News round-up

Published: 4-Nov-2011

The latest news from the medical devices marketplace including new product launches, clinical trials, procurements and equipment warnings/recalls

Device warning over faulty wheels

A WARNING has been issued following reports of damaged or faulty wheels on Aquarius haemofiltration devices manufactured by Nikkiso Europe and supplied by Baxter Healthcare. A Medical Device Alert has been published by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), following an earlier Field Safety Notice, which has failed to uncover all equipment in the UK marketplace. The notice stated: “ Nikkiso has received reports of eight cases of broken/damaged wheels on the Aquarius. The damage occurred during the moving of the device. The damaged wheel may result in loss of stability of the device. In the worst case, the device can fall over and potentially impact on a person.” An investigation revealed the probable cause is movement of the machine over steps or other uneven surfaces or movement with locked front wheels, which can result in unexpected release of the wheel threaded stem from the trolley.

Surrey trust improves procurement

SURREY and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust has embarked on a product rationalisation programme, which is saving nearly £80,000 a year. In conjunction with NHS Commercial Solutions, the trust has installed the GHX Nexus catalogue management tool to enable it to better manage the NHS Supply Chain catalogue. Under the new approach, the procurement team, working with internal stakeholders, has now produced an agreed list of products that satisfy the organisation’s requirements and represent best value for money. The catalogue tool enables the team to easily manage this agreed list of products and make any changes with a click of a button. The solution has reduced the amount of time needed to manage the content and has delivered annual savings of £79,000 through product rationalisation, with a reduction in product lines from 12,500 to 2,500.

Digital pens to save £1.2m

NHS Wolverhampton City is aiming to save £1.2m over the next four years through the use of digital pen technology. The PCT has signed a contract with Destiny Wireless to allow more than 600 clinicians use the pens to record patient record updates, which should reduce costs by requiring fewer administration staff. Kam Rai, the trust’s clinical programme manager, said: “Less staff are required as the digital pens have reduced what was a permanent three-month backlog of administrative work to just five days. The pen doesn't store data, it just transmits it. There have been numerous security checks and even if a pen was lost it would be impossible for anyone to use the pen themselves as it can be de-activated from the system. Each pen is recognised by the system as belonging to a certain clinician.”

UK ’s first hybrid molecular MR system

THE new Macmillan Cancer Centre being built at University College Hospital in London has taken delivery of the UK's first Biograph mMR, a hybrid molecular MR system, from Siemens. Wendy Waddington, head of clinical nuclear medicine physics at University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The build of the new Cancer Centre provides a key opportunity to offer our clinical staff and ultimately patients with advanced technology that will enhance diagnosis and treatment planning. The Biograph mMR is a unique system for clinical and research procedures that pulls together two modalities in one system, simultaneously. The combination of MR and PET will also assist with dose reduction when examining paediatric or young patients.”

Award for asthma device

A SCHOOL nurse from Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust has won a prestigious business award for inventing a pocket-sized asthma spacer. Paul Watson won Anglia Ruskin University’s 2011 Alumni Success in Business Award for his device; a conical spacer which collapses into a small space. The Pocketflow Compact Spacer is now being produced commercially by Vivo Smart Medical Devices thanks to help from Health Enterprise East. Watson said: “I am honoured to have received this award and very proud that my work could potentially help people right across the country. My new design helps to make inhaler use more efficient by ensuring patients fully benefit from each spray of medication, rather than having to use two or three sprays to see the same effect.”


Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics has launched the RAPIDPoint 500 Blood Gas System, its latest cartridge-based point-of-care analyser for critical care testing.

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