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Original article
Uptake of medical devices approved by NICE
  1. Gillian Leng1,
  2. Sarah Williams1,
  3. Isaac Hung2,
  4. Gemma Partridge1,
  5. Sonali Sanghvi1
  1. 1 National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, London, UK
  2. 2 Harvard Global Health Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Sarah Williams, National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, London M1 4BT, UK; sarah.williams122{at}


Background The UK is sometimes considered to be slow in adopting new technologies. The recent Accelerated Access Review examined adoption challenges and identified opportunities for improvements. This study aims to determine the rate of uptake of selected new medical devices approved by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence over a 10-year period, and to consider what factors may have influenced their uptake.

Methods The selected devices were approved at least 10 years ago to ensure there was sufficient data to review uptake trends. The devices that met the selection criteria were drug-eluting coronary artery stents, the brush used in liquid-based cytology, and fluid-filled thermal balloon and microwave endometrial ablation. Data on uptake were collected from the National Audit of Percutaneous Coronary Interventions (drug-eluting stents), the national cervical screening programme (liquid-based cytology) and Hospital Episode Statistics (endometrial ablation).

Results The technologies illustrated different uptake scenarios. Liquid-based cytology showed rapid and complete uptake, probably because it was a nationally driven programme. Neither drug-eluting stents nor endometrial ablation technologies were part of a national programme, and their uptake was slower. The uptake of stents has gradually increased to 88.5% of percutaneous coronary intervention procedures in the most recent data. For both fluid-filled thermal balloon and microwave ablation, there was an increase and then decline in uptake as other technologies were developed.

Conclusions The data show excellent uptake when promoted through a nationally managed programme. Uptake was slower when left to local systems. Obtaining good, reliable data about the use of medical devices in the National Health Service (NHS) is challenging—collecting real-world data linked to electronic patient records would allow us to better track the impact of new technologies in the future. More robust implementation plans may also increase the uptake rate of cost-effective and potentially life-saving technologies into the NHS.

  • innovation
  • adoption
  • uptake
  • nice
  • medical devices

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  • Contributors GL, SW and IH coauthored the manuscript. SW edited and submitted the manuscript. GP and SS were contributing authors to the manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests GL is an executive director of NICE. SW, GP and SS were funded by NICE while they worked on this paper.

  • Patient consent Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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