Innovation award for Clinical Engineering Research and Development team

30 April 2024

Colleagues working across our Clinical Engineering Research and Development (R&D) team have been recognised for introducing new methods involving medical imaging, 3d printing and computer aided design into clinical practice.

The team were named winners of the Academy of Healthcare Sciences award for innovative practice to enhance patient safety at the Advancing Healthcare Awards 2024.

This approach is helping to improve patient safety and reduce the risks of complications and events for patients with difficult airways.

The Clinical Engineering R&D team, working within the Airway Innovation Group (AIG) a collaboration between our anaesthetists, ENT surgeons and clinical engineers, have developed a set of new methods and instruments specifically for patients with difficult airways, and have moved this into routine clinical service within the Trust, a world-first for such a service.

An effective clinical workflow has been developed enabling medical images to be turned into 3d printed planning models, supporting surgical teams to simulate the procedures, and novel 3d printed custom patient-specific guides to facilitate safe intubation.

These methods have, since mid-2022, been applied to support surgical procedures on 68 patients with difficult airways. The use of the new techniques eliminated the need for trial investigations, improving patient safety and reducing theatre time by an estimated 100 hours.

The team has supported patients nationally and internationally within Europe and Asia. The methods have also been adapted and applied for other surgical applications including over 60 complex orthopaedic and neurospinal surgical procedures.

Stuart Watson, NCA Head of Clinical Engineering said: “This is an excellent demonstration in how collaboration between medical and healthcare science colleagues can work to effectively introduce and apply new technologies into clinical service for patients benefit.

“Our clinical engineers demonstrated what they can bring to modern medicine: using their skills and knowledge of medical image processing, software development and materials engineering, to provide solutions, rapidly and cost-effectively, for clinicians. This award is a testament to the team’s hard work, and I am excited to see what the future holds in this area.”

Clinical Engineering team at Advancing Healthcare Awards.jpg

Clinical Scientists and members of the NCA Clinical Engineering R&D Team Prawin Samraj, Hannah Safi
and Surayyakhanam Kayamkhani ​​​​​​receiving the award from presenter Eamonn Holmes.  

Photo by: John Behets​​​​​​​

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