The Medtech Accelerator, a new company set up to provide proof of concept financial awards to support development of medical technology and software innovations originating primarily from within the NHS, today announced the first round of successful projects. Three pioneering projects will share in £200K to help progress their early stage technologies towards viable solutions to currently unmet healthcare needs.
The Medtech Accelerator was launched at the end of 2016 as a unique joint venture between the NHS and regional business partners including Health Enterprise East (HEE), New Anglia and Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough (GCGP) Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs), and the Eastern Academic Health Science Network (AHSN). The company recognises the current lack of funding available for proof of concept work in healthcare, and provides necessary support and financing for NHS-led projects in order to maximise the potential for success in bringing new life enhancing technologies to patients.
Following the first call for applications to the Medtech Accelerator, awards go to:
Award 1: Arterial GlucoSave
Dr Maryanne Mariyaselvam and Dr Peter Young – Queen Elizabeth Hospital King’s Lynn NHS Foundation Trust
A patient safety solution to eliminate the common error of incorrect fluids being administered as the flush solution prior to blood sampling from an arterial line in the critical care setting. A sodium chloride solution is the recommended flush solution but can often be confused with glucose-containing bags. This can result in artefactually high glucose concentrations in blood samples drawn from the arterial line leading to insulin administration causing hypoglycaemia and fatal neuroglycopenic brain injury. The Arterial GlucoSave technology designs out this error and the award will be used to take early prototypes through to a CE marked medical device ready for market.
Award 2: Helping children with ‘glue ear’ to hear
Dr Tamsin Brown – Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust *
The development of a novel bone conduction headset technology for children with long-term glue ear, the persistent build-up of ear wax in the ear canal. The technology will be used in the school, clinical and home settings to overcome the child’s hearing loss, preventing them from falling behind at school at a crucial development stage. The award will allow the team to further build up the business case for the technology including gaining market insight to progress product development.
Award 3: Bacteriophage-based solution for the treatment of implant related infections
Professor Iain McNamara – Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundations Trust **
Bacterial infection accounts for 25% of revision hip and knee replacement operations resulting in surgical site infections (SSIs) in orthopaedic surgery. Revision of infected implants is associated with substantial morbidity and economic cost. This project will develop a new biologic based product coating (bacteriophage) for implanted prosthetic materials to eradicate bacterial infections in revision hip and knee joint replacement surgery. The award brings together four parties and will cover both the initial production and testing of the bacteriophage in an in-house model system with a view to designing a path for commercialisation.
Stuart Thomson, Medtech Accelerator commented: “The Medtech Accelerator is a great example of a public sector partnership working together to encourage creative thinking within the NHS. The quality of applications following our inaugural call has been outstanding and really illustrates that the NHS is full of entrepreneurial people with the ideas and expertise to improve healthcare. We are delighted to be supporting three fantastic examples of innovation and look forward to working closely with the inventors to make the ideas a reality for patients.”
Steven Wilson, Head of Innovation at GCGP Enterprise Partnership added: “As an LEP we are focussed on helping to drive forward sustainable economic growth in our area. With Life Sciences recognised as a priority key sector for us in the recent East of England Science and Innovation Audit, we are delighted to be part of the Medtech Accelerator joint venture and to see this first round of awards being made under our co-investment.”
* in collaboration with Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust Clinical Engineering
** in collaboration with University of East Anglia (UEA), Institute of Food Research (IFR) and ANGLIAN AGRI-TECH VENTURES