06 October, 2020

What is the value of incorporating research expertise into the development of health technologies?

A woman is climbing a ladder and using a VR headset to see an assortment of icons


To coincide with the launch of the HTW Scientific Advice Service, we asked an important question to influential individuals in the Welsh health technology ecosystem.

What is the value of incorporating research expertise into the development of health technologies?’ Here’s what they said…

Professor Peter Groves, Chair of Health Technology Wales

“Innovative non-drug technologies can be transformative in the management of patients and can lead to fundamental changes in the way in which the healthcare system delivers treatments.

In order to realise these potential patient and system benefits, it is important that evidence is generated to establish that new medical technologies are safe and that they are clinically and cost effective. Such evidence can come from many different sources and be collected in a variety of ways and it is therefore essential that technology development is backed up by a carefully planned and executed research programme.

Obtaining advice in the early stages of product development from those who are trained in health technology assessments and from clinical and economic experts can lead to exponential benefits when it later comes to formulating and communicating a value proposition for the new device.”


Cari-Anne Quinn, CEO of Life Sciences Hub Wales

“The advancement of healthcare relies on innovation across the life sciences sector and academia. Life Sciences Hub Wales recognises that it can often be difficult to gather the relevant evidence when developing new health technologies.

Incorporating research expertise during the development of a new health technology provides innovators with essential insight to support their product development, and its alignment with patient needs and healthcare services. In turn, an evidence based approach provides valuable information to inform commissioning decisions.

Not only can this save valuable time and resource in the long term, it also enables a smoother and more cost-efficient route for health technology innovators.

Whether a health technology is just starting development journey or about to launch, input from research expertise is always relevant and can ensure that evidence collection is suitable to the healthcare system it aims to help.”


Dr Robert Royce, Senior Researcher Officer at the Bevan Commission

“There is a danger that research into consumer views end up with the modern version of what Henry Ford said people wanted in terms of transport in the early twentieth century. That was not a demand for the invention of the car…but rather a faster horse.

However, research expertise has a valuable role in assisting in health technology developments – not least in ensuring those undertaking the developments have an in-depth understanding of what problems potential users face. Thought can be given in advance to assessing how impact and utility will be measured and how feedback can be quickly gained.

This belief is reflected in the Bevan Commission’s advocacy of co-production in health and social care.”

Click here to learn more about the HTW Scientific Advice Service