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Design | 15th February 2016

MedTech conference gives North East health sector the credit it deserves

Read Time: 2 minutes


On 11th February Adopting MedTech for Patient Benefit 2016 brought together healthcare representatives in the inspirational surroundings of the Centre for Life.  Onyx Health was there to stay ahead of the curve for its devices and diagnostics clients.

Presenters including Life Sciences Minister George Freeman MP, Professor Sue Hill (Chief Scientific Officer, NHS England) and Carla Deakin (Associate Director, National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) all acknowledged the North East’s innovative work across the healthcare sector, and gave insightful talks to MedTech and healthcare delegates from across the UK.

There was ample opportunity for networking at the event, which was hosted by the National Institute for Health Research Diagnostic Evidence Co-operative (NIHR DEC) Newcastle and the Medical Physics Department of Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, in conjunction with the Academic Health Science Network North East and North Cumbria (AHSN NENC).

Senior clinicians, research staff, academic and industry experts were all on-board to give the MedTech sector a better understanding of the evidence required by the NHS for the adoption of medication technology.   This technology, including devices and diagnostics, has the potential to have a very positive impact on the patient experience and NHS budgets.

Professor Sue Hill OBE believes that “personalised medicine is the future”, and key to easing the burden of disease.

MedTech gives HCPs the chance to tailor medication to individual patients. This heralds a move away from the ‘one size fits all approach’ to medicines, and provides an opportunity to ‘repurpose’ existing meds to offer more effective treatments for specific types of patient.

This certainly seems to be a wise move, given that many key pharmaceutical interventions are only effective in 30-60% of patients.  Furthermore, 1 in 15 hospital admissions are caused by adverse reactions.

Thermo Fisher Diagnostics and BD Biosciences spoke about the importance of gaining evidence to support adoption of your product by the NHS.  They explained how navigating through the complex landscape of the NHS can be challenging, but it is possible.  The NIHR DEC took to the stage to outline the support it offers for businesses at all stages of product development.  Further masterclasses were then held, allowing small groups of delegates to get deeper insight into evidence development, health economics and value propositions.

Despite the talent in the room, all eyes were on the star guest, George Freeman MP.  With a background in health technology, the Life Sciences minister was perfectly placed to rally the troops and fly the flag for MedTech.

As part of his high profile visit to the region, George Freeman also met with Onyx Health client PolyPhotonix, who were delighted to be recognised for their key role in healthcare innovation.  PolyPhotonix has developed the Noctura 400 Sleep Mask, which is a wearable, non-invasive technology that has been recently listed by the Institute of Engineering and Technology as one of 100 products with the potential to change the world.

Mr Freeman told delegates that PolyPhotonix are a “star business in a cluster of excellence” and admitted that “the North East doesn’t get the credit it deserves.”  The team at Onyx Health couldn’t agree more.

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