The number of attendances at A&E has risen significantly over the last decade putting pressure on urgent and emergency care services and increasing waiting times. According to the Kings Fund, 21.7 million visited A&E in 2013/14, a greater than 30% rise in the last decade. More than 70% of hospital bed days are occupied by A&E admissions and 80% of A&E admissions who stay for more than two weeks are patients aged over 65. SBRI Healthcare invited companies to specifically turn their minds to developing products that will help patients, clinicians and managers deliver high-quality and efficient urgent and emergency care.
Microbiosensor’s response was an exciting feasibility study aimed to reduce A&E admissions through rapid diagnosis of urinary tract infections, which are the 3rd most common reason for emergency admissions to hospital from A&E departments. The company will use its innovative platform technology to develop a low-cost diagnostic device, designed for use with existing urinary catheter systems. This device will assess bioburden and antimicrobial sensitivity at the point of care and give a more rapid read-out than conventional microbiology testing. The funding will be used to develop working prototypes, ready for early stage clinical testing.
SBRI Healthcare is an NHS England initiative, championed by the Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs), who aim to promote UK economic growth whilst addressing unmet health needs and enhancing the take up of known best practice.
Part of Innovation Health and Wealth the SBRI Healthcare programme sets industry the challenge in a series of health related competitions which result in fully funded development contracts between the awarded company and the NHS. Unlike many R&D projects which offer grant or match funding, SBRI contracts are 100 per cent funded and the company retains the IP.
The views expressed in this article are those of Microbiosensor Limited and not necessarily those of the SBRI Healthcare programme or its stakeholders.
Microbiosensor news item: http://www.microbiosensor.co.uk/news/