New reports by CPI chart the future for the UK HealthTech industry

23 Oct 2023

New reports identify solutions to make UK more attractive to MedTech companies and enable innovative products to reach the market faster.

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Reports published today by CPI call for an urgent MedTech industrial strategy in order to avoid the UK falling behind in the rapidly growing HealthTech sector. The reports warn that unless the Government steps in to support the industry, the country could lose out on highly skilled jobs and billions of pounds in revenue. 

Published against a backdrop of ever-increasing NHS wait lists, medical technologies provide innovative solutions to diagnosis and treatment which could lead the way in solving some of our biggest health challenges. 

UK HealthTech abroad

Challenges and Opportunities for UK HealthTech Manufacturing Scale Up

Challenges and Opportunities for UK HealthTech Manufacturing Scale Up highlights that many companies have, or are considering, moving overseas to benefit from more competitive pricing and more flexible manufacturing processes.

Interviews with UK medical technology businesses that were conducted as part of the report, reveal that companies want to keep their products in the UK. However, governments overseas provide more support to the sector, allowing for manufacturers in other countries to provide services at much more competitive rates.

The report, led by CPI in collaboration with ABHI and funding from Innovate UK, is based on interviews, surveys and workshops with about 100 UK companies within the sector.

Why innovation is needed

An Action Plan: Driving Growth of the UK Digital Health Industry

A second report – An Action Plan: Driving Growth of the UK Digital Health Industry – maps the changes that are needed for the UK to maximise its vast global potential in the digital health market.

As the largest subsector within HealthTech, digital health consists of products that collect, process or use data within a healthcare setting, including electronic patient records, image analysis tools and connected wearable devices. This report shows that this fast-growing industry is being hampered in the UK by capacity issues and slow pace.

The report was written with support from Cambridge Design Partnership and funded by Innovate UK, reflecting insights from over 50 stakeholders across the digital health ecosystem.

Rahul Kapoor, HealthTech Director at CPI, said:

We urgently need a HealthTech industrial growth strategy. The barriers identified in these reports must be lifted, to allow UK to tap into the full growth potential. HealthTech is a significant contributor to the UK economy with an annual turnover of nearly £30 billion and allows patients to live healthier and longer lives. 

Government support to accelerate UK HealthTech ecosystem can drive industrial growth and help accelerate UK’s life sciences growth ambitions on our shores.” 

Rapid Fluidics Ltd, based in Newcastle-upon Tyne, uses 3D printing to create MedTech prototypes. CEO Paul Marshall provides an insight into the challenges faced by companies in the health-tech space.”

Paul Marshall, CEO of Rapid Fluidics, said:

There are so many possibilities in the UK for HealthTech, we have a wealth of experience in R&D and innovation, but it falls down at the point of scaling up and getting these products to the people that need them most. That’s what we want to do as a company, but faced with so many regulatory and manufacturing challenges makes that extremely difficult. It can take a number of years before people in the UK get access to our technology. By keeping HealthTech products in the UK, it’s not just good for business and the economy, we can tackle the health problems we face too.”

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