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UK-India medtech partnership established to fight COVID-19

The UK government and Andhra Pradesh MedTech Zone (AMTZ) have joined forces to plug the gap between the demand and supply of ventilators and medical equipment to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. Selected start-ups will be hosted at AMTZ’s MediValley incubation centre, receiving financial, technical and infrastructure support necessary to make their equipment market ready. The programme is part of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed recently between the UK government and AMTZ. The MoU aims to boost medtech collaboration between the two countries by creating direct research and development linkages between UK companies and AMTZ’s manufacturing and testing facilities, and to the wider Indian healthcare market. Sir Philip Barton, British high commissioner to India, ...

ORCHA and Sigma to work to improve health app accessibility

UX design and development agency, Sigma, has been selected by ORCHA to help developers improve the usability and accessibility of its health apps. ORCHA offers review and accreditation services. It also provides improvement reports and advice to developers, detailing what can be done to better meet the needs of health and care providers, including connecting them with specialists in the fields where help is needed. It has reviewed more than 6,000 health apps to date for NHS organisations and national health bodies worldwide. After spotting that a high proportion of otherwise good apps fall-down because of usability criteria, it formed a partnership with Sigma. Through the collaboration, both organisations aim to make the health app ecosystem more successful, as inclusivity and ac...

Strategic partnership for continuous glucose monitoring systems struck

PHC Holdings and Ascensia Diabetes Care have announced a strategic partnership with Senseonics Holdings, a medtech company focussed on the development and commercialisation of implantable continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) systems for diabetes patients. The partnership comprises a global commercialisation and distribution agreement and a concurrent financing agreement. As part of the commercialisation and distribution agreement, Ascensia has been appointed the exclusive global distribution partner for Senseonics’ CGM systems, including Eversense, Eversense XL and future generation products in development, such as the 365-day implantable sensor. In the U.S, Ascensia will initiate marketing and sales activities of the Eversense product in the coming months, in collaboration with Senseonics,...

Mask making facility established in Wales following £1.5m investment

A £1.5 million investment by Hardshell is set to see a medical-grade mask-making facility established in Wales. Life Sciences Hub Wales has supported Hardshell, a producer of protective defensive equipment such as body armour and demining suits, to secure product certifications that will allow it to become the first in the UK to produce medical-grade face masks for use by the NHS. The site will manufacture FFP3 type respirators, which are currently imported rather than produced on home soil. With a minimum 99% filtration efficiency, FFP3 face masks offer the highest level of protection against toxic particles including asbestos, bacteria and viruses, making them the most effective in protecting against COVID-19 and the most critically needed by staff on the frontline. Hardsh...

NHS Trust launches new app for IBS patients

NHS Tayside, in partnership with Inhealthcare, has launched a new app aimed at people suffering with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). NHS Tayside is implementing the Irritable Bowel Syndrome Pathway from the Scottish Government’s new Modernising Patient Pathways Programme.  People are diagnosed within primary care and referred to NHS dietitians who then register them onto the new service. They are able to access trusted information at any time to help them understand and manage their condition. It helps people to track their symptoms over time and identify any changes. They can request extra support from dietitians via the app as and when needed. Georgia Nelson, regional sales manager at Inhealthcare, said: “This new service is built around the needs of people with IBS so they can...

AI tool leads to ‘significant reduction’ in COVID-19 mortality

A study published in the Clinical Infectious Diseases journal has demonstrated that the use of an AI tool has led to a significant reduction in mortality rates amongst hospitalised COVID-19 patients, including elderly and at-risk populations. The tool is the outcome of a project named ‘Digital Control Centre for COVID-19’ by health innovation body, EIT Health, which was initiated in April 2020. Since then, the tool has undergone development and validation, and has shown early success in the stratification and personalisation of treatment for patients with serious COVID-19 leading to improved treatment responses and a 50% reduction in mortality rates. As of early August, there have been over 18 million cases of COVID-19 worldwide, and it has led to the death of over 689,000 people. The main...

