Who we are and what we do

HealthTech Connect is owned and funded by NHS England. It is operated by a team that is based in the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). 

The HealthTech Connect team

The team, based at NICE, is responsible for managing this website, the database and responding to user questions and problems. The team does not review or make decisions about technologies that are submitted to the database. 

If you would like to get in touch with the team, please email us at contactus@HealthTechConnect.org.uk

The Data Accessors

Once information about a technology has been submitted to HealthTech Connect, information about it is made available to Data Accessors. These are people who work in organisations that support industry to develop technologies, or that help people in the NHS or wider UK health and care system to make decisions about the purchase and use of technologies. 

When a Data Accessor receives the information that has been submitted, they review it and decide if the technology or the problem that an innovator has is something they can help with, such as: 

  • getting clinical advice or support 
  • getting regulatory approval
  • developing a sustainable commercial model
  • generating evidence 
  • testing the technology in real world settings
  • obtaining funding
  • support with adoption and spread of the technology
  • support with importing the technology to the UK, or exporting it overseas
  • getting national guidance, advice or policy to encourage or mandate the use of the technology in the NHS or wider UK health and care system

If the Data Accessor can offer help or support, they will get in touch with the innovator directly to discuss further. 

Why was HealthTech Connect developed?

HealthTech Connect launched in April 2019. It is a secure, online database of devices, diagnostics and digital health technologies that are intended for use in the NHS or wider UK health and care system. It is one of many tools used to support horizon scanning

HealthTech Connect is not just a horizon scanning tool. It also helps innovators connect with relevant organisations that may be able to offer help and support in getting a technology developed, assessed and used. 

It was developed in response to the Accelerated Access Review (2016) which makes recommendations to make it easier for NHS patients to access innovative medicines, medical technologies, diagnostics and digital products, improving efficiency and patient outcomes.

The Accelerated Access Review report acknowledged that many of the existing horizon scanning tools and systems only consider pharmaceuticals. HealthTech Connect was developed to address this gap and improve horizon scanning for devices, diagnostics and digital health technologies. It is based on UK PharmaScan, an existing system for identifying pharmaceutical technologies that NICE also operates. It was acknowledged in the Accelerated Access Review: government response (2017) that this work would build on existing capabilities to create a parallel system suitable for devices, diagnostics and digital health technologies.

HealthTech Connect was recognised in the Life sciences sector 2 deal (2018) as a system to provide coordinated horizon scanning, to help innovators hold early discussions about market access, and give the NHS a better sense of emerging technologies.