New blood-monitoring (non-invasive) medical solution could change healthcare forever Liverpool organisations enter new phase of biochemical technology
BioSensors Ltd, working alongside Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU), Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust and Lucid Innovation Group, have entered the second phase of a development contract to produce a life-changing medical solution which is expected to dramatically reduce the risk of infection, as well as making blood tests less distressing for patients and their families.
After successfully completing stage one of a Small Business Research Initiative for Healthcare (SBRI) proof of concept project, the team is now working on a functioning prototype of the device, which will offer a ground-breaking, non-invasive way to analyse blood samples for clinical and research purposes.
The patented sensor system, developed at LJMU, is a small wireless sensor array which can read defined signs of disease or abnormalities in the blood without breaking the skin. The team from Alder Hey Children’s Hospital advise on clinical need and through the NIHR Alder Hey Clinical Research Facility for Experimental Medicine, ensure that the research is conducted to the required standards of scientific quality, while Lucid Innovation Group are the professional industrial designers and engineers behind the manufacture of the device.
The prototype device uses electromagnetic waves to measure lactate and haemoglobin levels which are very important indicators of how sick a patient is, as they relate to levels of oxygen in the body. The sensors then transmit their findings to Med eTrax, a mobile monitoring application running on a Microsoft Windows 10 platform, which features a user-friendly interface that makes it easy to analyse the results of any blood test and trends. An integrated early warning system also alerts remotely medical staff to any changes in a patient’s condition, and allowing them to track progress in real-time, improving standards of care across the board.
John Hopkins, CEO of BioSensors Ltd, says: “There is a clear medical need for a better way to monitor patients in intensive or neonatal care and advances in technology mean we can now do things that were just not possible before and advance standards of care for babies and children. Our initial research has enabled us to secure funding to put the device to the real-world test with our colleagues at Alder Hey and potentially make it a viable solution for children and adults in hospitals everywhere.”
Dr Alex Mason, research lead in sensor technology at LJMU, also said “Our team within the Faculty of Engineering and Technology are delighted to be involved in such a potentially game-changing project, and it is a fantastic opportunity for us to get our research out of the lab and into a setting where it can truly make a difference.”
This important partnership between academia, business and the National Health Service in Liverpool reflects the City’s status as ‘Sensor City’. Liverpool was designated as a University Enterprise Zone in December 2014 to develop sensor technologies.
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Alder Hey NHS Foundation Trust
Tel: 0151 293 3502
About SBRI Healthcare www.sbrihealthcare.co.uk
The Small Business Research Initiative for Healthcare (SBRI Healthcare) is an NHS England initiative, championed by the Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs), whose role is to promote UK economic growth by spreading innovation and best practice across the NHS. The SBRI Healthcare competitions are launched on a biannual basis and result in fully funded development contracts between the awarded company and NHS England to meet known healthcare need.
Generally taking a three-phased development approach, projects start with a 6 month feasibility phase and can then move on to more detailed product development. Phase 1 contracts for feasibility testing are valued at up to £100,000 and last for six months. Phase 2 contracts for prototype development are worth up to £1 million over one year. Phase 3 contracts are intended to accelerate product adoption, with up to a further £1 million over 12 months, providing the opportunity for validation in NHS settings. While the public sector has the right to license the resultant technology, its intellectual property (IP) remains with the company, thereby enabling successful businesses to grow.
Funding for SBRI Healthcare has been secured from NHS England. The programme is directed by the Eastern Academic Health Science Network (EAHSN) on behalf of NHS England and the other regional AHSNs. Health Enterprise East is the management partner and supports the EAHSN to handle the applications, assessments and delivery against contracts.
Alder Hey NHS Foundation Trust
Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust provides care for over 275,000 children and young people every year. One of four stand-alone children’s hospitals in the UK Alder Hey delivers clinical excellence for all children, for routine illnesses as well as very complex and rare conditions. Alder Hey opened a new hospital ‘Alder Hey in the Park’ in 2015. Europe’s first hospital in a park, the new facility provides a purpose-built, unique and world class healing environment for children and young people. Alder Hey has established an Innovation hub to offer three main functions; a laboratory to develop new and adapt existing technologies; an evaluation area to gain clinical insight and safely test new technologies before implementation and an area for co-production with commercial and academic partners.
Liverpool. Sensor City; A Global Hub for Sensor Technologies
The University of Liverpool and Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU), in partnership with the Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) for the Liverpool City region, have been successful in a bid to create one of four University Enterprise Zones with funding from the Department for Business Innovation and Skills. This facility will house and support new high tech businesses around ‘sensor technologies’. Sensors are the crucial link between technological devices and the world around them, capturing data on a whole host of areas such as temperature, humidity and pressure. They can be used in everything from home security systems to medical technology and high value manufacturing. ‘Sensor City’ will help inventions go from the lab to the factory floor even faster and act as a shop window for foreign investment into the city’s high tech start-ups.