Wed, 29 Jul 2020
Welcome to our 2020 newsletter! Find out all the latest updates on COVID-19, what we have achieved in the last financial year, check out our new team member, discover our expert blogs, learn about patents and finally take a look at the new Meridian website and find out about the Meridian Events and more.
Through this, an unsettling time, we would like to highlight that MidTECH Innovations is still open for business. We appreciate that many individuals that work for the NHS and alongside the NHS across the West Midlands will have other priorities during this period. However, we would like you to know that we are still here to help and that if you have any innovations relating to COVID-19 or need any IP advice for COVID-19 research, then please do not hesitate to get in touch. We will also be keeping you and our community connected and updated through our social media channels.
We would also like to take this opportunity to thank all our colleagues in the NHS and all other key workers that continue to help with the fight against corona-virus. We would like to thank them all for their brave efforts and help in keeping this country running. The MidTECH team thanks them for their tireless, hard work in the face of adversity.
For more information and guidelines on COVID-19 then please clock on the following link: https://www.midtech.org.uk/news/latest-news-on-covid-19.html
Due to COVID - 19, many events have been postponed or cancelled. This year Meridian alongside West Midlands Academic Health Science Network were planning on holding three Meridian Live events in each of the regional MIC localities. These three Meridian Live events were to be followed by an awards event at which MidTECH will be looking to award our prize fund again to an NHS-developed innovation.
We will be keeping you updated on these events, and others, so keep a look out!
For now there are many digital events that you can attend, take a look here: https://www.midtech.org.uk/industry-events.html
The SME Health Innovation Fund was set up to provide an investment to newly emerging healthcare products with links to the NHS. Mercia Asset Management (MAM), a leading investment business, collaborated with the West Midlands Academic Health Science Network (WMAHSN) and MidTECH to offer funding to a suitable new healthcare product in the West Midlands.
This investment means that the development of AerosolShield can now be taken further. When the innovation first came out the team produced just over 1,000 devices for the NHS with the help of £35,000 from a crowdfunding campaign. The SME investment will now allow the team to set up additional production, so that the innovation can be used wider.
The funds will help develop and implement an IP strategy in collaboration with Forresters. Forresters provide clear, practical advice to clients looking to protect their intellectual property. For more information on Forresters, click on the following link: https://www.forresters.co.uk/
We here at MidTECH are excited to be working with all parties, to further develop this exciting new device, especially during this time of crisis. The device is paramount in protecting healthcare staff from the risks of COVID-19. It allows staff to feel less anxious and more protected whilst working with patients. We cannot wait to see how AerosolShield will make a difference to so many workers.
AerosolShield was designed by Matthew Campbell-Hill, Senior Fellow in Novel Medical Technologies at the University of Birmingham, Dr Egidio da Silva, Consultant Anaesthetist at the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, GP Dr Lydia Campbell-Hill, Dr Mark Reeves, Director at MRA Technology Ltd, and Dr Richard Williams, Research Fellow at Birmingham’s Healthcare Technologies Institute.
The aim of AerosolShield is to save lives by providing healthcare workers, in the UK and internationally, with additional protection against air and aerosol-bourne contagions such as COVID- 19. This is achieved by containing the contamination threat immediately around the patient. Therefore, protecting staff whilst enabling them to deliver vital treatments that save people’s lives.
AerosolShield allows staff to quickly form a workable protective barrier around a patient before carrying out life-saving procedures, wherever they are. The manufacturer of AerosolShield already supplies the NHS and armed forces around the world with medical isolation units. As the AerosolShield is produced by an established NHS provider, the product meets all required standards for medical use.
The AerosolShield is a disposable, mini pop-up tent covering the patients head, neck, and shoulder- level chest area with further coverage of the torso though an integrated drape. The deployed shield is optically clear and has self- closing access points, allowing medical staff to have easy line-of-sight hand access in and around the patient’s airway. AerosolShield is considerably lighter and cheaper than hard box solutions, and is collapsible for easy transport, storage, and disposal in standard yellow clinical waste bins.
The new SME fund will now allow the team to set up a new medtech business and scale up production. This will then help keep the West Midlands safe ad healthy.
For more information on the AerosolShield visit their website here: https://www.aerosolshield.com/
We have constantly been working hard on getting you the right advice on intellectual property (IP). Our Expert Blogs are written by professionals and experts from different organisations. These blogs have been very popular in the last financial year. The Expert Blogs cover everything from updates in the intellectual property world, artificial intelligence in healthcare, life science and patents, and much more.
If you would like to learn more about IP in the healthcare industry, then visit our Expert Blog page here: https://www.midtech.org.uk/blogs.html
We welcome Ryan Brown to our MidTECH team. Ryan has been appointed as a MidTECH Innovation Manager. Ryan joined us after performing various roles in the College of Medical and Dental Sciences at the University of Birmingham, including working with and identifying early IP, developing collaborative projects with industry and finally forming a translational research team to drive and support projects to benefit patients and society. Prior to this Ryan had a research background in biochemistry at the University of Birmingham; we believe his expertise and experience makes him a great addition to the MidTECH team.
Ryan’s role involves managing NHS-developed innovations across the West Midlands, helping to protect new ideas with the relevant intellectual property, in addition to offering training and expertise on innovation, IP and commercialisation. If you would like to learn more about Ryan and his role, visit our team page: https://www.midtech.org.uk/team-introductions.html
Take a look at what we have achieved this financial year, including how many new disclosures came to us, how many non-disclosure agreements we have completed and much more. We are also offering free IP sessions and an introduction to MidTECH to any NHS organisation that is interested within the West Midlands! Take a look below...
If you haven’t heard yet… Meridian has a brand NEW website! Check it out here: https://bit.ly/3bQUWqN Meridian is the West Midlands AHSN Innovation Exchange – designed to help innovators understand what the NHS challenges are and how to overcome them. The platform also allows you to submit your innovation, shows you where you can access WMAHSN specialist innovation services and helps you share your innovation across the West Midlands. They can then support you by giving feedback, explore opportunities and support you around any key issues relating to your innovation.
There is also the WMAHSN Atlas of solutions – this is where innovators can share their very best examples of ideas, that are being used / piloted across the West Midlands. This allows ideas to spread further across the health and care system.
If you would like to share your best practice, then we can help you share is across Meridian. This could help spread your idea further, help connect you to the right people and give you the chance to further develop your innovations. Find out how we can help you to do this, by simply contacting us here: https://www.midtech.org.uk/contact.html
You may be wondering what a patent is… well a patent is a form of legal protection covering inventions. You can file a patent to protect how your innovation works, how they are made and what they do.
Once you have a patent for an idea, other parties cannot make, do or use your idea without your permission.
You might be asking yourself, does that mean I can patent any idea I have then?
The answer to that is that you can’t. Each invention is reviewed on a case by case basis and sometimes a patent will not be granted. One main reason for this would be that someone else has described the idea before.
Scientific or mathematical discoveries are not allowed to be patented and, important to MidTECH’s work, a medical treatment or a diagnosis is forbidden from being granted a patent.
How do you get a patent?
Well you must apply to the Intellectual Property Office for a patent for your innovation / idea. This can take time, can get very expensive and requires expert advice for it to be done properly. MidTECH helps NHS Trusts with this process and calls upon expert patent attorneys where needed.
Still a bit confused? Well Patents are a complicated area. So please get in touch with us if you have any questions or aren’t sure whether your idea could be suitable for patent protection. https://www.midtech.org.uk/contact.html