Posts Tagged ‘medical’

Manchester to host scientific equipment research centre

Tuesday, August 7th, 2012

A £64 million scientific research and development centre is to be established by oil company BP at the University of Manchester.

The BP International Centre for Advanced Materials (BP-ICAM) will be located within the university’s esteemed Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences and will have a 10-year investment programme focused on research into advanced materials.

Manchester will stand as the hub for the research centre, but it will also establish operations – or ‘spokes’ – at the three world-class research universities of the University of Cambridge, Imperial College London, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

BP’s chief scientist, Ellen Williams, said that the materials that will be worked on at the centre will have a range of scientific applications, but will largely be focused on the scientific materials needed for energy production.

“We’re very excited by the vision of taking advanced tools that were developed for fundamental research to the real-world application of materials used for energy production,” she said. “Our engagement with these four Universities demonstrates the importance both of research and of the innovation which can lead to advanced technologies.”

The seven primary areas of direct interest to industry will be structural materials, smart coatings, functional materials, catalysis, membranes, energy storage and energy harvesting.

The centre will also support more than 200 new jobs.

Nottingham Uni strikes laboratory equipment sales deal

Friday, August 3rd, 2012

The University of Nottingham’s Centre for Biomolecular Science has struck a sales deal with TTP Labtech, the global developer of high-spec automated laboratory equipment, that will allow the University to generate important commercial growth potential.

TTP Labtech is providing the university with its comPOUND® sample storage system and comPILER® high throughput, tube-to-plate processing system, which will provide storage for the university’s Managed Chemical Compound Collection (MCCC), with more than 100,000 diverse drug-like small molecules for high throughput compound screening.

The centre’s director, Professor Peter Fischer, said that the deal will allow the university to further its strong track record in pharmaceutical science research and development.

“The long-term vision is to provide a unique compound collection attractive to academic and pharma partners – especially SMEs without their own collections,” he said. “We were looking for an integrated compound storage and handling system that would increase throughput, maintain long-term compound integrity, improve reliability with complete inventory control and unattended operation.”

Simon Tullett, TTP’s product manager for comPOUND and comPILER, added “We are delighted to be supporting a venture such as the MCCC. Our systems readily integrated with the existing lab set-up and have been operational for a year”.

‘Digital pills’ receive European and US approvals

Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

Scientific developers in the US have produced what are being called ‘digital pills’, which would be connected to microchips and allow doctors to monitor whether their patients are taking their medications as prescribed.

Both the European Medicine Authority (EMA) and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have recently approved the use of the digestible microchips, which are embedded in drugs, following studies showing their safety and efficacy when implanted in placebo pills.

The tiny devices have been made by Proteus Digital Health, in Redwood City, California and have been hailed by medical and scientific experts as a means of enhancing the efficacy of medical treatments.

Eric Topol, the director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute in California and author of The Creative Destruction of Medicine, said that the sand-particle sized sensor, containing trace amounts of magnesium and copper, hold tremendous potential for the future.

“About half of all people don’t take medications like they’re supposed to,” he said. “This device could be a solution to that problem, so that doctors can know when to rev up a patient’s medication adherence.”

The magnesium and copper inside the chips would generate a slight voltage when in contact with digestive juices and would send a signal to a microchip embedded in a person’s skin, which would then relay information to their healthcare provider.

Proteus’s George Savage explained, “The point is not for doctors to castigate people, but to understand how people are responding to their treatments. This way doctors can prescribe a different dose or a different medicine if they learn that it’s not being taken appropriately.”

Private medical equipment firms provide Olympic ambulances

Friday, July 27th, 2012

The NHS-run London Ambulance Service (LAS) has spent around £900,000 on taking on and equipping a fleet of private ambulances, to ensure that it can cope with the extra demand during the London 2012 Olympic Games.

It is thought that around 50 ambulances will be on the streets of the capital during the Olympic Games, provided through a slew of medical and scientific sales deals.

The ambulances are being supplied by the private medical equipment companies, X9 Healthcare, AST Ambulance Service, Thames Ambulance Group and Lifecare Medics. Funding for the contracts has come from the £7.6 million provided by the Department of Health to help London cope with the strain that the surge of Olympic visitors is expected to put on health services.

Jason Killens, LAS’s assistant director of operations, said they had already experienced an increase in 999 calls, and the choice to engage with the private companies was a wise one.

He explained, “We have consciously spread the risk between four organisations, so if there’s an issue with one of these four organisations we have contracted with, we only lose part of it, not all of it.”

“The skill level of these private-sector vehicles is the same as the 300 [LAS] ambulances we put out every day… Londoners needing an emergency ambulance won’t notice any difference in the quality of care [they receive].”

‘Robot doctor’ approved by FDA

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

New medical technology that has been labeled by some as a ‘robot doctor’ is to be added to the list of approved devices of the USA’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA), in a move that could spark a sea-change in international medical equipment.

Remote Presence Virtual + Independent Telemedicine Assistant (RP-VITA) is the product of collaborative development between iRobot and InTouch Health, and has been approved to be listed on the FDA’s Class II devices list.

Its inclusion on the list gives the machine clearance to be used in “active patient monitoring in high acuity environments where immediate clinical action may be required, such as in the ICU and emergency department, facilitating the rapid assessment and treatment of stroke and other time critical conditions.”

RP-VITA is capable of autonomously navigating its way around hospitals, accurately avoiding obstacles and people, and will be cloud connected to medical records systems, to ensure that doctors have a full bank of information at their disposal. The robots are intended to be an aid to medical staff, described as “the remote presence device component of a total acute care telemedicine solution”. They have been designed to be fully customisable, allowing doctors to switch and swap components depending on their particular needs.

