Figures released today show that the AHSN Network has generated almost £500 million inward investment during the past two years (2018- 2020), and helped to create or protect close to 2000 jobs.

The value of health innovation

Commenting on the new figures, Rob Berry, Head of Innovation, KSS AHSN, said:

“These figures show the scale of the impact that AHSN support provides to health technology companies across the spectrum from SMEs to multinationals. They help confirm that our services, from supporting companies to understand the buyer perspective, through evidence gathering to engagement locally and nationally, not only de-risk the efforts of staff within health tech companies, but also reduce risk for those investing in these selected solutions.

“Without doubt the increase in emphasis on real world validation (the deliberate creation of demonstrator sites and material to support wide-scale uptake) is making a difference. The ability to provide users and buyers with insights about the benefits that can be realised and how, gives them greater confidence and, in doing so, accelerates uptake of products and services as they enter the NHS market.

“Our services are as relevant to companies just on or close to market, as they are to those at earlier stages. To find out more about how we can help, contact your local AHSN or find an AHSN via the innovation exchange. And look out in the new year for support from the forthcoming Innovator Service, led by the Accelerated Access Collaborative.”

Support for diffusion is one such company. Having turned the smartphone camera into a regulatory approved clinical device, they have attracted over £50 million in investment during 2019/20 alone, with ongoing support from nine AHSNs around the country and the NHS Innovation Accelerator.

Katherine Ward, Chief Commercial Officer, Managing Director UK and Europe, said:
“Primary and secondary care settings are under extreme pressure, and our technology can help significantly reduce pressure on limited NHS resources. The support the AHSN network gives to diffusing innovation at scale is helping us ensure more patients who require urgent attention can be managed and treated rapidly.”

Effective response

The AHSN Network works closely with a huge range of companies, helping them to adapt quickly and respond to NHS needs in the most effective way – for example, in the early days of the pandemic the Network was able to quickly curate a database of over 350 proven technologies that could be interrogated against COVID-19 challenge areas.

Since 2018, the AHSNs have supported 5145 companies, entering into 322 long term strategic partnerships.

Nicola Hutchinson, Innovation Exchange and Economic Growth Director for the AHSN Network said:
“The value of health innovation has never been so evident than it is now. The dynamic way many companies we work with have been able to grow and work with health and care providers has been inspiring. I am extremely proud of our AHSN teams across the country who have played a vital role in delivering transformation of key NHS services and pathways. Every day our teams support health innovators from idea to implementation, so that they can in turn support our NHS staff and improve the lives of patients.
“In this difficult economic climate, it is more important than ever to provide the right kind of guidance to companies who can prosper and help our nation to recover from this crisis.”

Find out more

To find out more about KSS AHSN’s support for industry, please have a look at our Bridging the Gap service or email