Authored article

Articulating health innovation needs, priorities and principles

Dr Stuart Dollow, founder of Vermilion Life Sciences and Accelerated Access champion sets out his vision.

Stuart Dollow

I am exceptionally pleased to have been asked to champion one of the workstreams of the Accelerated Access Review. Our work aims to initiate and set the tone for collaborative, sustainable working at the entry point for innovative research and development based on patient needs.

While the UK is widely recognised for its excellence in life science – particularly its regulation and assessment – the perception of our performance in clinical trials and adoption of innovation into healthcare is less positive.

With our strong science and national healthcare system, there is untapped potential for greater research involvement and global influence to be translated into improved health.

Therefore we want to increase the level and quality of dialogue between innovators, regulators, the healthcare system and users.

We need to examine how we better articulate the needs and priorities for innovation, so they can be translated into meaningful research, to accelerate development and ultimately lead to health improvements for the UK population.

This will include incorporation of patient perspectives on unmet needs, as well as important measures to assess innovations, guiding their development and determining their value. By positively influencing the direction of research, we can assist innovators in understanding the value of their work to prioritise it, based on its relevance and impact to the NHS and patients.

Our work will explore the type of relationships that are needed between innovators and end users, and all those in-between, and their ongoing dialogue to facilitate success for the other aspects of the innovation pathway. Our ultimate aim is to accelerate development, access and uptake to improve health.

We aim to translate the unique features of our science and healthcare system into meaningful benefits that will attract innovators to conduct their R&D in the UK. To attract innovators, we aim to ensure those benefits, and their translation into tangible deliverables, have global relevance through strong leadership, an integrated approach to delivery, and ongoing support.

We aim to understand the needs of all stakeholders to ensure this dialogue is not simply reactive advice, but initiates a proactive and ongoing partnership to sustain the development of innovations. A partnership that demonstrates the UK’s lead in the direction, decision making and delivery of innovation, which will positively impact the value and cost effectiveness of innovations. Together we aim to set the scene for early dialogue and uptake, and ongoing evaluation of innovation to ensure benefits to health are realised.

We are working with a wide group of stakeholders through workshops and will also be providing other opportunities for you to input. I recognise that we will only be successful if we listen carefully, if we understand and address the concerns and barriers to translation of the UK’s talent for science, into meaningful delivery. So, if you have ideas or solutions you can add, please do get involved.

Published 18 June 2015