The bioengineers behind an award-winning device that could save health services thousands of pounds have created a spin-out company from the University.
Professor Trish Connolly and colleagues have set up Ohmedics Ltd to commercialise their pioneering wound monitor, which brings better wound management to patients.
The system allows doctors and nurses to check whether a wound is moist - the optimum condition for healing - without having to remove the dressing. This reduces pain and skin trauma to the patient and limits opportunities for infection, as well as saving valuable staff time changing dressings unnecessarily.
The technology is designed for use in hospitals, surgeries and for community use and the home, and can be adopted for any kind of chronic or acute wound.
Ohmedics was set up following a highly successful clinical trial in Glasgow, supported by Proof of Concept funding from Scottish Enterprise. It is hoped the first product will be available later this month.
Ohmedics CEO, Professor Connolly, who is based at the University of Strathclyde's Institute of Medical Devices, said: "With chronic leg ulcers alone affecting 10 out of every 1,000 adults in the western world at some time in their lives, the need for effective wound care is clear.
"When we developed the wound monitor, we sought the views of clinicians from NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde to ensure the device met staff and patient needs. We're delighted to now be in a position to launch Ohmedics.
"Currently, if a doctor or nurse wants to check how a wound is healing, they have to remove the dressing - a process which can disturb the wound and be detrimental to the healing process, as well as leading to patient discomfort.
"The new monitor means dressings aren't changed or disturbed unless they need to be, allowing wounds to heal as quickly as possibly and enabling the patient to get on with life. The system also lessens pressure on valuable resources - both in terms of staff time and unnecessary dressings."
The technology uses a tiny, disposable sensor which is attached to the gauze of a dressing. A hand-held meter attached to the sensor displays whether the dressing is moist - and likely to heal well if left alone - or too wet or dry.
The researchers received the Award for Innovation for the wound monitor from Scots life sciences network, Nexxus, in November 2007.
Ohmedics is already moving from strength to strength with the expertise of its new board, which includes Chair John Thomson, formerly Chief Investment Officer for Standard Life and an alumnus of the University; Biotechnology entrepreneur Simon Best; and Alistair MacWilliam, formerly General manager of Shell Glasgow.
Operational staff have also been appointed to the team, including Sales Director John Hilferty, formerly with Amersham International, and Technical Director Nasser Djennati of Hall Effect Technology and IVMD.
Dr Alan Lindsay, Industrial Interface Manager at Strathclyde Institute for Medical Devices, said: "I am delighted that Ohmedics has now been established. It has the potential to be a significant commercial success as it is designed to meet the needs of patients and hard-pressed health services around the world.
"The board has the combination of experience, energy and enthusiasm to help the company realise its potential."
Ohmedics will have offices in the Strathclyde Incubator for its product launch and the wound monitor will be manufactured in Scotland.
The University of Strathclyde was recently rated as one of the UK's top 10 universities to work with by the business community. Ohmedics brings the University's total number of spin-out companies to nearly 50.
15 October 2009