World biosensor sales now top $13 billion

Friday, July 20th, 2012

British researchers have estimated that the value of the worldwide biosensor industry is worth more than $13 billion every year.

The study into the industry was carried out by Tony Turner, one of the formative developers of biosensors 30 years ago, who now works a Cranfield University in Buckinghamshire. Turner said that biosensors – which use biological material combined with an often portable detector to diagnose disease or pick up pollutants – sustain thousands of research and development jobs, as well as scientific sales jobs.

He added that the market for the devices is only set to grow, as medicine becomes more personalised and hospitals seek to keep patients out of expensive hospital beds and off costly drugs.

The biosensor market is still dominated by devices for diabetics, allowing them to self-check their blood sugar levels. Biosensors for diabetics account for 85 per cent of the market, but scientists are working on expanding their application for use with other illnesses, including HIV.

Maximilian Fleischer, the head of chemical and biosensors at Siemens Corporate Technology, said, “The challenge is definitely to work on non-invasive technologies. We are anticipating that the application of biosensors in point-of-care diagnosis will be a large upcoming market.”

Cloud-based diagnostics service launched

Thursday, July 19th, 2012

A cloud-based computing platform has been launched for use in the medical and scientific sectors that specifically provides access to a variety of genomic and phenotypic data.

GenoSpace was developed after its founders recognised that the rapidly falling cost of genome sequencing would make existing systems obsolete. As a result, they developed a cloud-based data storage and “software-as-a-service” platform based on a robust, scalable, and secure data model.

The two founders, John Quackenbush and Mick Correll, used their experience of creating software systems that linked clinical and research data to develop the system, which has collection of intuitive, informative, data-access portals that cater to the needs of a wide range of users.

The chairman of the GenoSpace board of directors, Joseph Boystak, said that the scope of the new system is enormous.

“GenoSpace has tremendous commercial potential, including recurring revenue streams, by its offering clients and constituents high value-added products and services,” he said. “This is the first company to create an information ecosystem that links together diverse users in ways that can benefit everyone involved. GenoSpace offers the solution for 21st-century genomic medicine.”

Mr Correll, who now sits as the company’s chief technology officer, added, “Our cloud-based technology is secure, robust, and infinitely scalable, and the portals we’ve developed are aimed at solving problems people have today, while being adaptable to the needs of genomic medicine tomorrow.”

Virgin Care preferred bidder for Devon NHS child services

Friday, July 13th, 2012

A major shake up in medical and hospital provisions and supply chains in the South West of England is expected to take place, after Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Care was named as the preferred bidder for the £130 million contract to provide Devon’s NHS and social care services for children.

Virgin Care will take over the integrated children and young people’s services for the county in March 2013, having already made a mark on the healthcare sector with endeavours including a £500 million deal to provide NHS Surrey with community health services.

Rebecca Harriott, director of commissioning development at NHS Devon, said that the decision had been made between Virgin Care and two other bidders: Serco with Cornwall Partnership NHS and Devon Partnership NHS Trust with charities Barnado’s, Young Devon and InterserveTrust.

She said that the decision to go with Virgin Care had been made following careful consultation with a broad range of stakeholders, including young people, parents, carers and professionals.

“Bringing together community-based health and social care staff has brought many benefits for children, young people, parents and carers,” she explained. “Keeping these services together and developing them further means finding the right provider with the right vision and commitment. Today’s announcement is just one step towards this.”

IMHX 2013 to be key event for scientific equipment sectors

Tuesday, July 10th, 2012

Many people in medical and scientific sales jobs are expected to attend the 2013 International Materials Handling Exhibition (IMHX), which has just been set to take place from 19-22 March 2013.

The director of IMHX, Rob Fisher, has said that logistics focused specifically on the healthcare and pharmaceutical sectors will be represented at the exhibition by a number of specific companies that have advanced expertise in medical and scientific equipment and devices.

“A number of exhibitors at IMHX 2013 will be showcasing products and expertise geared specifically towards the needs of the pharma and healthcare sector,” he said. “With thousands of products and services all under one roof, it makes sense for all logistics executives to put the dates in their diaries.”

One of the 400 specialist exhibitors will be cold supply chain container specialist, Olivo UK Ltd., which provides temperature controlled transportation equipment.

The event is also providing a forum for innovation among the exhibitors and delegates, with the Design 4 Safety competition giving all the exhibitors the chance to compete for additional publicity for particularly innovative products and services. There will also be an enhanced programme of free-to-attend seminars and talks that will focus on a wide range of salient industry topics.

Samsung exploring diversifying into medical technology

Friday, July 6th, 2012

Consumer electronics giant, Samsung, is likely to be a future provider of medical sales jobs, after recent moves for the company to diversify its footprint into areas including solar cells and medical technology.

The company’s out-going chief executive, Choi Gee-sung, is to take over the company’s business development unit. He has been tasked with diversifying the company’s electronics footprint because, despite its growing strength in the smartphone and tablet markets, bosses want to make sure it maintains its success and does not fall on similar difficulties to those experienced by Nokia and BlackBerry manufacturer, Research In Motion.

The company has specified five specific areas into which it would like to diversify – solar cells, rechargeable batteries for hybrid cars, LED technology, biopharmaceuticals and medical equipment – and is planning to invest around $21 billion in the sectors by 2020.

Samsung has already taken steps into the bio-pharmaceutical world, in a joint venture with US company, Quintiles last year, but South Korean analysts have said it is in a prime position to expand through acquisitions of medical technology businesses.

Park Kang-ho, an analyst at Daishin Securities, explained, “Samsung has enough cash to pursue further acquisitions, which are the easiest way to gain a foothold in new businesses. It will probably look for software makers or biotech companies with core technology.”