Bridging the connectivity gap to help carers care

Darren Crombie, CEO and founder of Upstream Health writes about how in-home data is transforming the way carers care. There are approximately 2 million elderly people who currently receive social care in their home in the UK and more than 250 million globally. Social care services are already stretched and with the COVID-19 pandemic it’s even harder with an increase in isolation and loneliness due to shielding. New ways to communicate, support, and assist this key group are seen as key to providing sustainable and viable services at the point of need. Three years ago, we set about on a mission to build a preventative solution that looks into the future needs of the vulnerable who receive treatment at home, we wanted to identify the actions needed today that will help them stay well tomorro...

Case study: Magnetic encoders enable building of ‘life-changing’ exoskeletons

Marsi Bionics S.L. is a technology start-up based in Madrid, Spain. It designs and builds custom exoskeletons for medical applications with the aim of potentially replacing the wheelchair in everyday life for some patients. Millions of people suffer from debilitating neurophysical conditions such as paraplegia, cerebral palsy and spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). Neurological rehabilitation with passive aids such as canes, crutches and walkers is vital in the treatment of mobility issues caused by these conditions. Recent advances in robotics have allowed treatment with powered (active) robot exoskeletons that support the patient’s body and enable greatly improved outcomes. The exoskeletons, created by Marsi Bionics, give physically disabled people the freedom to stand, move and interac...

Healthtech firm receives Innovate UK backing for diabetes research

Healthtech company Cognitant Group has won a grant from Innovate UK to conduct a diabetes research programme in Colombia, as part of the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF).  The aim of this project, in partnership with Oxford Brookes University and the Hospital Universitario San Ignacio in Bogota, Colombia, is to improve the self-management of health among people with diabetes in Colombia by delivering avatar-based educational experiences. This project was developed to address the growing number of adults with diabetes in Colombia, estimated at nearly 3 million in 2017 by the International Diabetes Federation. The health costs of diabetes in Colombia now exceed $2 billion a year.  Research indicates that many of the long-term complications associated with ...

BBI appointed to manufacture saliva-based COVID-19 test

BBI Solutions has been appointed to manufacture the saliva-based rapid SARS-COV-2 antigen test that is being developed by Affimer biotherapeutics and reagents developer Avacta Group in conjunction with Cytiva. South Wales based BBI develops and manufactures raw materials and finished test products for the in-vitro diagnostics market with manufacturing sites in five different countries, spanning four continents. Dr. Mario Gualano, chief executive of BBI Group, said: “BBI are delighted to have been appointed to lead the manufacture of Avacta’s rapid Coronavirus antigen test and to be able to further extend our lateral flow expertise to addressing the global challenges presented by COVID-19.  “Our ability to respond rapidly to Avacta’s needs is testament to our team’s...

How to upscale COVID-19 test production at the pandemic’s peak

Ian Bolland sat down with Web Industries vice president of medical Kevin Young and business development director Claudio Hanna. Web Industries is the domestic COVID-19 test manufacturing partner of numerous U.S. companies.  Young began by explaining that the company’s investment in lateral flow immunology in recent years positioned it to be able to quickly pivot to producing Coronavirus tests. Web is one of the few medical contract manufacturing organisations (CMOs) in the U.S. equipped to meet all the requirements necessary to produce the COVID-19 tests. He said: “Ramping up our plant to produce, on average, over 1 million tests per week, with a goal of reaching 2 million tests per week by the end of the year, has been a major shift in our priorities.” Young identified three major ch...

Q&A: Technology aiming to improve detection of heart disease

Ian Bolland caught up with Marc Bisnaire, CEO of Cardio Phoenix to talk about its technology designed to improve detection of heart disease during and after COVID-19. Where did the idea for Cardio-HART come from? We are a small team that put a lot of effort to create an innovative medical device to fulfil the unmet medical need gap that exists between the primary care and second-level related to the heart diseases; being an innovative device, we have combined three physiological in a unique way and the output is algorithm-driven analysis of those signals. What makes the AI tech so advanced? Cardio-HART “AI” is, the physician´s/clinician´s assistant. It is known that at primary care level, the knowledge and experience with heart disease is limited. CHART’s AI helps them to...