NHS National Services Scotland has developed an innovation portal to encourage the uptake and development of innovative technology products.
The aim of the Health Innovation Procurement Portal is to work with companies, especially small and medium enterprises, that have ideas and innovations and find out how to help develop these into technologies that may be of use to the NHS.
Jim Miller, NHS NSS' strategic sourcing director, helped to develop the portal and said that it can also be used for suppliers with existing products that want to develop these further.
“There are thousands of people working in or supplying NHS Scotland. Those on the front line are often most likely to spot an idea for a new product or technology which can make it easier to do our jobs, help patients or make savings,” he said.
“But what’s been lacking in the past is a single point where NHS Scotland and industry can feedback and review new ideas and future requirements – that’s where the innovation portal comes in.”
The portal, which is part of NHS Scotland’s response to the Scottish Government's 'Statement of Intent for Health and Wealth', provides information, guidance and support to help the companies present ideas.
These will be assessed and evaluated by experienced healthcare professionals who will be able to provide constructive criticism and feedback on potential technologies and innovations.
The products will be assessed on how the product or technology would support NHS Scotland’s strategic aims and its associated costs and benefits.
When a product has been assessed, it will be rated red, amber or green based on not being suitable, having potential or being worthwhile.
“If your proposal looks promising, the feedback from the portal will hopefully provide a platform for further development and discussion,” said Miller.
NHS Scotland has set out 12 priority areas for improvement which are of particular interest: person-centred care; safe care; primary care, unscheduled and emergency care; integrated care; care for multiple and chronic illnesses; early years; health inequalities; prevention; workforce; innovation; and efficiency and productivity.
The portal is still in early stages, but is live and accepting submissions.