News round-up

The latest news from the medical devices marketplace including new product launches, clinical trials, procurements and equipment warnings/recalls

Managed telehealth solution

TELEHEALTH Solutions has launched a new managed service combining a customised home monitoring system with a specialist triage system for patients with COPD, diabetes and chronic heart failure. The home-bbased system incorporates a range of vital sign collection devices including weight scales, a peak flow meter, thermometer, pulse oximeter, blood pressure meter, ECG, blood glucose meter and INR tester. John Dyson of Telehealth Solutions said: “The end-to-end service is a tailored, comprehensive patient care model ensuring full collaboration and dialogue between patient and healthcare professional from the outset. It is a significant step forward for patients with these long-term conditions as they can now take more control over their treatment plan and actively participate in consultations.” The launch comes just weeks before the Department of Health publishes the outcome of the NHS Whole Systems Demonstrator programme, which has trialed telehealth systems with 6,000 patients over three sites in England.

New standard for assistive technologies

NEWCASTLE University has published a report providing a new standard for independent living and mobility products. The university’s Institute for Ageing and Health, its Business School, and the Years Ahead Partnership, have carried out a feasibility study aimed at establishing a trusted product rating and approval scheme for assistive technologies. The resulting report, which has been endorsed by a number of leading retailers including Alliance Boots and Lloyds Pharmacy as well as suppliers such as Stannah, Mangar International and Patterson Medical, will help to increase awareness and confidence among consumers and stimulate innovation in the sector. The university’s Professor Tom Kirkwood, said: “We must achieve support technologies that are mainstreamed so they are adopted early without people feeling stigmatised. None of this is easy to achieve. It requires products and services better designed to address those needs and much improved information for both the consumer and the retailer. From the number and variety of organisations endorsing its findings, the scheme proposed by this study has the potential to really address these important issues.” Dr Maggie Winchcombe, an occupational therapist and founder of the Years Ahead Partnership, added: “This report is a timely and important contribution to the development of the emerging assistive technology market. It offers a carefully considered argument for a scheme designed to enhance consumer awareness and build confidence in products and services that, up until recently, have been largely in the control of healthcare professionals. This study is the first serious attempt to engage wide stakeholder support for a scheme that will crucially put consumers in control, but also harnesses healthcare professionals’ expertise.”

Safety alert over bath lift

A MEDICAL Device Alert has been issued amid concerns a bath lift could fail due to component fatigue. The Endres Riviera model manufactured by Drive Medical has been purchased by a number of NHS trusts and private healthcare organisations. But, after an earlier Field Safety Notice issued by the manufacturer failed to identify all the devices currently being used, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), has issued a formal alert. It states that the manufacturer has now revised operating instructions to include an estimated life expectancy for the device, as well as drafting new maintenance guidance. In addition, Drive Medical has also issued updating guidance on its Nimbo paediatric walkers and rollators.

Homerton awards decontamination contract

HOMERTON University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has extended its contract with Synergy Health, entering into a new sterile services agreement for the decontamination of surgical instruments. Adrian Coward, chief executive of Synergy Health, said: “We are deeply committed to delivering the highest quality in everything we do; going the extra mile to make a difference, solve problems and reduce risk. For Homerton we incorporated single-use and reusable theatre consumables into the agreement, offering significant price benefits and added value, with the potential of increasing our supply of medical products.” Synergy Health has been running the trust’s sterile services department for a number of years, processing around a million items per annum.

Wandsworth wins £1m nursecall deal

THE Wandsworth Group has been awarded a £1m contract to design, manufacture and install a nursecall system for the £430m Bristol Southmead Hospital PFI scheme. The Ethernet-based IPiN system will be installed at the 790-bed facility, which is due to open in 2013. Gary Stevens, managing director of Wandsworth, said: “The IPiN system is a fully addressable IP system which can not only assist in minimising nurse responses times, but can also help to deliver better resource management and operational efficiency thanks to its ability to provide real-time data. What’s more, it will also help to futureproof the hospital as it can be integrated with other IP technologies and also offers the ability to provide remote monitoring and fault diagnosis via a secure on-line access.” The system will be installed in the smart wall units of all beds at the hospital, as well as in treatment, clinical and acute areas and operating theatres.

Leg prosthesis breaks new ground

OTTO Bock Healthcare has launched the first in a new generation of intelligent, microprocessor-controlled leg prostheses. Genium has been designed to redefine quality of life and mobility for amputees, providing the closest walking pattern to a natural gait of any prosthetic limb currently on the market. A key advancement is the intuitive stance function, which differentiates between when a user is standing still and walking. This enables them to achieve natural weight distribution and stand on flat, uneven or even inclined surfaces. Philip Yates, managing director of Otto Bock Healthcare, said, “In developing new prosthetic systems, Otto Bock strives to reduce the differences between the body’s natural abilities and artificial replacements. The Genium represents our latest work decoding the complexity of human gait in ever greater detail and incorporating our insights into a functional, stable, everyday prosthetic system that will redefine quality of life and everyday mobility for amputees.”

ALSO IN THE NEWS:

Williams Medical Supplies has signed an exclusive partnership with Mediracer to bring a pioneering new diagnostic tool for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome onto the market. Mediracer NCS helps to detect nerve entrapments in the hand using disposable surface electrodes.

Ark Therapeutics Group has signed a manufacturing agreement with University of Glasgow’s Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences under which Ark will provide full manufacturing and related services to support the development of a gene-therapy programme for the treatment of vein graft failure associated with coronary artery bypass surgery.

Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust has installed an Ysio wi-D digital radiography system from Siemens Healthcare to assist with rapid throughput within its new accident and emergency department. It is hoping the new system will alleviate pressure on other departments by increasing imaging capacity and shortening examination times.

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