Wounds UK 10 –12 November 2008,
Harrogate International Conference Centre
The theme of this year’s Wounds UK conference was ‘Multidisciplinary working’. As before, it was integrated with conferences for Continence UK and Dermatology UK. At the accompanying exhibition, healthcare companies and organisations showcased their cutting-edge products and services. Extensive poster displays reinforced the messages of the conference and exhibition.
The combined event took place over three days. Its ethos was well summed up by one exhibitor, the Tissue Viability Consultancy Service: “Looking at the whole of
the patient, not the hole in
the patient.” Both NHS speakers and wound care companies placed emphasis on patient experience and the social context of wound care in the community.
For the first time, On Target
exhibited at Wounds UK to network with professionals in the wound care sector, encourage subscription and promote the Healthcare Company Survey. No pain, all gain!A brand of healing
The exhibition featured some dramatic displays of wound care products. Activa Healthcare’s stand had compression therapy products breaking through the floor and walls. Integra promoted its Dermal Regeneration Template with posters of a child whose face had been severely burnt in a house fire – after a year of treatment, the face was scarred but recognisable.
A wide range of innovative wound care therapies were on display, including Coloplast’s analgesic dressing (Biotain Ibu); ZooBiotic’s larval debridement therapies (including BioFoam, a hydrophilic dressing with live maggots); Vibro Medical’s vibration treatment for cellulitis; and MediHoney’s medical grade honey, able to clear MRSA-infected wounds.
The poster display areas graphically illustrated the effectiveness of various products in saving lives (and limbs) – as well as a range of service provision models, demonstrating partnership between healthcare companies and health workers in hospitals, nursing homes and the community. For example:
• ConvaTec’s poster explained how its Versiva XC gelling foam dressing, combined with intensive work by a team of community nurses to address mental health and lifestyle problems in a patient with a severely infected leg wound, resulted in major improvement within four weeks.
• A poster from Rochdale Community Drugs Team, sponsored by Smith & Nephew, described an effective project to treat and manage injection site wounds via open-access clinics.
• Activa Healthcare won the On Target
Lucio Fulci Award for grim detail with its poster showing the use of ActiForm Cool® to treat a ‘shark bite’ leg wound following surgical debridement of gangrene and prior to a skin graft.Talking wounded
The conference featured some impressive examples of multidisciplinary working. We caught a telemedicine strand that included David Gray of Grampian Health Services, Aberdeen, talking about the Woundcare eClinic: an 18-month trial with 200 patients across the Grampian region, where patients may live over 100 miles from a major hospital. The use of telemedicine to co-ordinate care between Aberdeen Royal Infirmary and nursing homes in the region enabled his team to assess a patient in 15 minutes, as compared to 1 hour in hospital or 3 hours in the community. This strategy was shown to be clinically and economically effective.
The conference ended with Heather Orsted of the Canadian Assocation of Wound Care speaking on ‘The future of wound healing’. She described the “ticking time bomb” for healthcare: an ageing population with sedentary lifestyles and a growing incidence of obesity, diabetes and other diseases. The massive cost of venous leg disorders, pressure ulcers and diabetic foot ulcers makes the adoption of preventative strategies crucial.
Orsted emphasised the challenges faced by health professionals – “The nurses are the wounded” – and urged the delegates to develop a patient-centred approach that addresses “woundedness in all its forms”.
Medilink West Midlands Medical Healthcare Awards
23 October 2008, Birmingham Council House
The providers of a new technology to monitor myeloma and an emergency device to assist road accident victims were among the innovative enterprises recognised at MedilinkWM’s annual Medical Healthcare Awards.
The awards, which celebrate the most impressive business achievements in the Midlands’ thriving medtech sector, are sponsored by Advantage West Midlands and supported by ADF Insurance. They were presented to five companies at an awards ceremony at Birmingham Council House. The winning companies will go forward to the national Medilink UK Awards in February.
• The Start-Up award, sponsored by the Innovation Factory, was won by MB Safety Ltd, whose innovative device enables paramedics to rapidly remove the chinstrap from motorcycle helmets following road traffic accidents.
• The Binding Site won the Innovation award, sponsored by Chapman Molony, for Freelite: an immunoassay for the detection of serum free light chains to monitor multiple myeloma.
• Worldwide Solutions Ltd, which has entered the medical market with a new hands-free, Wi-Fi based communications technology for hospitals, won the Best Growth in Sector award.
• Mediwatch UK Ltd, which supplies a range of point of care diagnostic devices, beat strong competition to take the Export Achievement award.
• Kent House, which has developed the EventManager software for healthcare services, won the award for Partnership with the NHS.
MedilinkWM’s CEO, Tony Davis, said: “The Medical Healthcare Awards have been a spectacular celebration of the innovation and enterprise that’s on show in the West Midlands. It’s testament to the hard work, passion and innovation of companies in this sector that so many important technologies are represented here, many of which enable medical staff to treat patients even more effectively – they really could help save lives. As a growing sector, medical and healthcare companies are attracting the best brains in the region.”
ABHI Medical Innovation Forum
21 October 2008, Harrogate International Conference Centre
The latest in the ABHI’s series of discussion and networking events for medical technology companies and other players in UK healthcare had the theme ‘Next-generation medical innovation: what are the opportunities?’
The 330 delegates shared a busy day of panel sessions, tabletop presentations, round-table discussions, one-to-one meetings and visits to exhibition stands. A typical comment from an industry delegate was made by David Campbell, R&D Director at Trio Healthcare: “Excellent networking opportunity for the SME!”
This event brought together people from major healthcare corporations and small specialist companies, as well as such organisations as the Health Technologies KTN, European Technology for Business, Medipex Ltd, CELS, Doctors.net.uk, UK Trade & Investment and Medilink UK, to discuss how innovation can drive forward the next generation of healthcare in the UK.
The events On Target
had the opportunity to attend included:
• A panel session on ‘NHS Adoption of New Innovations – Making it happen’ with Richard Clark of Medipex, Noreen Caine of Caine R&D Consulting, Oliver Wells of ABHI and Dr. Peter Laitenberger of Sphere Medical Ltd. This session looked at how medtech innovations can be aligned with the needs of the NHS.
• A round-table discussion group on patient-centric healthcare, hosted by Leonard Fass of GE Healthcare. This focused on funding issues and the use of remote monitoring technologies.
• A round-table discussion group on innovations in infection control, hosted by Prof. Clive Beggs of the University of Bradford. This examined the need for integrated healthcare management strategies.
• A round-table discussion group, hosted by On Target
, on how medtech companies can assess their staff’s level of motivation and job satisfaction to benchmark against their competitors.
• A tabletop presentation by Prof. Terry Young of Brunel University on how the MATCH Programme helps medtech companies and purchasers to assess the value of new medical technologies.
|The next ABHI Medical Innovation Forum is on 10 June 2009 at the Olympia Conference Centre in London, and the theme is ‘Partnering & Technology Transfer for the UK Medical Device Marketplace’. |