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Guest Blogger: Imperial College London

An artificial pancreas, a disposable tourniquet, and ear-mounted body sensors were among the Imperial projects on display at the NHS Healthcare Innovation Expo 2011 this month. The Expo is the largest public sector health and social care event in Europe, attracting over 10,000 delegates to the Excel centre in East London on March 9th and 10th.

On display were a number of innovations emerging from Imperial’s Academic Health Science Centre, a partnership between the College and Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust set up to improve the quality of life of patients and populations by taking new discoveries and translating them into new therapies as quickly as possible.

To see a video in which, AHSC policy adviser Peter Davies explains Imperial’s involvement in the Expo, Gursharan Randhawa from Imperial Innovations describes how a medical student’s idea became a successful spin-out company, and Pau Herrero from the Institute of Biomedical Engineering talks about his group’s artificial pancreas project, please click here

Thanks to Sam Wong and Imperial College London for allowing us to use this copy. For more information please visit

Professor Josh Silver wins the BMJ session at Healthcare Innovation Expo

Professor Josh Silver’s selfadjustable glasses have been voted the idea most likely to make the biggest impact on healthcare by 2020 at the Healthcare Innovation Expo. 

The idea impressed the panel, which consisted of Dr Fiona Godlee, Editor in Chief of the BMJ, Professor Sir Bruce Keogh, NHS Medical Director, Dr Andy Goldberg OBE, Founder, Medical Futures and Vivienne Parry, Science Journalist and ex Tomorrow’s World presenter, as well as the Expo audience who proclaimed Professor Silver’s idea as the winner. 

Professor Silver is the inventor of the world’s first universal self-adjustable glasses – Adspecs. Self-adjustable glasses are low-cost glasses with adjustable lenses, the power of which is set by the wearer by looking through the lenses and turning a dial until they can see clearly. The glasses have a number of advantages for the developing world in that those distributing the glasses need not be highly trained, distribution is quick and easy, and almost any organisation working in the developing world can add vision correction to the services they provide. 

Professor Silver is Director of the Centre for Vision in the Developing World, a research institution based in Oxford dedicated to researching the best ways of providing vision correction in the developing world. 

The Centre estimates that 1 billion or more people in the world lack a pair of glasses that they need to see clearly, and a lack of optometrists and eyecare facilities is the key issue preventing them from receiving these glasses. 

The four short listed “Innovation Champions” were: 

Professor Josh Silver, Director of the Centre for Vision in the Developing World – Self-adjustable glasses 

Professor Sir Rory Collins, Chief Executive of UK Biobank – Creation and maintenance of database of large UK population for longitudinal study of factors affecting disease and well-being

Professor Robert Chambers, Institute for Development Studies – Facilitating developing world communities’ adoption of practices to end open defecation and the associated risk of disease 

Dr Patty Kostkova, Head of City University ehealth Research Centre – Use of social networks accessible via mobile phone to track disease

To view the BMJ’s online video of the Healthcare Innovation Expo visit

Guest Blogger: O+Berri Reviews the Healthcare Innovation Expo

On March 9th & 10th, three representatives of O+Berri (The Basque Institute for Healthcare Innovation) attended the NHS Healthcare Innovation Expo.

O+Berri aims to be a platform for ongoing innovation in the Basque Healthcare System, committed, through excellence, to the continuous development of its organisational systems.

From that perspective, we had a great chance to learn how innovative ideas can improve patient care and increase efficiency in the NHS. During the two days of the Innovation Expo we attended really interesting seminars and listened to many speakers covering a wide range of topics from GP commissioning, productivity, Innovation in Primary care, patient empowerment, integrated care pathways, innovation using technology, stratification, or innovation from the frontline among many others.

Now, we need to put some of the lessons learnt into practice in the Basque Chronic patients strategy that was designed and launched last year to respond to the needs generated by the phenomena of chronicity in all affected groups: chronic patients and their carers, healthcare workers, and citizens in general.

The Strategy proposes moving to a model of organization which is more proactive in order to ensure:

• That patients have the confidence and the skills to manage their illness.

• That patients receive care that includes optimum monitoring of their illness and prevents complications.

• That there is a continuous monitoring system both remote and face-to-face.

• That the patients have a care plan, which has been mutually agreed with health professionals, with which to control their illness.

The strategy consists of 5 main policies, expected to be implemented through 14 projects in the next 3 years. These are the projects:

1. Stratification and targeting of the population.

2. Interventions aimed at the principal risk factors.

3. Self-care and patient education: e.g. the Active Patient Program.

4. Setting up a network of activated patients, connected through web 2.0 with the patient associations.

5. Integrated electronic health record.

6. Integrated care.

7. Development of sub-acute hospitals.

8. Advanced nursing competencies.

9. Healthcare – Social Services collaboration.

10. Financing and contracting.

11. Multi-channel centre.

12. E-prescription.

13. Chronic illness research centre.

14. Innovation from the professionals

Our visit to the healthcare Innovation Expo has given us new and fresh ideas to improve the implementation of these 14 projects in the Basque Healthcare System. Among the topics and seminars that we attended and have direct correlation to the Basque Chronic patients strategy we can mention for example the ones that define how to promote innovation from the frontline, how to scalate innovative practices, innovation in primary care or how to engage patients in their own care to mention just a few.

NHS Local shares its video of the Healthcare Innovation Expo with us…


NHS local spent two busy days at Europe’s largest Healthcare Innovation Expo at London’s Excel Centre meeting exhibitors and delegates to discuss the latest in healthcare innovation.

