Strathclyde a hub of Medtech breakthroughs

Professor Patricia Connolly, left, points to the benefits of bringing together complementary disciplines at the Tontine Center, above
Professor Patricia Connolly, left, points to the benefits of bringing together complementary disciplines at the Tontine Center

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Strathclyde Institute of Medical Devices (SIMD) is a core part of the University’s activities in the healthcare field and it exists to stimulate Medtech activity across the University-Industry-Clinical interface.

Part of the institute’s role is to support the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Medical Devices and Health Technologies. The CDT pursues multidisciplinary Medtech projects at the interface between medicine, engineering and the life sciences, training young engineers and physical scientists to enter the sector.

Many projects initiated through the CDT have generated substantial new research programmes with clinical and commercial impact.

Follow on examples from such research include a project that received Scottish Enterprise Proof of Concept support to investigate a wound management diagnostic device. The device is now commercialized as WoundSense™ via the spin-out company Ohmedics Ltd. The device monitors moisture in a wound dressing, establishing the need for a dressing change without having to disturb it. A recent clinical study in Qatar using WoundSense™ involving the University, Ohmedics and Hamad Medical Corporation, suggested that almost 45% of hospital dressings may have been changed unnecessarily, indicating that a change in protocol could benefit patients and deliver substantial savings to the healthcare system.

SIMD is also contributing to activities around Strathclyde’s state of the art Technology and Innovation Centre (TIC), while the city of Glasgow has recently created the first Innovation District in the area around it. This area already has $187m of initial capital investment and an innovation programme worth $312m.

Importantly for SIMD and the CDT, the new Innovation District will bring business, academia and government together in Glasgow to grow the health, life sciences and engineering sectors respectively. The Innovation District will be co-located at the TIC, Scottish Enterprise’s Inovo Building and the local Council’s City Deal Tontine Building, which was opened in 2016 and supports high-growth companies.

Professor Patricia Connolly, Director of Strathclyde Institute of Medical Devices, has observed: “Our work at the university uniquely demonstrates what can be achieved by bringing together medical, engineering and life science disciplines in the development of new and exciting Medtech solutions”.

SIMD offers a range of services to incoming companies and clinicians including introductions to academic teams, collaborative project scoping, roadmaps for Medtech product development, IP brokering and specialist events for companies or other groups. The Institute has also formed a Medtech Academic Advisory Group across Scotland and strong NHS partnerships.

The Institute’s programme of activities in the Medtech sector feeds the innovation pipeline for new projects, products and services and is extending the international connectivity of its Medtech community. SIMD is also poised to strengthen its connections in the US through a partnership with the recently established Par USA business and investment fund.