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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.

Overview 

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:

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

Our experts and support teams are based within National Health Service (NHS) organisations and universities throughout England and 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.

Funding support for SMEs

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 is dedicated to supporting and advancing the 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

Medtech and In vitro diagnostics Co-operatives (MICs)

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 more than £14 million awarded across 11 NIHR MICs over 5 years until 2022. The MICs are shown in the map on this page and are listed here: 

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.

If you are interested in working with the NIHR MICs or would like more information, please get in touch with:  nocri@nihr.ac.uk.

Run your research study in the NHS

Last financial year 92 MedTech companies and 22 Contract Research Organisations (CROs) accessed our Study Support Service. This service is free and helps companies and CROs to plan, place and successfully deliver high quality research on time and to target in our NHS and wider social care environment.

In total, throughout 2020/21, we supported 76 MedTech studies at various stages and helped to recruit 5,795 participants into those studies.  With our help 78% 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 Clinical Research 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 and guidance on all of our services
  • Accurate feasibility
  • Streamlined site identification
  • Access to site intelligence
  • Tools for quicker costing and contracting
  • Proactive performance management
  • Free Good Clinical Practice training for all staff supporting 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 service has been specifically designed to help you to overcome many of the regulatory challenges that companies face when working directly with patients. This is a 'paid for' extension of our free Study Support Service.

You may also be interested to know how our services complement the paid-for support services that are provided by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)

Webinar: Our offer to MedTech

Watch a webinar on YouTube (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 YouTube playlist.

Find out more about the NIHR study Support Service or get in touch:

Email: supportmystudy@nihr.ac.uk
Phone: 0113 343 4555

Case studies

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

To find out more about accessing our expertise and funding, contact

nocri@nihr.ac.uk +44 (0) 20 3794 7375

To find out more about running your study in the NHS, contact

supportmystudy@nihr.ac.uk +44(0) 113 34 34 555

 You can also keep up to date with the latest MedTech news by signing up for our NIHR Life Sciences Industry newsletter

Latest news about MedTech

Fledgling firms to benefit from new NIHR MedTech Industry Engagement Adviser appointment

Martin Hunt has been appointed as the first-ever NIHR MedTech Industry Engagement Adviser. In the new role he will help optimise collaborations and champion opportunities for early stage companies.

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.

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.

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