In the UK, the regulatory landscape for AI-based and digital health products is becoming increasingly complex. With so many new and innovative solutions being developed to help tackle the vast range of challenges being faced by our health service - and the NHS investing £10 billion annually in tech - comprehensive regulation that keeps pace with innovation is vital to ensuring these can deliver improvements while keeping patients safe.
Making regulation more transparent, accessible and actionable is therefore essential to helping us maintain patient safeguarding while supporting them to benefit from new, innovative treatments and technologies sooner.
Below, we explore three key ways this can be done, to open up access to regulation and support faster, safer healthcare innovation.
Crafting clear and practical guidelines:
Regulatory compliance is vital for ensuring patient safety; but often, convoluted frameworks and contradictory advice can make it complex to navigate and throw roadblocks in the way of innovation.
By streamlining the way in which these frameworks are presented and providing more actionable steps for innovators to follow, we can empower them to implement effective safety measures more easily and efficiently. Not only can this help reduce compliance errors, but it can also expedite safe product development, and help get digital tools into the hands of clinicians much sooner.
Sharing best practice:
Promoting the exchange of best practice within the medtech community is crucial for elevating standards across the board. Through transparent and accountable collaboration, providers can gain a clearer understanding of the standards they need to meet and the most effective strategies to achieve them. Facilitating the discussion of regulatory challenges and processes between different medtech providers is key to opening up the dialogue and helping establish best practice for everyone to follow.
This means empowering providers to share with one another what hasn’t worked, as well as what has. By doing so, we can create a community which enables mutual learning and fosters a culture of continuous improvement, raising the overall quality and safety of innovation, and making it easier for innovators to work in line with regulation.
Driving collaborative innovation:
At Cinapsis, close collaboration with our end-users is a core priority. Not only is it essential for supporting innovators to develop a solution which sufficiently addresses the pain points being faced by its end-users, but it can also enable you to design safe, ethical, and compliant solutions from the outset, eliminating the need for retrofitting to meet regulatory requirements later on.
By actively involving the healthcare professionals who will ultimately be using your product at every stage of the development process, you’ll gain invaluable insights into the specific challenges and risks that might arise. This early engagement will enable you to acknowledge these in your design, ensuring regulatory compliance from day one, and enabling you to deliver your product much more quickly, while maintaining safety standards.
By embracing a progressive approach to medtech regulation, we can unlock the vast potential of healthcare innovation in the UK. To do this we must establish more accessible practical guidelines, facilitate the wider exchange of best practice, and foster more collaborative innovation. This will help to better equip innovators to navigate the complex regulatory landscape while maintaining a steadfast focus on patient safety. As a result, we can help unlock faster, safer innovation and pave the way for a future where technology continues to play a transformative role in delivering high-quality, accessible, and personalised care.