New centre to help SMEs develop medical innovations

A new centre has been launched in collaboration with the University of Birmingham aimed at providing a central space for SMEs to accelerate the development of medical innovations.

The University of Birmingham reports the Medical Devices Testing and Evaluation Centre (MD-TEC) is located in the Institute for Translational Medicine (ITM), a facility on the site of Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham (QEHB) which was delivered through Birmingham Health Partners, an alliance between University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust (UHB), the University of Birmingham and Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust.

MD-TEC is being led by UHB, with key delivery partners being the University of Birmingham, Aston University, Birmingham City University, Birmingham Community Healthcare Trust and the West Midlands Academic Health Science Network.

An event to mark the launch of MD-TEC is due to take place on January 17th 2018, which will allow guests to tour of the facilities and will include talks by key staff members.

Liam Grover, Professor in Biomaterials Science at the University of Birmingham’s College of Engineering and Physical Sciences, will lead biomaterials development, while Dr Tom Clutton-Brock, senior lecturer at the College of Medical and Dental Sciences, Clinical Director of the NIHR Trauma Management Healthcare Technology Co-operative and Deputy Director of the ITM, will lead medical device usability and safety testing.

Tom Clutton-Brock said “The new Medical Devices Testing and Evaluation Centre (MD-TEC) promises to be a game changer, in terms of ensuring medical devices are fit for purpose and successfully reach market faster. Evidence suggests that the majority of device related adverse incidents are user related, so it is crucial that usability testing is included in a device’s technical file. Many devices undergo significant re-design after introduction into clinical practice, which is very costly to the life sciences industry. MD-TEC will provide a dedicated test facility for medical technology companies to test the usability of their technology in a realistic environment, using real clinical staff without placing patients at risk.”

MD-TEC has been supported through the European Regional Development Fund and will boost the life science economy in the Greater Birmingham area. It will act as a central space to accelerate the development of medical innovations for small and medium-sized businesses. MD-TEC will offer a range of support, including medtech materials, and the facilities will include purpose built replicas of key clinical areas. It will boost the growing regional reputation for medical device development, including collaboration with the NHS and academia, as well as the commercialisation of devices.

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