ABHI at 30 Guest Blogs. Transforming the Future of Healthcare
The UK’s reputation as a leading centre for HealthTech is in part due to our strong academic base, with clusters of start-ups having developed around leading universities in London, Cambridge and Oxford. The greater south east of England’s top research institutions, thousands of scientists, deep experience in clinical trials and the UK’s open regulatory environment, combined with the expertise of London’s tech ecosystem make for a very fertile territory for HealthTech.
This year has brought headline-grabbing success for the region’s start-up community with companies such as CMR Surgical’s record-breaking $100m fundraise for their small, portable and cost-effective robotic system, and Babylon Health pledging $100m to develop the world’s leading healthcare AI platform.
The UK benefits from a strong and supportive ecosystem, with organisations such as MedCity and memberships bodies such as the ABHI helping to connect and strengthen relationships between industry, academia, the NHS and Government.
We are currently working with NHS England, NICE, Public Health England and DigitalHealth.London (DH.L) on a project to create a set of standards and a tool to help companies to understand what ‘good’ evidence for digital innovations looks like. This is due to launch in December this year and is part of the Government’s Code of Conduct, which aims to create a safe and trusted environment for innovation to flourish.
The capital has the benefit of DH.L, who help to speed up digital health adoption by bringing together clinicians, healthcare providers, research institutes, entrepreneurs and industry to give companies a clearer route to market. DH.L’s Accelerator programme launched its third cohort this year and saw its expansion into four more regions across England. With alumni including Echo, Andiamo, and Mira Rehab, the Accelerator has saved more than £50m for the NHS, working with 60 companies, and generating 169 jobs for London in just two years.
MedCity recently returned from a mission to Japan and Korea, where we led a 50-strong delegation of companies and academics to showcase the UK’s life sciences sector. Artificial Intelligence (AI) was the flavour of the year, with its potential to revolutionise the drug discovery paradigm. AI is already being used to detect diseases more accurately, unlock vast amounts of health data and use pattern recognition to identify patients at risk of developing a range of diseases. Accenture estimates that AI could add in the region of £654bn to the UK economy by 2035, with our strong life sciences and healthcare industry expected to capitalise on these intelligent systems. London is home to over 100 healthcare and life sciences AI suppliers, including world-renowned companies such as BenevolentAI and DeepMind Health. BenevolentAI is disrupting the pharma industry in a big way, by helping to lower costs, decrease failure rates and increase the speed at which medicines are delivered to patients. And this year, DeepMind Health and Moorfields Eye Hospital developed an AI system able to detect eye conditions in seconds and prioritise patients needing urgent care, matching the expertise of doctors with over 20 years of experience.
This is just a snapshot of some of the exciting innovations and projects happening in the HealthTech sector. Even as we enter into a challenging year politically, the research and innovation that exists in the UK will continue to transform the future of healthcare.
Sarah Haywood, CEO, MedCity