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Crossing the chasm: Research, market clearance & clinical use

Motilent and collaborators at University College London (led by Prof Stuart Taylor, Radiologist) and University of Nottingham (led by Dr Gordon Moran, Gastroenterologist) have been awarded a nice big grant from the premier UK funder, the NIHR. 


Aside from generating a mountain of paperwork that dwarfs Olympus Mons this project tackles the multi-faceted problem around the adoption of a new test. Specifically on crossing the gap between MARKET CLEARANCE and CLINICAL ADOPTION of our imaging technology (GIQuant) to assess treatment response in small bowel Crohn’s. 

Most of us are familiar with the concept of an ‘adoption curve’ when it comes to something new and the specific ‘chasm’ for a new medical test is defined by trust, evidence and familiarity of the technology within the clinical setting but it takes a long time. 


It takes time to show cost savings. It takes time for the clinical community to trust the tech, to confer amongst themselves and to come to a consensus on how it’s best used. It takes time for the care pathway itself to ‘flex’ and accommodate the innovation & reimbursement etc to catch up.

The problem is, this is more time than most companies can stay solvent! Also, there’s not exactly a strong incentive to change the way we’re doing things, especially cash-strapped healthcare systems like the NHS. 


However, MOTILENT is built to endure and recent NIHR funding is helping here as we develop a real world evidence dataset to help not just us but the COMMUNITY cross this evidence gap. 


Funding most importantly covers 3400 uses of GIQuant across hospitals in the NHS.

It provides statistical and health economic support (from the fantastic Prof. Sue Mallet at UCL) to extract the efficiency of GIQuant in the Radiology department. By removing (or at least) reducing the need for IV contrast and preceding spasmolytic we aim to capture a time and cost saving within the radiology department helping some payers see immediate cost savings. 


There is also a gastroenterology led component interpreting the results in the context of the clinical setting (all based on a light touch CRF approach). This evaluates the impact of a numerical score that trends up and down for small bowel Crohn’s complementing other tests like faecal cal. 


The grant provides training to support a range of radiologists and gastroenterologists outside of the premier++ centres in using this technology. It further helps to disseminate findings through conferences, meetings and publications.

It even includes patient training to get every second of value from the imaging test in the first place by removing or minimising motion artefacts etc. 


Of course what we all really want is ‘how does GIQuant improve patient management’ and we’ll get to this when a larger portion of the community knows what they’re doing with a transmural marker for SB disease and how to act on it. As said above it takes time. Just hopefully less time with some funding to grease the wheels and support real world evidence generation.


FINALLY: If you’ve made it this far you can read more on this topic from the oncology domain here on crossing the gap form a somewhat academic perspective. Re-reading this it’s interesting to see the lack of discussion on regulatory and real-world data generation which ties into this validation process. Oncology is a more dynamic space than IBD but I think we can learn a lot from adjacent thinking in these areas (not so much in patient management but tech development. Anyway!). 

For a less academic version see ‘Crossing the Chasm’ by Geoffrey Moore.

Thanks for reading.

Alex Menys



About Motilent

Motilent is a medical imaging technology company that aims to make some of the latest and most exciting image analysis technologies available to the researchers who can use them to make the important scientific advances required to advance our understanding of gastrointestinal disease.

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