For the Record with Michael Branagan-Harris, CEO, Device Access UK

July 6  

Since 1989, Michael Branagan-Harris, CEO of Device Access UK Ltd, has been involved in accelerating patient access to great technology in the UK’s health care system – the National Health Service, or NHS. 

In 2010, Michael founded Device Access UK to help other MedTech companies succeed, and his team consists of specialists in NHS hospital engagement and Change Management, Health Economics and Outcomes research, helping to produce fast-track publications of economic evidence, and has to date supported over 45 clients though NICE Health Technology Assessments.

Give us Device Access UK’s elevator pitch.

Our goals are to get great devices to technologies faster. We do this by demonstrating the real value of your technology to patients, care providers and payers, while optimizing your selling price.

As a leader, did your role changed during COVID-19?

Yes, we have been even more eager to find technological solutions to help over 5 million patients in our country who are waiting for elective surgery. We need more technologies to reduce length of hospital stay and reduce recovery time. On the business front, like most others out there, we stated to work remotely — which was seamless, really. Our use of promoting the business digitally and holding regular webinars with leading experts has grown the existing client base considerably. Working with Medical Alley has really helped, too, on those introductions and networking!

How did Device Access pivot to address the needs that arose during the COVID-19 pandemic?

We have access to real time waiting list data by each hospital, as well as access to over 1.3 billion historic claims from our hospital episodes database. This gives us great insights as to where technologies can really help patients, enable care providers to work more efficiently and profitably, and deliver real value for payers. This has helped us to help our clients grown their businesses during these challenging times.

What are the big milestones to come in the next few years for Device Access? 

We are working with experienced experts and specialists to help MedTech companies develop the right evidence right at the start for health technology assessments. This is an important milestone for us to help them to ensure the research is right from the start from a HTA perspective. This is an area we want to grow, and finding the best talent out there to support our valued clients. We also want to publish even more health economic papers to support the economic value of innovative Medical technologies for our clients.

What does leadership look like to you?

Simple, really: finding the very best people, giving them flexibility and the responsibility of running the business, and trusting them to deliver, while having a lot of fun.

What is the best advice you have received in your career? What is the worst?

The best: “Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is practically a cliché. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.” —Ray Croc, Founder of McDonalds

The worst: “You can’t do that!”

What have been the most rewarding moments in your career?

Transforming the care of patients suffering venous reflux disease with a new minimally invasive endovascular treatment while I was working at VNUS Medical Technologies with the VNUS Closure system. We helped eliminate and replace a very old treatment, which started around 1905. This was a huge success for me and the UK subsidiary which I ran, and through working to help my teams’ lives easier to reduce selling barriers and sell faster, I took the VNUS Closure treatment to the top people in NHS England, who subsequently recommended it for all English hospitals. This was done because we clearly demonstrated the new treatment benefits to patients, hospitals and payers. I am very proud of this achievement and for the efforts of my team who worked hard to deliver this — we had great times, and it helped me get to where I am today. Since then, I am proud of helping over 45 companies through the UK HTA – NICE, made possible by networking and working with some outstanding companies in the USA — especially through Medical Alley!

What is one personal goal for the upcoming year?  

It would be great to travel again when things open up. I’m missing the human contact and getting across the pond!

How do you relax / decompress?

A 20-minute swim a day in an unheated pool helps me to wake up. I really enjoy gravel cycling locally in the New Forest National Park, and run a gravel cycling group with over 500 members. I also keep bees, which is not as simple as I thought it would be!

What do you enjoy most about the Medical Alley community?

Put simply, the knowledge you guys have of the needs of the industry, just how technology works and just how to help. The networking is outstanding – great work by all!

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