‘Conquering Clinical Challenges Together’, the third in a series of Convergent Technology events, was held at the Beardmore Hotel and Golden Jubilee National Hospital, Clydebank on 12 March 2008. It featured presentations from respected clinicians, supported by 23 companies showcasing technologies with the potential to meet future healthcare needs.
Attracting over 100 delegates, the event was aimed at professionals from a range of technology backgrounds: doctors, nurses, physiotherapists and other healthcare professionals; medical device industry professionals; academics and researchers; and organisations and companies providing support services to the medical device industry.
Technologies on display from 23 showcase companies included:
• Blaze Venture Technologies’ proprietary products for rapid MRSA screening and surface decontamination
• Lab901’s microbiological diagnostics for bacterial, viral and fungal targets in the hospital and health protection sectors
• PAL Technologies’ miniature acceleration sensing solutions for healthcare applications
• PWB Health’s hand-held BreastLight device, which adds the dimension of internal sight to a woman’s breastchecking routine.
Bringing talents together
Keynote Speaker Dr Aileen Keel, Deputy Chief Medical Officer for Scotland, said: “Scotland has particular healthcare needs and these clinical needs, together with the remote nature of many parts of our landscape, present us with a unique set of challenges.” The way forward for medical innovation, she argued, was collaboration across multiple disciplines and industry sectors.
A presentation on Assistive Technologies/Remote Monitoring was given by Professor David Godden, Director of the Centre for Rural Health at the University of Aberdeen, who talked about the public enthusiasm for e-health and the role of telemedicine in the changing primary care service configuration of remote and rural Scotland. He also touched on the integration of mobile phones with physiological measurement, and the advent of facilities such as Cisco Systems’ HealthPresence Pod – a self-service healthcare stand concept that contains a range of medical devices (including blood pressure cuffs, glucose monitors, audioscopes and stethoscopes) which upload data into an electronic medical record.
In another presentation, Professor Hing Leung (Professor of Urology/ Surgical Oncology and Honorary Consultant Urological Surgeon, University of Glasgow/Beatson Institute for Cancer Research) outlined the opportunities that existing technologies such as robot-assisted surgery offer in the diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer. He also discussed the potential benefits of evolving therapies and technologies in the treatment of prostate cancer, including new imaging devices.
Jim Shepherd, Professor of Vascular Biochemistry, University of Glasgow and Honorary Consultant, Glasgow Royal Infirmary, discussed the methods used to identify those at risk of a coronary event. In considering unmet need in the assessment of cardiovascular risk, he looked at a number of potentially novel techniques: electrocardiography, carotid intima-media thickness and coronary artery Ca2+ scoring, endothelial dysfunction and c-reactive protein. His conclusion was that coronary risk assessment remains an imprecise art, with scope for new technologies.
The Convergent Technology event was not only a valuable networking opportunity, but was also highly informative about areas of clinical need that invite technological solutions. One exhibitor is already working on two opportunities as a direct result of the event.
The event was jointly organised by Stirling University Innovation Park (SUIP Ltd), Medical Devices in Scotland (MDIS), Scottish Health Innovations Limited (SHIL), the ED Technology Support Centre for Scotland (EDTC) and Nexxus, the West of Scotland BioScience Network.Report by Nexxus, the West of Scotland Bioscience Network.
For more information, visit www.nexxusscotland.com.
For more information about PWB Health, visit www.breastlight.co.uk.