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TrusTECH goes intergalactic to help NHS patients

A spin-out company from the UK’s Science & Technology Facilities Council (STFC), Microvisk, has developed the world’s first medical diagnostic strip based on a micro-electro-mechanical system (MEMS) with help from TrusTECH, the Northwest’s NHS Innovation Hub. The technology was originally created as a movement system for nano-robots on space probes by the STFC for planetary exploration. TrusTECH is a joint venture partner in the MedTECH Centre.

 There are many people who suffer from coagulation (Blood Clotting) disorders and the Microvisk Technology is designed to assist in the correct dosage of Anti-Coagulation Medication such as Warfarin.

 One of the most widely prescribed drugs in the world, warfarin is used to prevent dangerous blood clots that can lead to heart attacks and strokes. It is difficult for doctors to prescribe the required dosage accurately because it can vary widely between individuals. If the dose is too low there is a risk of blood clots forming. If a dose is too high it can lead to a life-threatening bleed. The condition can even be affected by food and exercise. Frequent blood tests are therefore essential, resulting in hundreds of millions of tests annually.

 Microvisk has developed a handy system for patients to monitor their blood clotting status in their own home, in the same way that a diabetic would test for glucose.

 That’s why when TrusTECH, NHS Innovations North West, was approached by Microvisk with a request to test their system on NHS patients receiving Warfarin Therapy they sat up and took notice.


Keith Chantler, Executive Director, TrusTECH said:

 “Technology plays a big part both in driving change in the NHS and in supporting the change the NHS wants to make, not only in technology, but also in services, and new ways of configuring and delivering them. To do that, companies need new partnerships that don't exist at the moment.”

 TrusTECH proceeded to supervise a trial at the internationally recognised Roald Dahl Haemostasis & Thrombosis Centre based at Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

 Microvisk is now set to launch the home and surgery versions of its SmartStrip device on to the United Kingdom market in autumn 2011.  

Microvisk's SmartStrip point of care device which will be launched in the UK in 2011.

Microvisk's SmartStrip point of care device which will be launched in the UK in 2011.

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