Welsh MedTech Innovation Revolutionising Cancer Care Announced as One of Three Finalists for Most Prestigious UK Engineering Award
Creo Medical, the company behind an innovative and disruptive new suite of advanced energy, minimally invasive electrosurgical devices, has been named as one of three companies shortlisted for the 2021 MacRobert Award.
The Chepstow based business designs and manufactures highly advanced miniaturised surgical tools that uniquely integrate radio frequency and high frequency microwave energy for highly targeted, minimally invasive endoscopic surgery, dramatically improving patient outcomes for cancer care, while minimising the need for traditional surgical interventions, moving treatment out of the operating room.
Founded in 1969, the MacRobert Award is overseen by the Royal Academy of Engineering and is the UK’s longest running engineering prize. It endorses engineering achievements that demonstrate outstanding innovation, tangible societal benefit and proven commercial success.
- The winning team will receive the signature MacRobert Award gold medal and a £50,000 cash prize, joining the pioneers behind innovations such as the Harrier Jump Jet, the Raspberry Pi micro-computer and the CT scanner.
- 2021 finalists for the Royal Academy of Engineering MacRobert Award are world-leading UK engineering innovations that could help us all live healthier, more sustainable lives.
MedTech innovation revolutionising cancer care
The core of the technology is the creation of an advanced energy platform, delivering power to a range of flexible devices that transform traditional diagnostic instruments such as endoscopes, to technologies that physicians can use to not only navigate to tumours for diagnosis, but to then perform highly precise clinical treatment either non or minimally invasively.
There are around 367,000 new cancer cases in the UK, and almost half of cancers are diagnosed at a late stage in England. But Creo Medical’s innovations promise significant medical and health benefits. It ensures that cancer patients can be treated earlier, with better outcomes due to the quality and precision of its engineering innovation. It also significantly lowers costs, reducing the cost of care by up to £10,000 per procedure in NHS Hospitals, a 50% saving on traditional surgery.
In 2020, the company successfully CE marked five new devices and its devices are now being used across Europe, UK, the United States and Asia.
The MacRobert Award judges were impressed with the quality of the precision engineering, medical instruments and integration with advanced energy solutions. They also identified the future applications of the product within the robotic surgery market and potential ability to operate on areas of the body that are currently hard to reach, as demonstrating the truly transformative potential of the innovation.
Creo Medical has been selected as a finalist for the MacRobert Award alongside two other engineering innovations developed in the UK, that also promise significant medical and health benefits:
- DnaNudge for its pioneering genetic testing technology that enables consumers to shop more healthily – nudged by their DNA plus lifestyle. Following a simple cheek swab, DnaNudge’s NudgeBox analyser maps the user’s genetic profile to key nutrition-related health traits such as obesity, diabetes, hypertension and cholesterol. Customers can then use their wearable DnaBand and mobile app to scan products while they shop and be guided by their DNA towards healthier choices. The technology has been rapidly adapted into a gold-standard, 90-minute lab-free RT-PCR test for COVID-19 and is now in use in NHS hospitals, care homes, and supporting the return of the arts sector.
- PragmatIC Semiconductor for its electronic engineering innovation that takes the silicon out of silicon chips, resulting in ultra-low-cost thin and flexible integrated circuits. These can be inexpensively embedded in everyday objects from food and drink packaging to medical consumables, a crucial step in achieving the Internet of Things and addressing a range of application sectors including the circular economy and digital healthcare. The technology reduces manufacturing cycle time from months to less than a day, allowing agile “just in time” production of microchips, avoiding the risks and waste of global supply chains. In addition, traditional silicon chip fabrication methods have enormous carbon and water footprints, while the PragmatIC approach reduces this by more than 100-fold.
From more accurate diagnosis of cancer, to pharmaceutical production, each of these groundbreaking engineering achievements reflect the UK’s global leadership in medical engineering.
The winner will be announced in July, with the winning team set to receive the signature MacRobert Award gold medal and a £50,000 cash prize.
Now in its 52nd year, MacRobert Award winning innovations have changed the world, delivering enormous economic and societal benefits and contributing to the UK’s standing as a global leader in life sciences.
Craig Gulliford, CEO, Creo Medical said:
“To be nominated for the UK’s most prestigious engineering award is a tremendous honour for the Creo Medical team, and highlights our passion to improve healthcare and save lives. Our shortlisting tops off what has been a milestone year for the team, bringing a truly novel and innovative medical device to the market, and showcasing the potential of UK innovation.”
MacRobert Award winners are chosen by an expert panel of Royal Academy Fellows, who have vast experience across engineering industry and academia. The Creo Medical finalist team includes:
- Craig Gulliford, CEO
- Steve Morris, former COO
- Chris Hancock, CTO & Founder
- Dr Nuwan Dharmasiri, Principal RF and Microwave Engineer
- Sandra Swain, Principal Engineer.
MacRobert Award judge Professor Sir Saeed Zahedi OBE RDI FREng, said: “The team at Creo Medical are a prime example of the UK’s ability to lead the MedTech industry. Their cutting edge technology is hugely impressive and an extremely important innovation that truly has the ability to revolutionise cancer treatment and patient experience across the world. Their work benefits the local community in terms of high tech sustainable design, development, manufacturing and assembly of precision engineering that will directly benefit the NHS for many generations to come. It will also help the UK export market, creating revenue and enabling future robotic surgery.”
