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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.

COVID-19 Diagnostic Tests Update

Manufacturers who have new diagnostic tests (and other testing material) should complete the relevant testing webform on the Department of Health and Social Care's website. 

These offers are then triaged through expert validation panels. Diagnostic tests that meet the requirements of the validation panels are passed to CONDOR for evaluation.

Find out more on the serology and viral detection testing: UK procurement overview page.


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 2022:

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:

Last financial year 118 MedTech companies and 31 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, throughout 2019/20, we supported 199 MedTech studies at various stages and helped to recruit 8,591 participants into those studies.  With our help 79% of the MedTech studies that closed in that 12 month period achieved their recruitment target on time.

These achievements are made possible by 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:

  • advice, guidance and signposting to support that is available
  • 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.

You may also be interest to know how our services complement the paid-for support services that are provided by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). We've created an interactive image to help you navigate the different kinds of help and support available.

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:

 Working with us, Forte Medical Ltd ran a usability study to test Peezy - their device to improve urine sample collection

Latest news about MedTech

New £1.3 million national research programme to evaluate coronavirus tests in hospitals, general practices and care homes

Testing for coronavirus infection could become quicker, more convenient and more accurate, following the launch of a multicentre national programme of research that will evaluate how new diagnostic tests perform in different health and care settings.

New rapid genetic test could prevent antibiotic-related hearing loss in newborns

NIHR-funded researchers have begun a new study on a bedside genetic test to predict whether newborn babies receiving antibiotics in intensive care are at risk of irreversible hearing loss.

£1.9million funding to help improve diagnosis and treatment of kidney disease

NIHR-funded researchers will look at how novel methods of kidney MRI scanning can help improve diagnosis and treatment for people living with kidney disease.

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.

More MedTech case studies

Developing a digital solution to help patients to regain their mobility

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

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

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