out continue to endure and require the concerted action from all parts of the system that the Plan for HealthTech sets out - charting a course towards navigation of their complexities, through partnership with industry, overcoming the persistent obstacles and ensuring transformative advancements in healthcare delivery that enable improved population health, health equity, productivity and economic growth."

The Plan for HealthTech: ABHI’s Manifesto can be accessed here.

ABHI is the UK’s leading industry association for health technology (HealthTech).

ABHI supports the HealthTech community to save and enhance lives. Members, including both multinationals and small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), supply products from syringes and wound dressings to surgical robots, diagnostics and digitally enhanced technologies. We represent the industry to stakeholders, such as the government, NHS and regulators. HealthTech plays a key role in supporting delivery of healthcare and is a significant contributor to the UK’s economic growth. HealthTech is the largest employer in the broader Life Sciences sector, employing 154,000 people in 4,465 companies, with a combined turnover of £34.3bn. The industry has enjoyed growth of around 5% in recent years. ABHI’s 400 members account for approximately 80% of the sector by value.