New centre launches to help small and medium-sized businesses accelerate the development of medical innovations

The Medical Devices Testing and Evaluation Centre is located in the state-of-the-art Institute for Translational Medicine

A new centre has been launched in collaboration with the University of Birmingham aimed at providing a central space for small and medium-sized businesses to accelerate the development of medical innovations.

The Medical Devices Testing and Evaluation Centre (MD-TEC) is located in the state-of-the-art Institute for Translational Medicine (ITM), a facility on the site of Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham (QEHB) which was delivered through Birmingham Health Partners - an alliance between University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust (UHB), the University of Birmingham and Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust.

MD-TEC is being led by UHB, with key delivery partners being the University of Birmingham, Aston University, Birmingham City University, Birmingham Community Healthcare Trust and the West Midlands Academic Health Science Network.

An event to mark the launch of MD-TEC is due to take place on January 17 2018, which will allow guests to tour of the facilities and will include talks by key staff members.

Liam Grover, Professor in Biomaterials Science at the University of Birmingham’s College of Engineering and Physical Sciences, will lead biomaterials development, while Dr Tom Clutton-Brock, senior lecturer at the College of Medical and Dental Sciences, Clinical Director of the NIHR Trauma Management Healthcare Technology Co-operative and Deputy Director of the ITM, will lead medical device usability and safety testing.

Dr Clutton-Brock said: “The new Medical Devices Testing and Evaluation Centre (MD-TEC) promises to be a game changer, in terms of ensuring medical devices are fit for purpose and successfully reach market faster.

“Evidence suggests that the majority of device related adverse incidents are user related, so it is crucial that usability testing is included in a device’s technical file.

“Many devices undergo significant re-design after introduction into clinical practice, which is very costly to the life sciences industry.”

“MD-TEC will provide a dedicated test facility for medical technology companies to test the usability of their technology in a realistic environment, using real clinical staff without placing patients at risk.”

MD-TEC has been supported through the European Regional Development Fund and will boost the life science economy in the Greater Birmingham area.

It will act as a central space to accelerate the development of medical innovations for small and medium-sized businesses.

MD-TEC will offer a range of support, including med-tech materials, and the facilities will include purpose-built replicas of key clinical areas.

It will boost the growing regional reputation for medical device development, including collaboration with the NHS and academia, as well as the commercialisation of devices.

ENDS

To request interviews or images please call Emma McKinney, Communications Manager (Health Sciences), University of Birmingham, tel: +44 (0) 121 414 6681. For out of hours contact the Press Office on +44 (0) 7789 921 165.

Notes to the editor:

  • Aston University will play a direct role at MD-TEC, with Professor James Wolffsohn providing expertise in human senses such as vision and hearing and Dr Sinziana Popescu involved in usability testing.
  • For more information on MD-TEC, please contact Sian Dunning, MD-TEC project manager on +44(0)121 371 8540.
  • The University of Birmingham is ranked amongst the world’s top 100 institutions. Its work brings people from across the world to Birmingham, including researchers, teachers and more than 5,000 international students from over 150 countries.
  • Birmingham Health Partners (BHP) is a strategic alliance between the University of Birmingham and two major teaching hospitals; the Shelford Group member University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust and Birmingham Women’s and Children’s. BHP’s mission is to harness research strengths at the University and in the NHS to deliver better treatments and care to our patients.
  • UHB runs the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham (QEHB) and the Heritage Building (the original Queen Elizabeth Hospital) and hosts the Institute of Translational Medicine (ITM). The Trust has approximately 1,400 beds, 32 theatres and a 100-bedded critical care until - the largest in Europe. QEHB is a Major Trauma Centre treating the most severely injured casualties from across the region. The hospitals are a regional centre for trauma, burns, plastics, neurosciences and cancer and in 2014 became a lead genomics centre as part of the NHS 100,000 genomes project. UHB has the largest solid organ transplantation programme in Europe. In 2016/17, UHB cared for over 1 million patients and currently employs over 9,500 members of staff. UHB is a Foundation Trust and has over 23,000 members. UHB is proud to host the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine (RCDM). The RCDM provides dedicated training for defence personnel and is a focus for medical research. UHB also holds the contract for providing medical services to military personnel evacuated from overseas via the aero medical service. UHB is one of only a small number of hospitals that can provide the full range of medical specialties – trauma, burns, plastics, orthopaedics, neurosurgery, critical care - needed to treat the complex nature of conflict injuries, all under one roof. The pioneering techniques in surgery and pain control that we have developed whilst treating military patients are recognised worldwide. These techniques are now being used for civilian surgery in the UK and elsewhere and are being progressed through the Surgical Reconstruction and Microbiology Research Centre (SRMRC).
  • The MD-TEC project is receiving up to £7.3 million of funding from the European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Department for Communities and Local Government (and in London the intermediate body Greater London Authority) is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund. Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. 
  • The Institute of Translational Medicine (ITM) has been developed by Birmingham Health Partners (BHP), a strategic alliance between the University of Birmingham and three major teaching hospitals; the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham, Birmingham Children’s Hospital and, Birmingham Women’s Hospital and the University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust. BHP’s mission is to harness research strengths in the University and NHS to deliver better treatments and care to patients.