The Expo featured 130 exhibitors, 250 speakers from the public and private sectors and 150 seminars, all featuring technologies aimed at delivering improvements in quality and productivity in healthcare.

Expo 2011 featured 130 exhibitors, 250 speakers from the public and private sectors and 150 seminars. It is designed to showcase the latest technologies and techniques for modern healthcare to help managers, clinicians and front line staff.

With the NHS reforms setting the agenda, there was a lot of talk about how innovation can play a part in delivering change.

NHS local spoke to some of the key players at the event including NHS chief executive Sir David Nicholson, the national clinical director for diabetes Dr Rowan Hillson, Turning Point chief executive Lord Victor Adebowale, NHS Networks project manager Katherine Andrews, Thomas Meek from Quality in Care, Tim Ellis from the Department of Health, clinical director of education workforce and innovation Dr Will Murdoch and Kevin McGee chief executive of Heart of Birmingham PCT.

To view the video please visit

For more information on NHS local visit

Guest Blogger: Mary Jo Kurth, Business Development Manager at Randox, reviews The Healthcare Innovation Expo

Today Mary Jo Kurth, Business Development Manager at Randox, jumps in the blogging seat to share her thoughts on the Healthcare Innovation Expo.

I attended Healthcare Innovation Expo last week on behalf of Randox Laboratories Ltd. The presentations were interesting and there was good discussion about innovation in the NHS and how to introduce new innovative technologies into the NHS.  Indeed many of the individuals that attended our stand were involved in translational research. This is an exciting time for innovative companies like Randox. 

We exhibited our MultiStat Instrument which is a point of care instrument designed to be used with our Cardiac Array. The Cardiac Array produces results for Heart-fatty acid binding-protein (H-FABP), Troponin I and CK-MB from a single patient sample within 30 minutes in the ED, thereby improving TAT when compared with the central laboratory. With a 98% negative predictive value for MI at 3-6 hours post chest pain onset, the combination of H-FABP and Troponin I has the potential to allow for earlier discharge of non cardiac patients currently being unnecessarily admitted for a 12 hour test. 

The intended use of the H-FABP assay is for the early rule out of MI and the risk stratification of low to medium risk ACS patients in the absence of necrosis. Unlike troponin, H-FABP is released without the presence of necrosis, allowing for the detection of troponin negative patients who are nevertheless at significant and proven risk of increased mortality. A fully quantitative H-FABP assay allows for the risk stratification of these high risk patients who currently either slip through the net or are considered to be of a lower priority.

This technology was also detailed on the QIPP innovation wall and in BIVDA’s “The difference diagnostics can make” pack which was available on the BIVDA stand.

Randox also exhibited our STI Array.  The STI Array enables 10 pathogens to be tested for simultaneously in one patient sample in the central laboratory.  Results are obtained in 4 hours as opposed to >2 days using current techniques.  Savings are made through the correct identification of pathogens and correct treatment, reduced misuse of antibiotics and reduced lab running costs (overheads, staff, and equipment).

Dr Mary Jo Kurth
Business Development Manager, Randox

Guest Blogger Natalie Goulden reviews the Healthcare Innovation Expo

Natalie Goulden, Programme Manager for Industry, reviews the NHS Innovation Expo 2011

Last week I attended the NHS Innovation Expo at ExCel, London which provided an opportunity to see how ideas in the NHS can be translated from a ‘light bulb’ moment, through research, into innovations that can be implemented and make a real difference for patients.

I was part of a team demonstrating innovation across NHS North West and the event provided a great opportunity to talk to colleagues from across the country.

Perhaps the major challenge for the next twelve months that came out of the Expo was to ensure that research and innovation stay at the forefront as GP consortia are formed and huge changes take place in the way that care is commissioned .

The Expo featured a wide range of speakers, seminars and exhibitors, all attempting to demonstrate how innovative ideas can improve patient care and increase efficiency in the NHS. Innovations ranged from simple streamlining of services to highly complex technology.

Speakers included: Andrew Lansley, the Secretary of State for Health; Sir David Nicholson, NHS Chief Executive; Lord Howe, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department of Health; and Ben Page, the Chief Executive of Ipsos MORI.

Andrew Lansley on stage at the NHS Innovation Expo Andrew Lansley was interviewed on stage by former BBC News presenter Martyn Lewis

Andrew Lansley said that the NHS will encourage innovation in three ways: by placing the patient at the centre of decision making about their own care; through a focus on improving outcomes; and by placing power in the hands of local clinicians while getting rid of bureaucracy.

Ben Page of Ipsos MORI reminded the audience that we shouldn’t assume that we know what is important to patients. For example, the vast majority of people surveyed by them would always choose to be treated at their local hospital, rather than travelling to another site, in spite of the choice available to them.

There are real challenges in continuing to maintain high quality health care, innovating and improving that care; and doing all this at a time of rapid change, particularly in primary care.

We need to ensure we meet these challenges and ensure the ‘light blub’ moments continue to deliver real benefits for patients.

Thanks to Greater Manchester CLRN for allowing us to use this copy, for more information visit their website

Healthcare Innovation Expo Blog to be continued….

A big thank you to everyone who helped make the Healthcare Innovation Expo such a success.

We will be adding more blogs shortly and welcome any feedback from those who attended the Expo.

If you do wish to share your comments on the event or if you have any suggestions for the blog please feel free to email me –

Many thanks,