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Medical research carried out by TWI for the NHS

Published on 23 January 2012

TWI were asked by the NHS to develop three product areas, each of which has been devised to improve the lives of both patient and health professionals.

The new potential products identified for development were; an intelligent mattress, a carry chair and a device to splint a fractured neck of femur. The NHS National Innovation Centre (NIC) is now working with TWI Ltd in project managing the development, and has allocated funds to develop these products.

Ambulance intelligent mattress

Following on from the D2 Develop a Solution workshop at the ExCel Centre London last summer deeper due diligence by the NIC found that there was an organisation which had a product which partly fulfilled the requirement specification identified at the D1 Define the Need stage by the ambulance service.

As a result of this further work is being undertaken to review the capabilities of the product and engage with paramedics from the South West Ambulance Service Trust (SWAST) to develop the product to meet the desired requirements. There is also a separate programme of work funded by the NIC to complete a review of the business case for this product.

The NIC has also funded another organisation, through a development award grant to address primarily the weighing function of an intelligent mattress and the delivery of a successful working prototype is imminent.

Ambulance carry chair

Development award grants were awarded to two collaborative groups to develop an ambulance carry chair. Both are working closely with the paramedics who were part of the D1 and D2 process and both collaboratives have conducted reviews of the current carry chair. With the paramedics support, the groups are beginning to design and develop new concepts based upon the requirements drawn up in the workshops. Both of these groups are expected to deliver prototypes imminently.

Device to splint a fractured neck of femur

Two collaborative groups were awarded NIC funding to develop this device. They have both been working closely with paramedics who were part of the D1 and D2 process. Through reviews and discussion about the current procedures it became apparent that orthopaedic surgeons needed to be consulted to enable designers to understand the clinical drivers for stabilising this fracture, and how they should be transferred to the hospital. Both of these groups have delivered prototypes. Clinical trials are currently underway to refine the present designs.

For further information read about TWI services to the Medical industry or contact us.

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