Healthcare device innovation

Successful health care delivery requires effective healthcare devices as tools for prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation. Healthcare devices can encompass a range of technologies such as surgical tools, instrumentation, stents, minimally invasive surgery, medical diagnostic devices and instrumentation, sensors and sensing systems, assistive technology including devices for rehabilitation, rehabilitation and independent living.

The medical devices sector is a relatively high growth and high value-added industry, working in areas such as manufacture of medical devices. Growth in this market, economic pressure on healthcare systems, and meeting the health needs associated with expansion of the elderly population are key factors driving the research base. There is a need to ensure a continued supply of doctoral graduates in biomedical engineering and related disciplines with the skills and capability to innovate in this sector, and to train the next generation of biomedical engineering (BME) researchers to maintain the UK’s research position. This requires students to learn about clinical practice, business techniques and regulatory and safety issues fundamental to understanding the complexity of the healthcare supply chain.

Proposals should offer multidisciplinary, translation-focused industrially and clinically relevant doctoral training that builds upon research excellence and will develop skilled people for the healthcare and life sciences sector.

Training should cover appropriate exposure to end user/ patient involvement, safety, regulatory and ethical approval processes, as well as topics such as risk management, life cycle analysis, Intellectual Property, strategic business and market analysis, and systems-based approaches. Proposals should have significant industrial involvement and clinical connectivity. Joint supervision from the most appropriate disciplines is required.

Graduates should have the skills to innovate responsibly, with an appreciation of innovation and translation pathways (for example of clinical trials, health economics and socio-technological contexts).

Proposals should link appropriately to relevant training programmes funded through routes other than the Centres for Doctoral Training.