Archive for October, 2012

New hearing aid technology being tested in the UK

Tuesday, October 16th, 2012

New hearing aid technology is being tested in the UK at the moment, taking the form of a small device that is fitted not in the wearer’s ears but, instead, in their mouths.

The new device, known as the SoundBite, is designed for use by people who are deaf in one ear. The technology works by using the bones of the head to conduct sound through the head and to the working ear.

It is thought that one in ten adults in the UK suffer from some degree of single-sided hearing loss, with the actual number affected being far higher, as many people dismiss the problem and fail to seek help.

The device, which could go on the market for around £600, is currently being tested at University Hospital Southampton, as well as at a number of other medical institutions on Continental Europe. Ear, nose and throat specialist, Andrew McCombe, said that the aid is a very interesting and clever idea and could prove to be a crucial advancement in helping people with partial hearing loss.

“The big selling point here is likely to be convenience and avoiding surgery,” he said. “It also indicates that bone-anchored hearing aid research has come full circle – the very first bone-anchored hearing aids arose from dental implant work, following a chance discovery when a drill hit an implant and a deaf patient reported being able to hear it!”

Chemical etching firm invests in new laboratory

Friday, October 12th, 2012

A Shropshire chemical etching company has made a range of key equipment purchases to furnish its new 20,000 square foot facility.

Advanced Chemical Etching Limited (ACE) has more than doubled its square footage with the expansion, including a new laboratory, and has sourced a number of new etching machines from a specialist manufacturer in the US.

The machines are due to be delivered in early 2013 and will allow the company to also double its output potential, allowing it to accept the new business that has recently surged in for its precision components and prototyping.

The company has also appointed a new managing director, Ian Whateley, who has been charged with overseeing a planned growth in annual turnover at the company from the current £3.5 million to £6 million by 2015.

ACE’s chairman, Alan Rollason, said, “This is a very exciting time for our business and the fact we have been able to double our floor space gives us the opportunity to attack new opportunities.

“All of the infrastructure and systems have been put in place and we’re just waiting now for delivery and installation of the new etching machines. Once these are up and running we’ll be able to etch many more millions of parts per year in a diverse range of materials.

The company’s new dedicated laboratory has been tailored to have state-of-the-art measuring capabilities that will allow its scientists to work with the most exacting tolerances of materials.

Bury medical equipment firm wins major NHS contract

Tuesday, October 9th, 2012

A major medical equipment firm based in Bury St Edmunds has successfully bid for a lucrative contract to supply the National Health Service (NHS).

Disposable Medical Instruments (DMI), which is based in the Hillside Business Park in the town, has been awarded a three-year contract with the NHS Supply Chain. The deal will see DMI provide Supply Chain with its full range of single-use pieces of medical equipment.

The company is one of the UK’s top suppliers of sterile medical procedure packs and disposable instruments for use in hospitals and surgeries. The awarding of the contract followed an intensive tender process orchestrated by the company’s medical sales staff.

The success of the bid now means that products supplied by DMI will be available for NHS Hospitals across the country to purchase through the organisation’s supply chain process.

DMI’s managing director and founder, Patrick Chancey, told the Bury Free Press that the success of the bid came as a tremendous validation for the whole company.

He said, “The tender process is rigorous, in accordance with European law, and we feel acceptance by NHS Supply Chain is an endorsement of our products and competitive pricing.”

Norwich hygienic equipment firm makes new appointments

Friday, October 5th, 2012

A Norwich company that makes stainless steel hygiene furniture and equipment for sterile environments such as hospitals and laboratories, has taken on a number of new staff, including one in a new scientific sales job.

Teknomek has made the significant expansion in its 25th year of business and one of the appointments includes bringing in a new managing director. Change management expert, Steve Mallett, has been brought in as the company’s new MD and has been tasked with establishing a system of continuous improvement throughout the business.

He has previously held director roles working on major brands including Pirelli, Waxoyl, Ford, Honda and Mazda.

Mallett has said that he is planning to further develop the Teknomek brand through the recruitment and development of specialist personal, which could pave the way for the creation of more specialist sales jobs. He is understood to be fostering the company’s apprenticeship scheme, with plans to cultivate Teknomek’s workforce from within.

Sandra Jones has been appointed to work with the existing sales team at Teknomek to work on enhancing the company’s customer service, while Rebecca Baker has been appointed to the position of financial controller and John Clark has been taken on as marketing executive.

Report shows shift in medical device funding strategies

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012

The methods of raising funding for developing medical and scientific technology have changed significantly due to the recession, according to a new report by Ernst & Young.

The report indicates that companies are reevaluating their financial structures and operations because venture capitalists – which have long been a crucial source of financing for medical technology firms – are growing increasingly tentative about the sector.

The head of Ernst & Young’s global life sciences practice, Glen Giovannetti, said that young companies are struggling to obtain financing, hindering the emerging companies and forcing the development of new financing and sales structures.

“Young companies are really struggling to get financial deals,” Giovannetti said. “There is less dry powder ready to be deployed in the coming years than in the last cycle.”

European and US medical technology firms saw $4.34 billion invested in them by venture capitalists in the 12 months to June 2012, which is up from the $4.03 billion of the year to June 2011, but far below the $5.40 billion peak seen in 2006-07.

Giovannetti said that companies are now having to prove that their work could improve health outcomes and reduce payer costs in order to obtain funding. He explained, “The net effect is there is a higher bar being placed on the kinds of deals to back with an investment.”