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Our most recent Health Tech Alliance heard from a range of speakers from across the Academic Health Science Networks, who provided our members with a wealth of intelligence and great tips on topics ranging from the evidence gathering, testing and funding opportunities. 

Health Tech Alliance Chair, Dame Barbara Hakin stated: 

“I’m delighted to have Chaired such a productive meeting between our industry members and the Academic Health Science Networks. The AHSNs play a vital role in delivering change in the innovation landscape and our members have benefited hugely from their insights, honesty and willingness to engage. I welcome our continued partnership and hope that in working collaboratively, the Alliance and the AHSNs can ensure that more patients can benefit from proven innovations.” 

Members kicked off the meeting with an introduction from Richard Stubbs, Chief Executive of the Yorkshire & Humber AHSN, who gave an overview of the Network’s role in delivering uptake of innovation and how their work ties in with the priorities of the newly refreshed AAC and those of NHS England. Richard highlighted that the Long Term Plan in particular, has helped to create a coherent narrative around demand signalling, which will only benefit industry and AHSNs moving forward.  

Members also went on to hear from Nigel Harris, Director of Innovation and Growth at West of England AHSN, who gave a much-needed overview of the Innovation Exchange, and how companies can make the post out of this digital portal. The portal is a vital tool in helping industry understand local needs and the work of local trusts in implementing the Long Term Plan and in doing so, hopes to streamline the journey for innovators.  

Following this, the AHSN Network’s Director of Digital Health and AI, Alan Davies gave attendees a fascinating presentation on the NICE Evidence Standards Framework, and the role of the AHSNs in adding structure and clarity to the level of evidence required. He also spoke in detail on the Digital Health Tech Evaluation Pilot and the Health Systems Support Framework, which both seek to drive significant change.  

To finish the presentations, Louise Jopling, Commercial Director at Eastern AHSN talked the attendees through a range of cases studies, that helped provide a more detailed understanding of the practical steps that AHSNs can take to support companies.  

Following an energetic Q&A session, our industry members joined forces with AHSN representatives to ensure this session was a collaborative one and worked together to discuss what could be done to ensure AHSNs and healthtech companies are working effectively together and how to best aid each other moving forward. All the attendees worked hard to put forward some practical and achievable goals – we the Alliance hope that through continued collaboration with important bodies such as the AHSN Network we can see greater uptake and spread of proven innovations across the health service.