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Market access: resources and key steps explained

There are a number of key steps of the product development process when developing an innovation for healthcare and assessing if it’s ready to be put out to the market. To help you realise what the next step is, we’ve structured the below resources in the form of frequently asked questions from innovators and SMEs.

Roger McDermott
Senior Programme Manager

These questions are typically asked at each key step of the product development process and will help to address any gaps or needs identified by the adoption readiness tool. These resources will not look to repeat other toolkits and checklists that exist, it will instead look to answer the common questions in a comprehensive, yet accessible format.

Each question and response provides information that is designed to help you navigate your way to a successful outcome. There are also links to additional information to help you along the way.

General resources and documents to review:

  • SEHTA Accessing the NHS – Most health technology companies want to access the NHS and SMEs find this especially challenging. The SEHTA team have spent over 14 years helping companies understand and access the NHS and have finally attempted to distil all this knowledge and experience into one handy guide.
  • Doctor entrepreneurs – A useful guide for those within the NHS looking to start a business. If you’re looking to alter the status quo and provide innovation to the NHS, this can provide useful tips.
  • Monitor Deloitte How to Guide – This document guides entrepreneurs through the innovation journey, with a focus on healthcare in England. The guidance starts with idea generation, and continues onto development, regulation, reimbursement,  right the way through to endorsement, commissioning and adoption.
  • Eastern AHSN innovation pathway factsheets – This Innovation Pathway has been designed in conjunction with all 15 AHSN networks to help innovators navigate the support available and to describe how AHSNs can accelerate the development and adoption of innovations in the NHS to improve patient care

How do the existing systems work and what are the needs of health care professionals and patients?

At the early idea generation stage, innovators need to spend time reviewing evidence and conducting research to understand the current landscape and therapy area, identify the key clinical or patient unmet needs and how the product or service may help to solve the need. This stage is crucial to complete before taking an idea forward to development and will underpin the commercial success of any innovative idea.

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How can I test my product with patients, healthcare professionals and the NHS?

Once you have completed your scoping, ideation and feasibility stages of the product design process it is time to test the concept or prototype with patients and healthcare professionals. Following user-centred design principles this should be an iterative process early on, with changes and improvements made to the product or service as you test and co-design with users.

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What evidence do I need to collect?

It is vital to evaluate your formal pilots and trials to generate evidence that will validate the clinical, patient and economic value of your product or service. However, it is important that you evaluate and generate evidence proportionally. We’ve pulled together some top tips on how to get started with this.

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What regulatory approval or standards do I need to meet?

Whether your product is a medical technology or a digital health product, meeting the industry standards or regulatory approvals is a key step in bringing your product to market.

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How do I communicate the value proposition of my product to procurement, commissioners and providers?

To be able to complete a cost-benefit analysis or budget impact model you will need to understand the current system and costs of care, as well as the total costs (both product, training, consumables, disinvestment from current tech etc).

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