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How we support medical technology, device and diagnostic companies

We work in partnership with medical device, digital technology and diagnostic companies (collectively known as MedTech) to help them successfully translate innovative ideas into the clinical setting.

Our experts and support teams are based within National Health Service (NHS) organisations and universities throughout England. We support MedTech companies across all stages of product development: from identifying unmet clinical needs to designing and running clinical studies.

  • Areas of expertise covered include:
  • Patient care pathway analysis
  • Health economics
  • Clinical validation
  • Clinical evaluation
  • Device design
  • Regulatory advice
  • User testing and human factors
  • Public and patient involvement
  • Finding sites for your study
  • Patient recruitment

Our  services are available for all types of MedTech companies including medical device diagnostics/technology, in vitro diagnostics (IVD), imaging and radiology. We also support non-life sciences companies including software developers and digital companies that are working on healthcare solutions.

Companies can access these resources at any stage in their product and clinical development process. Engaging with the NIHR at an early stage in your product development can provide real benefits, such as guidance on further development of the technology and early go/no go decisions.

The NIHR commissions and funds health, public health and social care research that is essential for improving the health and wealth of the nation.

Our research funding programmes span the research innovation pathway, from innovation and product development to evaluative research including large-scale clinical trials and post marketing studies.

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are eligible to apply to a number of our funding programmes, either as a lead applicant, or a co-applicant with an academic or clinical partner.

Find out more about funding opportunities for SMEs and the life sciences industry

The NIHR invention for Innovation (i4i) Programme supports development of innovative healthcare technologies. Its  Connect funding stream is specifically designed for SMEs in need of a funding boost to reach the next stage in the development pathway. 

Find out more about the i4i funding programme

Through our NIHR Medtech and In vitro diagnostics Co-operatives (MICs), we can help you to develop new medical technologies and provide evidence on commercially-supplied in vitro diagnostic (IVD) tests.

Based in leading NHS organisations, the MICs act as centres of expertise and bring together patients, clinicians, researchers, commissioners and industry.

The NIHR MICs launched on 1 January 2018, with than £14 million awarded across 11 NIHR MICs over 5 years until 2023:

MICs can help you to build a multi-disciplinary team that will work collaboratively with you to ensure you generate the evidence you need  to support adoption of your medical device, digital technology or diagnostic in the NHS.

Get in touch:

If you are interested in working with the NIHR MICs or would like more information, please get in touch with the NIHR Office for Clinical Research Infrastructure (NOCRI):

Last year 111 MedTech companies and 25 Contract Research Organisations (CROs) accessed our  Study Support Service. This service is free and helps companies and CROs to plan, set up and deliver high quality research on time and to target in our NHS. In total we supported 209 MedTech studies at various stages and and helped to recruit 13,373 participants into MedTech studies. This achieved through our national network which connects individual research sites to enable a ‘do once and share’ approach to study delivery, which means you benefit from country-wide expertise and experience.

Our services include:

  • national feasibility assessments
  • streamlined site identification
  • access to site intelligence
  • tools for quicker costing and contracting
  • proactive performance management
  • free GCP training for personnel delivering your study.

Our research-ready workforce, based throughout the NHS, can help recruit patients to your study on a full cost recovery basis. We can also help you to connect and collaborate with patients who can help shape and improve the design and delivery of your study through our Patient Engagement in Clinical Development Service. This is a 'paid for' extension of our free Study Support Service.

Find out more about the NIHR study Support Service

Or get in touch:

The NIHR Surgical Technology Evaluation Portal (STEP) provides companies and innovators with a single point of access to expert clinicians and research active surgeons in the NHS to help develop new surgical medical devices and technologies.

The resulting multidisciplinary teams can provide rapid feedback to the innovator and undertake high quality collaborative research. This can support the generation of evidence that could lead to faster and safer adoption of new surgical technologies into the NHS.

Find out more about our  Surgical Technology Evaluation Portal (STEP)

Get in touch:

Watch a webinar (slides with audio) that describes how the NIHR works in partnership with MedTech companies to help them successfully translate ideas into innovative medical technologies for use in the NHS.

Watch more video case studies on our MedTech: Bringing innovation to the NHS playlist on our YouTube channel: NIHRtv

Read case studies and watch related video content which describes how we support medical technology, device and diagnostic companies throughout the clinical development process.

Find out more

Watch more video case studies on our MedTech: Bringing innovation to the NHS playlist on our YouTube channel, NIHRtv, or get in touch by contacting the Study Support Service Helpdesk:


More MedTech case studies

Developing a digital solution to help patients to regain their mobility

The aim of the GAME study is simply to show that MIRA is ‘just as effective’ as standard physiotherapy following an operation on your shoulder to treat shoulder impingement (when the bones and tendons in your shoulder rub against each other when you raise your arm, causing pain).
Read more

Developing the world's first patient-attached blood gas, electrolyte and metabolite monitoring system

The NIHR Trauma Management MedTech Co-operative has collaborated with Sphere Medical Ltd on the development of  The world's first patient-attached blood gas, electrolyte and metabolite monitoring system.
Read more

Developing a device for earlier diagnosis of diagnosis of pre-cancerous colon polyps

Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in the UK.
Read more

Latest news about MedTech

New trial could benefit half of women with recurrent miscarriage

Researchers at the University of Warwick Clinical Trials Unit are leading the Chronic Endometritis and Recurrent Miscarriage (CERM) trial, which aims to discover whether using the antibiotic doxycycline in women with the condition endometritis can improve their chances of having a baby and treat recurrent miscarriage by improving the balance of bacteria present in their reproductive system.

Probe that detects prostate cancer could make surgery more accurate

Researchers funded by the NIHR are developing new imaging technology to pinpoint prostate tumours in the operating theatre.

NIHR supports second wave of small business medtech innovations

The NIHR has awarded more than £1 million to nine innovative medical technology projects led by small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) that have the potential to improve outcomes for NHS patients.

NIHR i4i and Innovate UK’s first Angels in Medcity Entrepreneur Pitching Event

NIHR’s Invention for Innovation (i4i) Programme has held its first entrepreneur pitching event, bringing together medical technology start-ups with a community of business angel investors.

Revolutionary neck support collar now available on the NHS for people with motor neurone disease

A neck collar for people with motor neurone disease developed with NIHR funding is now available to patients in the NHS and across the world.