Dr Gail Hayward, Exeter College Staines Medical Research Fellow, has successfully led an application for £1.24 million of funding to lead a medical diagnostics co-operative that will drive forward the development, evaluation and uptake of new medical diagnostic technologies to improve outcomes for patients in the community.
Funded by the National Institute for Health Research for five years, the NIHR Community Healthcare MedTech and In vitro diagnostics Co-operative (MIC) will partner with commercial medical technology developers to ensure new concepts are rigorously evaluated, applicable in the NHS and have far-reaching clinical benefit.
Hosted by Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust, the NIHR Community Healthcare MIC will bring together and synergise experienced health researchers, end users, and clinical experts skilled in the development and evaluation of diagnostic tests.
By focusing on key NHS priorities, the new initiative aims to speed up the development, evaluation, and deployment of diagnostic tests that support healthcare professionals to make better decisions for their patients in areas such as antibiotic prescribing, child health and chronic illness. The focus will be on home and community care, including GP surgeries, acute medical centre, out-of-hours care and home visits.
Dr Hayward, who will be the Deputy Director of the MIC, said: ‘By brokering links between medical technology companies and NHS settings to evaluate devices during their development stage, the NIHR Community Healthcare MIC will put patient benefit in the driving seat to ensure that new diagnostic and monitoring technologies successfully transform community healthcare before they are rolled out into routine care.’
The initiative builds on the work of the NIHR Diagnostic Evidence Co-operative Oxford, which has evaluated point-of-care in vitro diagnostics since 2013 and coordinates the annual UK Diagnostics Forum.
The NIHR Community Healthcare MIC will officially open for business from 1 January 2018.