Medical e-News Round-Up - Issue 14
- Funding boost
- Med-eBase – meeting your needs
- Japan eyes new medical device future
- The (MOD)ern way to test
- Expert calls for more local manufacturing for India
- And finally...see you at National Biomed and Clinical Engineering Conference
The UK medical device market can benefit significantly from over £200 million funds of grants that are available to UK businesses, according to the independent research organisation TBAT Innovation Ltd.
The grants include the Biomedical Catalyst funding, which since April offers support to UK small and medium-sized enterprises (SME’s) and academics developing solutions to healthcare challenges. The grants are supported by the Medical Research Council and the Technology Strategy Board (TSB).
In addition, the annual SMART programme, available from the TSB, provides £30 million of grants to SMEs in the areas of science, technology or engineering.
“The combined grant funds this year, which can be applied for throughout 2012, make it a very significant time for investment in this sector, but people need to remember the process is a competition and therefore it’s important to get it right,” said Matt Symonds, director of TBAT.
TBAT offers its clients help applying for funding sources and, in the past 12 months, has leveraged over £6 million worth of grants for clients. More at www.tbat.co.uk.
The latest Med-eBase incorporates all the features customers require to provide enhanced electronic recording and management of medical device safety testing programmes using vital signs simulators like the SIM range (BP/SP/Uni) among other instruments.
The user can quickly create bespoke test protocols on a PC before uploading them to the Rigel tester or simulator. It is fully compatible with the Vista and 7 Microsoft Windows operating platforms and features an enhanced interface to allow the user to easily manage the transfer of data using Bluetooth connectivity.
Test results can be stored on a local or remote database depending on the needs of individual biomedical service departments, enabling quick and easy access for service technicians and engineers via PCs.
As well as all conventional equipment and test data, Med-eBase also has the facility to store functional and performance test data and incorporates additional comments to provide a comprehensive test database and asset management register for all medical equipment.
In this way, the software can be used to plan advance electrical maintenance schedules and re-test information can also be uploaded from the PC-based programme into the tester for fast preparation for re-test sequences. Details at www.rigelmedical.com.
The Japanese government has announced a strategy to support the creation of new medical-related markets by 2020, which will pave the way for new medical device developments. The initiative is designed to boost the value of science technologies by more than 50 trillion yen (€515 billion) and create millions of new jobs.
Roughly half of the growth (€206 billion) is expected to come from outside the country and, to secure this, the government is pressing for Japanese companies to capture further market share in overseas healthcare sectors within the next eight years.
Domestically, the government anticipates that the creation of innovative technologies featuring medical devices among other things will help boost the nation’s economy by €17.5 billion. It also aims to build up its healthcare market to a value of €257 billion and add 800,000 employees in that sector.
Although the plan, released by the Council on the Realisation of New Growth Strategies, part of the National Policy Unit, doesn’t specify the financial details the government asserts that priority will be given to investments in new technologies.
The plan will work to establish a collaborative system among industry, government and academia for creating innovation in medical devices among other sectors and promote domestic achievements and expand Japan’s international business. Visit www.medtechinsider.com for more.
The Ministry of Defence is using dozens of Rigel Medical 288 field service kits to test the electrical safety of devices at its medical, veterinary and dental servicing centres around the world.
The 288 hand held devices are being used in conjunction with the MOD's existing testers after they met the requirement for a versatile mobile option. Using the testers, military technicians can reduce the time involved in undertaking electrical safety checks on devices and equipment used at the military healthcare facilities, using the barcode facility that is available with the tester.
The Medical and General Supplies Team (M&GS), responsible for general, medical, dental and veterinary material and equipment for Britain’s armed forces, specified the kit after it was assessed by technicians at RAF Henlow in Bedfordshire.
A key benefit of the 288 is the light, portable and the integrated barcode reader and printer which means equipment can be identified and records recalled quickly, meeting the needs of technicians operating across the MOD in a more demanding mobile environment.
The 288 is a flexible, easy-to-use and accurate solution for testing devices for electrical safety to appropriate standards and guidelines including IEC 62353 IEC/EN60601-1, VDE 0751-1, AS/NZS 3551, AAMI, NFPA-99, MDA DB 9801-2006. The MOD kit comes in a hard wearing, impact and water resistant Pelican carry case featuring dedicated foam inserts to safely hold the instrumentation in place and provide optimum protection during transportation.
India’s medical device manufacturing sector is not achieving its potential because of government policies and practical difficulties that discourage companies from venturing into the sector, reports the Times of India (TOI)
The medical device industry in India is small, disorganised and largely dependent on imports with more than 65% of medical products imported and domestic production restricted to low-end equipment and products.
Dr GSK Velu, founder and managing director of the Trivitron Group, who is also head of the manufacturing subcommittee of the industry association CII MLED (Medical Equipment Division, CII), told TOI:
“We have not realised the importance of having manufacturing units in our own country. China, for example, has several incentives for companies that set up manufacturing units, sometimes even legally binding them to have such units on their soil.
“If we have local manufacturing of the equipment we need, the cost of medical services could be brought down by 30 to 35%.”
He believes that industry’s biggest problem is that medical technology is nobody’s child when it comes to formulating rules.
“Neither the health ministry nor the science and technology ministry has oversight of this sector, he added. “Even today, the industry is governed by the Drugs and Cosmetics Act.
“If a separate department were to oversee industry and aggressive initiatives [were taken] towards its development, we could have a big industry in the next 10 years.”
Read the full article ‘Marching in medicine but trailing along in technology’ at www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com.
The National Biomedical and Clinical Engineering Conference and Exhibition is the only annual conference that brings together the entire bio-med community, earning a unique place in the annual medical conference schedule - and once again Rigel Medical will there, providing advice and support for the industry.
John Backes, associate director – Rigel Medical, says the event is a great opportunity for customers and specifiers to see the company’s product range and how these are used as well as meeting the Rigel team. He’s looking forward to seeing you (insert stand number?) at the event in Birmingham on the 18th October. More at www.nationalbiomedconference.co.uk.