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Scotland at Forefront of Giant Leap in Medical Technology

November 21, 2007 10:30 AM

A groundbreaking collaboration launched today (21 November 2007) will see NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC) and the University of Strathclyde join forces in a concerted drive to develop new medical devices and technologies with the potential to benefit many thousands of Scots.
Under the new ‘Glasgow Health Technology Cooperative’ Scotland’s largest health board and the University's Strathclyde Institute of Medical Devices will work to identify gaps in medical technology and attract worldwide manufacturers and commercial funding to develop solutions. 
And as Professor Alex Elliot from NHS GGC’s Department of Clinical Physics and Bioengineering explains, the move could put Scotland firmly at the forefront of the design and development of new medical technologies.
Professor Elliott said: “NHSGGC and the University already have well established national and international links. By bringing together the wide clinical expertise of the NHS and the University’s well developed approach to research around device and technology improvement, we would be able to attract further international interest.”
Professor Patricia Connolly, Director of the Strathclyde Institute of Medical Devices, said: "The Cooperative will help accelerate the pace of medical device development by bringing together health professionals with a team of technology experts across the science, engineering and medical disciplines. We will develop medical devices and technology that will help to resolve real clinical issues for patients and clinical staff."
The Cooperative, the first of its kind in the UK, will address areas of unmet clinical need where technology has the potential to improve quality of life. This will lead to more 'technology pull' from NHSGGC, something that the Health Industries Task Force has recommended as necessary throughout the NHS in the UK.
In the Glasgow partnership, this could include innovations to tackle obesity - an issue of major importance in the West of Scotland, improved rehabilitation following surgery or stroke, and devices to help measure and monitor a patient's compliance with drug therapies.
The University and NHSGGC already have shown they can work well together on projects. For example, the partnership is successfully working on a device which monitors how well wounds are healing with the need to remove dressings. The technology, which was developed by bioengineers at the Institute and is under clinical trial at Clydebank Health Centre's Leg Ulcer Clinic, could bring faster relief to patients and save thousands of pounds each year in staff time and unnecessary dressings. The device could be available for use as early as 2008.
Speaking at the Launch of the collaboration, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde’s Chairman, Professor Sir John Arbuthnott, said: “As we all know healthcare is rapidly changing and Glasgow has always been at the forefront of medical innovations. Our frontline medical staff are already identifying innovative technical solutions to some of today’s healthcare challenges. By putting them together with some of the world’s leading technical experts the possibilities for development are limitless. I would like to thank in particular Professors Elliott , Wyper and Connolly for spearheading this exciting work.”
ENDS
For more information contact NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Communications on 0141 201 4429.
*Professor Connolly, Professor Elliott and Professor Sir John Arbuthnott are available for interview. Please contact the press office to make arrangements.
Notes to Editors:
 
1.      It is estimated that more than half the UK population have contact with a medical device in any one day.
2.      The Strathclyde Institute of Medical Devices brings together engineering, science and medicine to pioneer a range of products and world-class research to treat and diagnose the medical conditions of the 21st Century. With more than 20 multi-disciplinary collaborators, it works closely with industry and the NHS to innovate technologies for healthcare end users - clinical staff and patients.
3.      More information and links at: www.strath.ac.uk/simd/ghtc 

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