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Focus On... Academic Health Science Networks

What are AHSNs?

The development of AHSNs was recommended in Sir David’s December 2011 report Innovation, Health and Wealth.

You can read the entire report here...
  http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20130107105354/http:/www.dh.gov.uk/en/Publicationsandstatistics/Publications/PublicationsPolicyAndGuidance/DH_131299.

15 regional AHSNs are now be licenced to operate and cover the whole of England.

They work with all parts of the NHS and healthcare delivery partners to accelerate the adoption and spread of innovation.

Two AHSNs cover the Northwest of England Northwest Coast AHSN and GM AHSN

http://www.nwcahsn.nhs.uk/index.php

http://www.gmahsn.org/

How will AHSNs help MedTECH companies?

Innovation, Health and Wealth (Department of Health, 2011) recommended the creation of “a more systematic delivery mechanism for diffusion and collaboration within the NHS by building strong crossboundary networks”. The aim of this mechanism, dubbed Academic Health Science Networks, is to “align education, clinical research, informatics, training and education and healthcare delivery” and “to improve patient and population health outcomes by translating research into practice and developing and implementing integrated health care systems”.

No, sorry, I still don't understand what that means for my business....

Well, the AHSNs are new organisations and they are still developing their systems and processes, but in simple terms expect a more coordinated approach between industry, universities and the NHS focussed on the major priorities facing the healthcare system. AHSNs will be looking to identify and nurture promising innovations early and support them through the product development process by bringing appropriate partners from universities and the NHS into play at the right time.

In other words once engaged with the AHSN, companies should find it easier to access opinions and resources they need to produce better products for the NHS.

It is well worth keeping an eye on the AHSNs over the next few months as the programmes evolve.

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