Latest news from the medical devices marketplace

Graduates win funding

GRADUATES from the University of Surrey have won funding to help them produce a new hybrid system that will improve the management of NHS patients in their own homes. Thoughtified, a start-up company created by Aaron Mason and Georgios Michalakidis, graduates of the Department of Computing, has won a grant from the Technology Strategy Board that will enable the development of a participatory sensing system to improve the management of patient records in remote treatment. The web and smartphone hybrid system is expected to bring about significant cost savings for the NHS through improved utilisation of resources and by reducing the inefficiencies typically incurred in the treatment of patients at home.

Mason said: “We are delighted to have won this grant, which recognises how our proposed system will meet a defined need within the NHS for better maintenance of patient records, saving both time and money.” The Technology Strategy Board funding has been matched through contributions from Thoughtified, Central Surrey Health and the University of Surrey.

New era for liver care

FOR the first time, the Royal Liverpool University Hospital is performing strain and contrast imaging of the liver following the installation of its third diagnostic ultrasound system from Siemens Healthcare. The Acuson S2000 system is located in the ultrasound department and will be used to measure the stiffness of liver tissue using an advanced Liver Tissue Analysis Package. “We chose the S2000 to replace our old system because of its superb image quality and capability for performing advanced elastography,” said Colin Griffin, ultrasound lead at the hospital. “Staff are already familiar and very happy with the other S2000s we have in the department, so it was the logical choice, especially due to the ARFI quantification package for giving specific values for tissue stiffness. In the future we are looking to use the system for an internal research project to evaluate its suitability for other types of contrast examinations.”

£14m telecare scheme for Birmingham

BIRMINGHAM City Council has invested £14m in a large-scale, city-wide telecare service in partnership with Tunstall. The deployment, which is believed to be the first of its kind in the UK, will ensure safety and support for older and vulnerable residents while maximising their independence. To benefit up to 25,000 people over three years, the initiative combines a response service with a range of telecare solutions from Tunstall, including motion detectors and temperature sensors.

Councillor Sue Anderson, cabinet member for adults and communities, said: “We are proud to provide services that mean vulnerable adults across the city can continue to live independently with the additional reassurance that they are being monitored 24 hours a day. This partnership marks a significant milestone in how we are improving the lives of adults we support throughout the city and will ensure more adults can remain in their own homes, reducing the need for hands-on home care or a move into residential care.”

Tunstall's Simon Arnold added: “Our commitment with Birmingham City Council is truly innovative in terms of its partnership approach. It brings together parties from the public, private and voluntary sectors to deliver community-based services that will enhance residents’ independence and promote self management, while ensuring 24-hour care is available.”

Septicaemia kit launched by medics

JUNIOR doctors at Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust (NGH) have designed a new medical kit that will help save patients lives when dealing with septicaemia. The NGH sepsis kit contains all the equipment needed to fight blood poisoning as soon as signs of it are spotted, and one of the boxes has now been added to each of the hospital's wards, saving vital time by having everything in one place when its use is required. Jane Bradley, director of nursing at NGH, said: “This is something that will speed things up and that is so important when we see the signs of sepsis. Everything we need is in this one box, all in one place and it means nurses and doctors aren’t searching here, there and everywhere when the clock is ticking for that patient.”

Home oxygen system unveiled

ROYAL Philips Electronics has launched a home oxygen measurement device designed to monitor people diagnosed with respiratory disorders such as sleep apnea and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Based on a single-finger probe, the new Oximetry Module was launched during the 2011 Congress of the European Respiratory Society in Amsterdam. It is designed to help physicians better determine whether complex respiratory events are present during a person’s period of sleep at home. “Greater insight provided by simple cost-effective monitoring tools like oximetry and other signals obtained from non-invasive positive pressure ventilation devices, help to identify issues early in the patient’s therapy. This subsequently improves their long-term outcomes and quality of life,” said Dr Claudio Rabec, clinical expert in pulmonary diseases at the University Hospital of Dijon in France.

ALSO IN THE NEWS:

Knightsbridge Furniture has launched the new Caspia range of cabinets designed specifically for dementia patients.

Dialog Devices has achieved CE Mark approval for its Padd technology, which uses infra-red light to assess peripheral arterial disease, which can increase the risk of a blood clot reaching the heart or brain and causing a stroke of heart attack.

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