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06 June 2024

London Institute for Healthcare Engineering key to unlocking MedTech potential

The London Institute for Healthcare Engineering (LIHE) is unlocking the potential of innovative medical technologies to change the lives of patients around the world.

London Institute for Healthcare Engineering

As the first MedTech Venture Builder in the UK, LIHE will help new healthcare technologies navigate the complex and often blocked path to clinical and commercial success by bringing together world-class research and development expertise across academia, the NHS and the MedTech industry.

The UK is a leader in the development of such technology and the third biggest contributor to Europe’s €160bn MedTech market. The projected growth for the market is substantial, with an 14.9% (2019 – 2028) compound annual growth rate predicted just for the submarket of interventional robotics.

However, only a small number of life-saving innovations make it to the patient bedside due to the challenges of scaling a business and regulatory complexities involved in taking a medical technology to market. A recent report by the Association of British HealthTech Industries (ABHI) and CPI found that “almost half of HealthTech companies have now removed products from the market due to insurmountable regulatory challenges”.

LIHE will unlock this process by providing companies access to King’s College London’s world-leading scientific, market access and commercialisation capabilities, and regulatory and quality management services. This includes a dedicated Venture Builder - a UK-first - with experts working collaboratively with entrepreneurs on go-to-market strategy and regulatory affairs.

The tragedy of the MedTech sector is that even life-saving ideas do not get to see clinical use and help patients. We want to change this.

Dr Nicolas Huber, Director of Commercial Operations and Partnerships at LIHE

He added: "London has the critical mass to be a world-class MedTech hotspot, as we have top researchers, clinicians and a uniquely diverse patient population. By collocating key experts and entrepreneurs in one physical space so close to clinical practice, we will give innovations the best chance to reach patients, at scale."

The new building is next door to St Thomas’ Hospital that serves a very diverse patient population, a benefit unique to the make-up of London.

Professor Sebastien Ourselin and Nicolas Huber
Professor Sebastien Ourselin and Nicolas Huber

Hypervision Surgical, a King’s spin-out, are one of the first companies to take up residence at LIHE. The company harnesses AI and advanced imaging to create a platform for real-time tissue analysis in the operating theatre that aims to make surgeries more precise, safer and faster.

The company, formed by clinicians, medical imaging and AI experts, raised £6.5M in seed investments last year.

Professor Sebastien Ourselin FREng FMedSci is the Director of LIHE and a key driving force behind the Institute. With years of experience in translating and commercialising healthcare technology, he saw the need for an initiative like LIHE.

He said: “In the MedTech sector, most of the innovation is led by smaller start-ups or university spinouts while translation at scale is achieved by a few larger companies. LIHE is designed as an ecosystem to bring both sides of this equation together, and to support ventures within an all-encompassing framework that enables them to create positive patient impacts at pace.”

LIHE will also provide an important ecosystem for the next generation of innovators, with King’s students on the MedTech Innovation & Entrepreneurship and Healthcare Technologies MSc courses to receive experiential training at LIHE.

In this story

Sebastien Ourselin

Professor of Healthcare Engineering

Nicolas Huber

Director, Commercial Operations and Partnerships, London Institute for Healthcare Engineering