Our Themes

Our HealthTech Research Centre in Accelerated Surgical Care will drive HealthTech innovation for patients and healthcare systems to deliver socioeconomic benefit through quicker diagnosis and treatment of surgical conditions with safe, early recovery in the community.  We will create a national HealthTech research and innovation hub, bringing together stakeholders at the intersection of innovation and clinical translation to tackle urgent pressures on the NHS.


Surgery can cure cancer, enhance quality of life, and aid recovery from injury. Over 10 million operations are performed each year in the NHS with surgical care accounting for one-third of hospital admissions. Waiting times for elective surgery are at an all-time high with 7.2 million people on NHS waiting lists and 355,000 people waiting over 52 weeks for treatment. Delayed treatment causes additional physical and mental suffering, financial hardship, and increased reliance on social care.

The NHS Reset and Recovery Plan aims to tackle the back log through Community Diagnostic Centres and Surgical Hubs but by March 2025 it will only guarantee that “no patients will be waiting longer than a year for surgery”. The situation is compounded by a lack of social care resources and the changing population demographic.

Elderly patients with complex medical needs occupy acute hospital beds when they could be cared for in the community. By 2030, over 1.48 million people aged 75 years or older will require surgery each year, at a cost of £3.2 billion per year (https://doi.org/10.1002/bjs.11148).

Surgical and post-operative care must become smarter and more efficient. Technological innovation in robotics, minimally invasive therapies, genomics, digital health, and assisted rehabilitation can help. Diagnostics at Point of Care can speed up diagnosis, treatment and reduce unwanted sequelae, such as hospital acquired infections and life-threatening sepsis.

Designed and used effectively, technology can reduce inequalities in access to healthcare, connect hard-to-reach populations with high disease burden, and enable new models of care in the community.

With 3,860 companies, 80% of which are small, medium size enterprises (SMEs), the HealthTech sector is the largest, but most fragmented UK Life Sciences employer. Accordingly, few technologies successfully navigate the innovation service pathway without significant delays – a situation complicated by transition to UK Conformity Assessed marking and UK Medical Device Regulations 2022.

We will work with industry, regulators, and policymakers to identify the most promising innovations and guide their navigation through this complex landscape, providing knowledge to overcome the barriers to timely clinical and economic evaluation and accelerated NHS translation.