Lowering the Cost of Amputee
Care in the United Kingdom



A team of Doctoral researchers from the University of Cambridge had 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 each stakeholder in the UK healthcare system would be affected in the case of this new device being widely adopted.



This healthcare start-up was struggling to assess the potential economic impact of their technology. The co-founders had already entered into negotiations with several potential investors, so their need to remedy this problem was urgent and it was imperative that their numbers were right.



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

After collecting and processing the data, we generated different scenarios to assess the economic impact of the client’s technology and mapped out the ways in which it could potentially change the healthcare industry. Our dedicated consultants conducted intensive research that lasted approximately seven weeks. We subsequently validated our findings with the support of a number of industry experts and healthcare professionals.

At the end of the project, the client was presented with a dynamic spreadsheet model which allowed them to input and apply their own set of assumptions. This was designed to allow them to update these assumptions in the future as their business progressed. This was provided alongside a report detailing our recommendations and listing the assumptions and data sources which our model had been built on. Based on our analysis, we were able to conclude that should our client’s technology be adopted as industry standard in the UK, the cost of prosthetic socks and fittings could be almost entirely eliminated, and the average total cost of amputee care could be reduced by approximately one third. The client reported back to us that they used our findings to size their accessible market and develop their pricing strategy. Following from this, they also commissioned the start of another project with us in the same year.





“Our work with First Step Consulting gave us an in-depth view of our core market enabling us to size our market and develop our pricing strategy. We were thoroughly impressed by the team’s diligence and professionalism throughout the project and look forward to working on future projects.”

— CEO, Healthcare Start-up

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