MedTech Innovation Briefings - help with bringing new devices and technologies to the NHS

NICE medtech innovation briefings (MIBs) aim to support NHS and social care commissioners and staff who are considering using new medical devices and other medical or diagnostic technologies.

The briefings will help avoid the need for organisations to produce similar information locally, saving staff time and resources.

Each briefing includes:

  • a description of the technology, how it’s used and its potential role in the treatment pathway
  • a review of relevant published evidence and the likely costs of using the technologies.

MIBs are designed to be fast, flexible and responsive to the need for information on innovative technologies.

This year we produced 36 MIBs on a number of different topics ranging from burns management to diagnosing dry eye disease.

How do we develop our briefings?

Our medtech innovation briefings are developed as part of the NICE Medical Technologies Evaluation Programme. Topics are identified from a range of sources such as NHS England, through engagement with manufacturers, and partner organisations.

Each briefing is authored by an external assessment centre that searches for and sifts the evidence, before critically appraising it. The centre then develops a draft briefing and involves the manufacturer and specialist commentators. Each briefing takes around 12 weeks to develop.

Surgical scissors for help with childbirth

Episiotomy is a procedure performed during labour, where a cut is made in order for the baby to pass through the vagina more easily. Episiotomy can protect against obstetric and anal injuries, yet the cutting angle is important. If the cutting angle is less than 45 degress than the perineal midline, there is a higher risk of injury. Cutting angles higher than 60 degrees are shown to be ineffective.

The Episcissors-60 are surgical scissors that can be used to guide episiotomy, and provide an alternative to standard episiotomy scissors where the cutting angle needs to be estimated. The scissors can be used in hospital settings, midwifery and obstetric units, primary care midwifery units or birth centres and during home births. The briefing summarises the evidence so far and the cost and resource implications for NHS services.

App for replacing fluid loss in burns victims

A major complication associated with burn injuries is fluid loss. It is important then to make sure lost fluids are replaced in a quick and effective way. Currently, several calculations are carried out in order to devise a protocol for fluid resuscitation. However, this has potential for leading to error.

Mersey burns is an app that helps to determine the amount of fluids that a person with burns requires. The app calculates the percentage area of the body that is affected by the burn and uses this to calculate the amount of fluid needed.

The briefing summarises the evidence so far and the resource implications for NHS services.

Test to diagnose antibiotic-resistant bacteria

Carbapenemase‑producing organisms are Gram-negative bacteria that are usually resistant to carbapenem antibiotics. These are usually the drug of last resort of many bacterial infections, as they are often used when other course of antibiotic treatment have failed.

People who carry these bacteria harmlessly in their gut can transmit them to other people in hospitals through faecal contamination of hands, shared equipment and the hospital environment.

These people may then become infected with the bacteria, or become colonised without symptoms, leading to further transmission. Without being able to identify people who are colonised, and implementing appropriate infection prevention and control measures, these bacteria can quickly become established in a hospital.

The Xpert Carba‑R is a diagnostic test that detects organisms that have carbapenemase genes and differentiates between the 5 most prevalent carbapenemase gene families. The briefing summarises the evidence and place in management.