The latest news from the medical devices marketplace

Scotland invests in radiotherapy

The NovalisTx radiotherapy machine is to be installed in a Scottish hospital for the first time. Developed by Varian Medical Systems and Brainlab, the technology is to be deployed at The Western General Hospital in Edinburgh, providing cancer specialists with the ability to destroy cancerous cells virtually anywhere in the body in a single 20-minute session. The equipment has been introduced to The Edinburgh Cancer Centre on the site and will help to treat the 29,500 Scottish residents diagnosed with cancer every year. Radiation oncologist, Dr Sara Erridge, said: "We are delighted our centre is the first in Scotland to start treating with NovalisTx. Unlike some other highly-specialised radiation treatment machines, this can treat many different types of cancer all over the body, allowing us to treat more patients with a single device without sacrifice of clinical accuracy." In the first year the hospital hopes to treat 700 patients, 100 of whom will be patients with brain tumours where precise, non-invasive treatment is critical.

Meeting the challenge

The European Health Technology Institute and London School of Economics, in collaboration with the Association of British Healthcare Industries, will be holding a seminar later this year to explore the future challenges facing the MedTech sector. Entitled Meeting the Evidence Challenge for Medical Devices the symposium on 1 December will bring together manufacturers, decision-makers, regulators and researchers to discuss the challenges of generating and using evidence on the clinical and cost-effectiveness of healthcare equipment. It will address issues such as how manufacturers can be encouraged to generate more clinical evidence without imposing rigid standards and whether new methodological approaches can be developed to facilitate the gathering of appropriate clinical evidence on devices in regular clinical use.

Nurse call system implemented

A new nurse call system is being implemented at Prince Charles Hospital in Merthyr Tydfil. The Wandsworth Group has been contracted to design, supply, install and commission the innovative IPiN system across the emergency department, day surgery unit and12 wards. The deployment is being carried out on a phased basis while a wider refurbishment project is underway. A hospital spokesman said: "The IPiN system provides us with an efficient nurse call system and a useful management tool as it logs call and response patterns. The flexibility of the system is also a great advantage and, once staff are trained, it is easy to reconfigure should we change the use of space within the hospital and IT offers the possibility of integration with other systems from other manufacturers as the hospital's needs change."

Alarm service boosted

Chichester Careline has enhanced its 24-hour personal alarm service with a call monitoring and management system upgrade from Tunstall. The PNC6 system enhances call handling and offers automated management reports and an integrated voice recording system to improve service delivery. Brenda Jackson, centre manager at Chichester Careline, said: "We have worked with Tunstall for a number of years, providing support to residents to ensure they can live independent lives knowing help is always available when needed. The recent upgrade has been a seamless transition and has had positive feedback from staff. Many have highlighted the benefits of the new integrated voice recording function, which allows operators to access recordings of calls at the touch of a button should they need to." Along with door-entry video support and call conferencing capability, the system also includes a medical lexicon for staff to help minimise the risk of spelling errors while keying in data.

HSE issues advice on use of hoists

An information sheet has been produced aimed at helping protect healthcare staff and patients from injuries caused by hoists. The guidance from the Health and Safety Executive explains the problems associated with using hoisting equipment and lays out solutions to help avoid injury. It states: "Each year a significant number of incidents are reported in which people have been injured while being moved using hoisting equipment. This advice is intended for health and social care providers who move and handle people and will help them to comply with their legal duties." The information sheet includes guidance on equipment selection, maintenance, monitoring and training and a checklist.

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Horiba Medical UK will this month launch its latest innovation in computer-assisted microscopy. HemaCAM aims to reduce laboratory workload and simplify the creation of differential blood count, even for more unusual samples

Siemens Healthcare has integrated the navigation technology MediGuide from St Jude Medical into its Artis zee angiography systems.The medical positioning system is also available as an upgrade for a number of existing floor-mounted and biplane systems

RADA has brought out a new range of timed flow controls that will help estates and facilities managers meet increasingly-strict rules on energy and water consumption. Each system has undergone a 250,000 on/off test cycle and downtime in minimised with an all-in-one cartridge for easier maintenance.

Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics has entered into a global licensing agreement with Nephromics to develop two assays to be used as an aid in the diagnosis of pre-eclampsia

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