D4D live on BBC Radio Sheffield!

BBC Radio Sheffield presenter Rony Robinson spoke exclusively to Nicola Heron, programme manager, and Oliver Wells, commercial director from D4D about the Sheffield support snood and their bid to win £10,000 as part of the NHS Innovation Challenge Prizes ‘Acorn Challenge’. The interview, which is broadcast to 200,000-plus listeners, outlined how the special motor neurone disease support snood was developed, what the benefits would be for patients, and what D4D intend to do with the £10,000 prize money if they win. The presenter even gave his personal backing to the team – informing listeners that ‘all of Sheffield was behind them!”

Benefits for patients living with renal disease

An article written by David Coyle, project manager at NIHR Devices for Dignity HTC, has been published in KidneyLife, the magazine of the National Kidney Federation. The article reviews technology innovations with potential to benefit patients living with renal disease and improve their quality of life.

Read the article here (pdf download, 184KB)

Download the KidneyLife Magazine here. (pdf download, 3MB)

Visit the website of the National Kidney Federation here.

Medical technology designers to face Dragons Den judges for £10,000 innovation prize

Medical technology designers are to pitch a new contoured support snood helping to improve the quality of lives of motor neurone disease sufferers whose neck muscles have weakened to a panel of Dragons’ Den style judges as part of a £10,000 innovation challenge.

A team of experts from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) funded Devices for Dignity Healthcare Technology Co-operative have been singled out from hundreds of entries across the country to showcase the work as part of the NHS Innovation Challenge Prizes ‘Acorn Challenge’.

The NHS Innovation Challenge Prizes is being run by NHS England and aims to recognise and reward small ideas that have the potential to make a big difference to patients.

The Sheffield support snood is a lightweight neck collar that sits along the contours of the patient’s neck muscles, allowing patients’ freedom to move their neck.

The unique design – which has been tested on 26 patients suffering with motor neurone disease – could be used for patients suffering with other devastating neurological conditions, such as stroke and trauma, and makes everyday tasks such as eating and speaking easier for patients whose quality of life is already severely impaired by debilitating illnesses.

The Sheffield support snood has been designed and developed thanks to a collaboration between the NIHR Devices for Dignity Healthcare Technology Co-operative, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Sheffield Hallam University and the University of Sheffield.

Nicola Heron, programme manager for the NIHR Devices for Dignity Healthcare Technology Co-operative, said: “The Sheffield support snood was created in response to patients living with motor neurone disease and other neurological conditions who told us existing neck collars provide insufficient support or completely immobilise the neck, negatively impacting on the quality of their life.

“Although we cannot stop the disease itself from worsening, the collar has the potential to make life more comfortable for patients already suffering with a debilitating illness by alleviating pain and discomfort caused by weakened neck muscles.

“We’re delighted that we’ve been given this fantastic opportunity to showcase the significant improvement in wellbeing our newly-designed collar offers. If successful we will use the prize money to manufacture a new batch of collars for patients with motor neurone disease, which can market in the UK and other big countries such as the USA. We are also keen to explore if the product can be used to support patients with other neurological conditions.”

The team will present in front of the Dragons’ Den NHS Innovation Challenge Prizes judges on Wednesday 3 December. The judging panel will consist of leading figures from the NHS, industry and third sector.

Winners will be announced on or after Thursday 8 January 2015.

To find out more about the NHS Innovation Challenge Prizes visit www.england.nhs.uk/ourwork/innovation/challenge-prizes

Download full press release (pdf; 106KB)

Clinicians hack into eight-hour challenge to help patients

A team of clinicians, medical engineers, designers and patient representatives were challenged to come up with new innovative concepts to solve patients’ needs in an eight-hour health design hack.

Members of the nationally acclaimed Devices for Dignity Healthcare Technology Co-operative set two challenges at the University of Sheffield’s fifth annual Business Innovation Network conference.

These are a project to create better systems for lifting patients safely and more comfortably who are unable to support their own weight and a sip straw for patients who have difficulty in swallowing from a beaker or cup following a stroke, or suffer with Parkinson’s Disease, motor neurone disease, or multiple sclerosis.

Read more here

D4D End of Pilot Report 2008-2013

The National Institute for Health Research Devices for Dignity Healthcare Technology Co-operative (D4D) has achieved much in its first five years. This booklet is a celebration of our work and successes, focussing on real examples of how we have collaboratively developed new technologies and treatments, and helped pave the way for the HTCs of today and tomorrow

Click here to download your copy

Devices for Dignity to attend the 2014 European MedTech Forum

Devices for Dignity is attending the 2014 European MedTech Forum. The largest health and medical technology industry conference in Europe, this year the Forum is revolving around the theme of “More needs. Higher expectations. Smaller budgets. Can the European MedTech Industry deliver?“.

Organised by MedTech Europe’s alliance members Eucomed and EDMA, the seventh edition of the MedTech Forum will take place on 15-17 October 2014 at the Dolce La Hulpe, Brussels. Last year the conference brought together more than 500 participants active in the EU healthcare scene, including policymakers, scientific communities, patients’ representatives, healthcare professionals, academics and representatives of the global medtech industry.

Motivating women to care for their pelvic floor health

NIHR Devices for Dignity HTC (D4D), in collaboration with the Bladder and Bowel Foundation, has produced a new video to motivate women and teenage girls to look after their pelvic health.

