We welcome you to our first newsletter of 2022, where we will be discussing all the new upcoming projects we’ve been working with, such as the Community Weighing Scales, the Meridian Health and Social Care Entrepreneur Academy Programme, all our MidTECH updates, events, tips on IP, and more.

Project Highlight –
Community weighing scales:

The Community Weighing Scales were developed in partnership with Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and a leading firm for medical weighing equipment manufacturers called Marsden. Sue Meredith Clinical Lead for Pediatric Dietetics and Enteral Feeding within Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust identified issues with the existing weighing scales that were being used by community dietitians that provide nutritional care and assessments in patients’ homes.

Many of the staff were reluctant to use the existing weighing scales due to the size and weight of the scales (around 18kg). This caused staff to have concerns around their own health. Staff had to transport the wheelchair scales to and from their car to the patient’s home, sometimes this would mean carrying them up flights of stairs. As the wheelchair scales were heavy, and bulky many staff members felt would increase their own risk of injury. In addition, some staff were unable to fit the scales in their cars, and there was a risk of damaging patient’s homes due the length of the beams. This meant that routine nutritional screening was not being completed for nutritionally vulnerable patients in their homes.

With these issues identified the Trust began working with Marsden, with MidTECH making initial contact with them, arranging discussions and it was agreed that Marsden and the Trust would work together to create and manufacture a weighing scale for wheelchairs that were easier to transport, lighter, simpler to use and ideal to be used by community dietitians and health nurses. The wheelchair weighing scales that were produced are suitable for almost any wheelchair.

If you would like to find out more about the Community Weighing Scales and how we helped, visit our case study here: https://www.midtech.org.uk/case-studies/community-weighing-scales.html

Social Care Entrepreneur Academy Programme:

Have you heard about the Meridian Health and Social Care Entrepreneur? Its aim is to develop a coordinated programme of activities to support health and social care innovators across the West Midlands.

There are two parts to the Meridian Health and Social Care Entrepreneur Academy:

  1. The Bootcamps, which are designed to allow attendees to explore entrepreneurship and develop transferable skills.
  2. The Meridian Entrepreneur Programme is a 6 month on the job workforce development programme that will provide health and social care professionals with the commercial skills, knowledge and experience needed to successfully develop and spread innovative solutions to the health and social care challenges being faced across the West Midlands.

What are the objectives of the Entrepreneur Programme?

The programme supports staff in the discovery, development and deployment of ideas and innovations across the region by:

  • Delivering a programme of coordinated activities to develop the capability and capacity of health and social care innovators.
  • Creating a network of innovators and adopters across the WM to share learning and provide peer support.
  • Creating a pipeline of local programmes for regional and national innovation and research activities.
  • Providing an opportunity to reward and recognise innovators within the region.

If you are interested in this programme and want to learn more about the Meridian Health and Social Care Entrepreneur Academy, then click on the following link and apply! https://meridian.wazoku.com/challenge/a04e2e81c420407a801e6fbea4c72237?entities=idea&sort=-relevancy&page=1&pageSize=15&include_descendants&parentType=challenge&parentId=a04e2e81c420407a801e6fbea4c72237&communityId=5906910ba97b42f4be867abde716b3ef

Share your idea on Meridian:

Did you know we do Meridian case studies to help spread the adoption of an NHS innovation?

Do you have a successful innovation story or would like to share some best practice? If the answer is yes… then why not share it across Meridian? This could help spread your idea, network with the right people, and give you the chance to develop your idea further. Find out how we can help you do this by simply contacting us.

New MidTECH Team Member

We have a new Innovation Manager who has joined the MidTECH Innovations Team!

Bethany has been appointed as a MidTECH Innovation Manager. Having originally completed her LLB (Honours) Law and Legal Practice Course (LPC) Bethany embarked on a long career in commercial medical devices, working closely alongside the NHS to implement innovative surgical solutions to improve surgical outcomes and theatre efficiency. Bethany also has prior experience as an Innovation Manager working directly within the NHS to stimulate and support innovative clinical projects within the Sheffield region.

If you would like to learn more about Bethany and her role, visit our team page: https://www.midtech.org.uk/team-introductions.html

Online events:

Since the pandemic started, many events have been taken place online. If you would like to take a look and book yourself onto any of the healthcare events, we have many listed on our industry events page. Some events are now taking place face to face too, so have a look and book yourself on if you’re interested!

Find the events page here: https://www.midtech.org.uk/industry-events.html

Q&A – on Design Protection

What is design protection?

Well, it gives you the exclusive right to use a design.

Wondering what the difference is between a patent and design protection is? Well design protection deals with the outward appearance of a product, its aesthetics, is shape, texture contours etc. a patent cover how the product works, so what is does, how it does it amongst other things.

You must be thinking how do you protect your design?

Designs are automatically protected by unregistered design rights, which are free and last for up to 15 years. However, to protect a design’s individual character, you need to apply for a registered design. This has an associated cost but lasts for up to 25 years and affords you greater protection than an unregistered design.

What does design protection allow you to do?

As with all intellectual property, designs can be treated like normal property, you can sell, loan and license design to third parties and the law protects you from their theft.

Thinking about whether you should register your design? Contact us and we can advise you on what is the best kind of protection for you innovation.

If you have any other questions that you would like quick answers to, have a look at our FAQ’s page: https://www.midtech.org.uk/faqs/what-is-intellectual-property-ip.html