Lowering the Cost of Amputee Care in the UK 2017-06-26T03:40:34+00:00

Lowering the Cost of Amputee Care in the UK


A team of PhD researchers from the University of Cambridge have been developing a medical device that has the potential to vastly decrease the cost of amputee care for healthcare providers and patients. First Step Consulting was engaged to pinpoint how exactly every stakeholder in the UK healthcare system would be affected in the case of this new device being widely adopted.

Client Challenge

This healthcare start-up was struggling to assess the potential economic impact of their technology. Since the co-founders were already negotiating with several potential investors, they had to solve this problem as soon as possible and getting the numbers right was vital.


Initially we developed a detailed understanding of the patient pathway and identified 6 critical stages (e.g. surgery, prosthetic fitting). We also closely examined various stakeholders in this industry, such as the NHS and prosthetic manufacturers. Later we created a model, which incorporates nearly 100 input variables such as the average annual cost of prosthetic maintenance, to outline the cost structure for the care of a typical amputee patient in the first year following the surgical operation.

Once we managed to specify the data, we speculated the ways in which this technology could change the healthcare industry. Our dedicated consultants conducted exhaustive research that lasted about seven weeks. Partnering with our client, we have also validated the findings with the support of a number of industry experts.

At the end of the project, a spreadsheet that details the model was presented to the client enabling them to apply different sets of assumptions. A report that lists our assumptions and the data sources used was also submitted. Based on this analysis, we concluded that the medical device that our client has been developing could almost entirely eliminate the cost of prosthetic sockets and fittings most particularly and decrease the average total cost of amputee care by around one third should the device could become an industry standard in the UK. The client reported back to us that they have used our findings to size their accessible market and develop their pricing strategy and we started another project together in the same year.

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