UK patients set to have faster access to innovative medical technologies via new pathway


The UK government has launched the pilot phase of the Innovative Digital Access Pathway (IDAP), a new initiative to accelerate the development and access of innovative medical devices that address unmet clinical needs.

IDAP is a multi-partner pathway that provides innovators and manufacturers with tailored support and scientific advice throughout the product design and development process. The goal is to help innovators bring their products to market more quickly and efficiently, while also ensuring that they meet the highest standards of safety, quality, and effectiveness.

The IDAP pilot is open to UK and international commercial and non-commercial developers with new health technology solutions. Successful applicants will receive support from a range of partners, including the Department of Health and Social Care, Health Technology Wales, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), the National Health Service England (NHSE), the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), the Office for Life Sciences (OLS), and the Scottish Health Technologies Group (SHTG).

The support offered by IDAP may include:

  • Development of a targeted product roadmap
  • System navigation advice
  • Priority clinical investigations
  • Joint scientific advice with partners
  • Support with Health Technology Assessments (HTAs) for product realisation and adoption
  • Safe-harbour meetings to discuss NHS adoption
  • Exceptional use authorisation granted by the MHRA, provided necessary safety standards are met

David Lawson, director of medical technology at the Department of Health and Social Care, said: “The launch marks an important step forward in the implementation of the Medical Technology Strategy published in February this year.


“It signals our commitment to move towards a rules-based pathway which will ensure the adoption of specialty innovative medical technology into the NHS, helping to benefit patient outcomes. The IDAP showcases our internationally respected regulatory and guidance bodies and the tailored support on offer for technologies that meet the specific needs of the NHS.”

Dr Marc Bailey, MHRA chief science and innovation officer, said: “The IDAP launch marks an exciting step in accelerating the delivery of cutting-edge medical technologies safely to patients across the UK. The insights gained during the pilot phase will be crucial in shaping the future direction of this new pathway.

“We encourage medical technology innovators in the UK and abroad to submit their applications and benefit from this combined support service. By working together, we can fast-track access to the most advanced technologies for those in urgent need.”

The IDAP pilot will run until October 29, 2023 with the insights gained during the pilot phase used to shape the future direction of the programme.

Photo Credit: iStock


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