“We wanted to create a video that explains the importance of the pelvic floor muscle exercises,” said Nicola Heron, programme manager at D4D. “Most teenagers aren’t aware of their pelvic floor. It’s unusual for young women to have pelvic floor problems but being aware of the pelvic floor can help them keep it in shape and avoid problems when they are older.” 

Devices for Dignity recognises outstanding achievement at Medilink UK awards

The finest of the UK’s Life Sciences and Healthcare Technology sector have been honoured at the 2014 Medilink UK Healthcare Business Awards.

This year’s coveted National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Devices for Dignity Healthcare Technology Co-operative (HTC) Outstanding Achievement Award was awarded to Moor Instruments.

Moor Instruments is a market leader in providing laser Doppler imaging system for tissue blood flow assessment. Over the past decade, they have advanced laser Doppler imaging technology from a purely research tool in to a dedicated medical device for burn assessments in clinical settings.

The Medilink UK Awards, this year held at the Med-Tech Innovation Expo, at the Ricoh Arena, Coventry, is an annual event that celebrates cutting edge technologies, outstanding business achievements and international successes across the UK’s Life Sciences sector.

Winners from five categories – Start-up, Innovation, Partnership with the NHS, Export Achievement and Outstanding Achievement – were honoured at the prestigious event.

The Awards was hosted at the end of the first day of the exhibition, as part of the Medical Device Manufacturing Conference, with leading professionals from the Life Sciences sector, UK government, research institutes and overseas organisations in attendance.

Gary Stapleton, Medilink UK’s new Chairman and Business Director of 3M Health Care Business Group, West Europe, said: “We are proud to celebrate the considerable achievements of companies who have continued to push the boundaries of healthcare innovation for the benefit of business, healthcare systems and most importantly the patient.

“I would like to extend a massive congratulations to all of our winners and shortlisted companies. Their achievements should give us great encouragement for the future of our industry.”

The nominees for the awards were derived from the regional awards which were selected by Medilink’s network across the UK.

Winner of the Nabarro LLP Start-up Award was Derbyshire-based FLi Medical Innovations, for its novel piece of surgical equipment which assists surgeons in an approach for Total Hip Replacement, known as the ‘Direct Anterior Approach’. Independent assessments have indicated an annual saving to the NHS of over £300m if this technology is widely adopted.

Crewe-based Medtrade Products Limited won this year’s  HGF Innovation Award for its unique Celox Rapid Gauze – a new haemostatic bandage used in traumatic injuries. The gauze stops the most severe bleeding after only 60 seconds of pressure and takes around 30 seconds to pack into a deep wound. It is designed for emergency services such as ambulance paramedics as well as police forces and military medics.

The UK Trade & Investment Export Achievement Award was awarded to Halifax-based Sidhil. Sidhil is a volume manufacturer of beds for acute and community applications. Continued investment has seen the company branch out successfully into the export market with a number of major contract wins.

The Medilink UK Partnership with the NHS Award was awarded to Zilico Ltd. Zilico is developing the next generation of diagnostics that utilise electrical impedance spectroscopy to provide accurate and real-time results. Its flagship product, ZedScanI, is in the area of cervical cancer diagnostics and received its CE mark in September 2013.

High-dependency kids wheelchair in spotlight at IET Awards

A high-dependency paediatric wheelchair was a finalist at the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET) Innovation Awards 2013.

The Chair 4 Life, an adaptable wheelchair for children with high dependency needs competed against other leading medical innovations in the Healthcare Technologies category at the awards in London.

One of the key features of the Chair 4 Life is a vertical lift which allows the children eye-to-eye interaction with their peers, which improves dignity and independence.

The chair was built by design specialists Renfrew Group International, who won a National Innovation Centre competition to develop the idea based on feedback from children with high-dependency needs.

One of the key things which makes the Chair 4 Life unique is that it can be easily updated and modified through a series of attachments and components, which reduces the need to renew the entire wheelchair as the child grows, reducing clinic time and costs.

The National Institute for Health Research Devices for Dignity Healthcare Technology Co-operative (NIHR D4D HTC) was a partner in the first phase of the Chair 4 Life project.

The aim of the project was to build a chair which would incorporate the most complex equipment needs such as ventilators and oxygen cylinders, but allow children to leave hospital and be able to get out and about safely, confidently and more independently.

NIHR D4D HTC collected thoughts and ideas about design and functionality from children with high dependency needs through a series of workshops which put the children’s requirements at the forefront of the chair design. These workshops were arranged with Frazer-Nash Consultancy and hosted by the disabled children’s’ charity Whizz-Kidz.

Nicola Heron, Programme Manager of NIHR D4D HTC, said: “I’m really proud that an innovation which NIHR D4D HTC played such a key part in creating has been recognised. Children who are confined to a chair need to be able to feel dignified and independent and the Chair 4 Life gives them this.”

The IET awards were held at The Brewery, London.

To find out more visit www.theiet.org/awards

D4D present at EPRSC Partnership Awards

Devices for Dignity (D4D) has participated in a workshop in London for potential applicants of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) NIHR Healthcare Technology Co-operatives Partnership Awards.

The workshop was held for potential applicants to network and explore the work of the eight HTCs in more detail, and to ask questions about the application and assessment process.

Dr Wendy Tindale and Dr Nicola Heron attended the event in London on behalf of D4D to present on the remit of D4D. Click here for D4D’s presentation.

Visit here for more information about the awards.