New app for COPD patients is among innovation tariff’s six new technologies

BMJ 2016; 355 doi: (Published 03 November 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;355:i5922
  1. Jacqui Wise
  1. London

NHS England has announced the first six medical innovations to be included in a new fast track payment scheme.1 These include an app to improve self management of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, angled scissors to reduce tears during episiotomy, and new treatments for Clostridium difficile infection and benign prostatic hyperplasia.

The innovation and technology tariff aims to improve access to cutting edge technologies by removing the need for multiple local price negotiations and guaranteeing automatic reimbursement. NHS England will be able to negotiate bulk buy price discounts for hospitals and clinical commissioning groups (CCGs).

NHS England will evaluate the tariff’s impact on improving patient outcomes and increased efficiency throughout the NHS. The number of innovations included in the tariff will be extended in the future through the Academic Health Science Networks.

Simon Stevens, NHS England chief executive, said, “The NHS has a proud track record of world firsts in medical innovation, but getting wide uptake has often been far too slow. Our new payment system brings clarity on fast track funding to get groundbreaking new treatments and technologies to NHS patients. Many of them not only improve care but will save the NHS money too.”

Stevens also announced separate central funding for CCGs to buy mobile electrocardiograph devices that patients can use to identify and measure atrial fibrillation.

The six innovations are:

  • Web based applications for self management of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease to help patients use their inhalers more effectively. CCGs could save an estimated £140 000 (€155 000; $172 000) a year on average, from a reduction in face to face sessions.

  • Guided mediolateral episiotomy scissors to minimise the risk of obstetric anal sphincter injury during episiotomy. Preventing these injuries would dramatically increase new mothers’ quality of life, and NHS England said that halving litigation costs alone could save the NHS £23.5m.

  • Frozen microbiota transplantation to treat C difficile infection. The treatment produces 90% cure rates and would reduce antibiotic use.

  • Prostatic urethral lift systems to treat lower urinary tract symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia as a day case. This procedure uses adjustable, permanent implants to pull excess prostatic tissue away so that it does not block the urethra. Unlike existing surgical treatments or laser the procedure does not need a hospital stay, and it has significantly fewer side effects and complications.

  • Arterial connecting systems to reduce bacterial contamination and accidental administration of intravenous medicine into an arterial line.

  • Pneumonia prevention systems designed to stop ventilator associated pneumonia. Some 3000 to 6000 people a year die from this type of pneumonia in the United Kingdom.


View Abstract

Sign in

Log in through your institution