Professor Sir Richard Friend FREng FRS, Chair of the Royal Academy of Engineering MacRobert Award judging panel, said:
“The UK is a global leader in engineering and technology, as evidenced by its proactive role in tackling the pandemic, from ventilators to vaccine production. After such a year it is no surprise to find medical engineering strongly represented across the finalists for this year’s MacRobert Award for engineering innovation. As we look to build back better for the future, the inspiring achievements of our finalists offer the potential for all of us to have more control over our health and lifestyle.
“These three companies represent the very best of engineering innovation, offering new ways to apply leading edge technologies in our daily lives. Whether using our own genetics to guide us on making healthier food choices through DnaNudge, reaping the benefits of products connected seamlessly thanks to PragmatIC’s flexible electronics or receiving more precise cancer treatment developed by Creo Medical, these developments offer huge potential advantages for the future.”
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June Medical Honoured with Prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise
June Medical is one of 48 organisations to be recognised for their excellence in innovation in this year’s Queen’s Awards for Enterprise. Now in its 55th year, the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise are the most prestigious business awards in the country – rewarding only the most outstanding achievements – with winning businesses able to use the esteemed Queen’s Awards emblem for the next five years.
June Medical is a medical device company with a global reach, and already has multiple highly regarded accolades already to its name. Based in High Wycombe, UK, it continues to lead from the front by delivering medical innovations to address unmet surgical needs – adding lasting value to the medical community. The company’s Galaxy II single-use surgical retractor reduces the need for extra staff during surgery, and lowers the risk of patient-to-patient cross-contamination. The ground-breaking product has been well received by surgeons across the UK and internationally, and its widespread success has earned June Medical this prestigious award.
Angela Spang, CEO and founder of June Medical, pioneered the Galaxy II range and is delighted with the honour the company has received. She commented: “This award is the result of all the hard work from everyone in the team. Our vision is to positively impact patients’ lives by making surgery easier for the surgeons and nurses, and safer for every patient. Being recognised today for our work will help the company continue this quest.”
Read more on The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise here
To find out more about JUNE Medical, visit junemedical.com
Study Investigates the Impact of Automating Respiration Rate Measurement Using Masimo Rad-G™ with RRp®
Masimo recently announced the results of a prospective, observational study published in Acta Paediatrica in which researchers from the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto evaluated the accuracy of plethysmographic respiration rate measurement (RRp®) using Masimo Rad-G™, a rugged, handheld device, on malnourished, hospitalized children in Nigeria.
Noting that in resource-limited environments, respiration rate (RR) measurement is often used to directly inform medical decisions for children with respiratory problems, but that manual RR counting “remains a challenge,” Dr. Nancy Dale and colleagues investigated whether a technological solution might provide a useful alternative to manual counting. To make the evaluation, the researchers compared simultaneous device measurements and nurse-measured manual RR counts on malnourished children. The device chosen was the Masimo Rad-G, which uses a pulse oximetry sensor to measure both oxygen saturation and RRp, and which has been shown to provide good agreement between RRp and pediatrician-measured RR. They enrolled 514 children, aged 6 to 59 months, who were hospitalized between July 2019 and May 2020, in Borno State, Nigeria. Study nurses were trained to operate Rad-G and also perform manual RR counts as part of twice-daily patient assessment. RR was manually counted for 60 seconds while Rad-G simultaneously measured RRp via a sensor attached to the patient’s toe, and both measurements were recorded.
Analyzing the 6,889 paired RR measurements, the researchers found that the mean Rad-G RRp reading was 1.3 bpm (95% confidence interval 1.2 – 1.4 bpm) higher than the mean manual RR value. The mean absolute difference between the two methods was 4.4 bpm (95% CI 4.3 – 4.5 bpm). When RR was classified as either “normal” or “fast” breathing (using WHO pneumonia thresholds), the two methods resulted in the same classification 84% of the time. When RR was classified according to BedsidePEWS RR sub-scoring (a 4-point scale), 80% of the scores were the same, and 99.3% were within 1 point.
The researchers concluded that their findings “highlight the potential clinical impact of changing practice from manual to automated RR count. Clinical implementation of the device should be carefully monitored to measure impact on patient outcomes.”
Study co-author Dr. Stanley Zlotkin commented, “Technical solutions to improve clinical care are laudable. We look forward to continuing this research.”
RRp is one of multiple RR monitoring modalities offered by Masimo, which also include acoustic respiration rate (RRa®) and NomoLine® capnography (RRc™), helping clinicians ensure they have the most suitable tool for each patient scenario.
First developed in partnership with The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Rad-G is a rugged, handheld device that provides clinically proven Masimo SET® pulse oximetry, respiration rate (RRp), and other important parameters. With its long-lasting rechargeable battery, robust rubber casing, and light weight, Rad-G makes it easier for clinicians to quickly assess patients and make informed care decisions anywhere pulse oximetry or vital signs checking is needed in a compact, portable form factor. Coupled with the universal Mini-Clip™ pulse oximeter sensor to provide the ultimate in handheld versatility, Rad-G can be used in a variety of settings, including limited-resource environments, both indoors and in the field.
In the U.S., RRp is 510(k) cleared for patients greater than two years old.