Category Archives: Innovation

Tal Golesworthy – The boiler engineer that repaired his own heart

This week’s inspirational Healthcare Hero is Tal Golesworthy, a former boiler engineer — he knows piping and plumbing. When he needed surgery to repair a life-threatening problem with his aorta, he mixed his engineering skills with his doctors’ medical knowledge to design a better repair job.

He has now founded his own company that funds the research and development of devices that will help people with aortic dilation avoid major surgery and lifelong drug therapy.

“I’m being unwittingly emotionally blackmailed by the patients.” Tal bellowed with a wry smile on his face and a subtle shake of the head. “We’ve helped 78 people with the syndrome and have over 300 years of trouble free, post operative success, but still it’s like wading through thick mud trying to get the NHS to use the product.” But it’s these 78 success stories that keep pushing Tal every day, knowing the positive impact his invention can have.

Tal Golesworthy is in his 50s, he’s an ageing rocker, a former combustion research and development engineer who has found himself in the medical world innovating new products because of a syndrome he’s had from birth. Tal has Marfan syndrome, a genetic disorder that can cause problems with eyes, skeleton, and in Tal’s case, his heart, more specifically his aorta. As the heart pumps blood around the body, the aorta stretches to accommodate the blood flow. In most cases it relaxes back to normal size but in Tal’s case it doesn’t, gradually enlarging over time. He’d known about the syndrome from an early age but a genetic study in 1992, found his aortic root diameter was significantly above the norm. This started an annual review process and in 2000 he was told the time had come to consider pre-emptive surgery.

Tal scoured the net and sought advice from the best doctors and surgeons in the business. He wasn’t happy with any of the options available. “Traditional surgery dictated I have my chest cut open, a metal valve and prosthetic aorta inserted to replace my own aortic valve and aorta and then live on a blood thinning drug for the rest of my life. No thank you!” Tal’s research and development background meant he was well equipped to handle a medical project, so he set about researching everything there was to know about Marfan syndrome, the aortic valve and the complications of this medical procedure.

He approached the project from an unusual angle. He thought that if a hosepipe is bulging, then you simply get some insulation tape and wrap it round the outside of the hosepipe to stop it bulging. So rather than replacement, his idea was to protect the current aortic root by surrounding it with a medical grade mesh. What started out as a side project became his full-time job and he set up a small team which over four years developed the various stages of imaging, CAD modelling, manufacturing, cleaning and sterilising the implant until they were happy to proceed.

Part of that team was Prof. Tom Treasure, then at Guy’s Hospital London, and Prof. John Pepper, of the Royal Brompton Hospital, London. It was John who would be carrying out the first surgery on Tal. Tal said, “I had to trust this man with my life; I had total faith in John, I was completely happy with the implant, but that didn’t mean I wasn’t completely petrified.” The operation was a success, the implant fitted and there were no immediate complications. The breakthrough had happened, a procedure that took half the time of the current one, one which meant Tal wouldn’t be reliant on debilitating drugs and would allow him to go on and live a full life. He was ready to shout from the rooftops about this amazing new product that could save the NHS time and money and decided his time would now be better spent getting this product to market, allowing people to go on living life drug-free, through his company Exstent.

The operation has been completed 78 times since that day, the youngest patient being 11 years old, the oldest, 56. There are currently over 30 publications written about the procedure in major journals, Tal talks a lot at medical conferences and his TED talk has had over one million hits. However this surgery relies on GPs and cardiologists offering the implants. “For me it’s more than 12 years post op and we’ve only done 78 patients. It’s a joke.” When you consider that with this cardiac problem there are approximately 2,000 operations a year around Europe that could benefit from the implant, it is easy to see Tal’s frustration.

This frustration is shared by a lot of other inventors trying to break into a tough medical arena. He said, “All I set out to do was to fix myself. I didn’t set out to change the world, but I’ve found myself in a position where I’m trying to change a part of the world that is very resistant to change. If I had any sense I’d walk away, but it seems I don’t have any. I can’t abandon those patients who want to exercise their choice of treatment.” It’s easy to see the desire Tal has, the passion that bursts out of him when he talks and the fact that his job isn’t a job, it’s a mission to realise the potential of an implant that can make such a positive impact on people’s lives.

Watch Tal’s TED talk here.

Learn more about the #HealthcareHeroes at: www.healthcare-heroes.com

Open Bionics – The prosthetic pioneers making science fiction a reality

Samantha Payne and Joel Gibbard form Open Bionics, an organisation that want to change the way bionic limbs are currently manufactured in order to make them more accessible to amputees. By using an innovative technique of 3D printing, Open Bionics scan the residual limb, print a socket to create the perfect fit and then continue to print the remainder of the bionic limb. This technique aims to reduce the cost of purchasing a bionic arm for example, from between £30,000-£80,000 to less than £4,000.

Not only will the lower cost make bionic limbs more readily accessible, the team also share their development findings with the open source community. They have a firm belief that sharing their own experience enables others to use their designs as long as they provide feedback that they can develop from.

Open Bionics have set out to revolutionise the field of robotic prosthetics, creating affordable, accessible, unique limbs for everyone. They are only two years in and still at the research stage but they are already in the top 50 robotics companies in the world. The Open Bionics team is fronted by Joel Gibbard and Samantha Payne. We recently met up with Samantha who gave us an insight into this young exciting company.

Samantha was working as a freelance journalist for a local newspaper in her home town of Bristol when she first met Joel. She recalls, “Joel had just finished a very successful crowd funding campaign called the ‘Open Hand Project’ to produce a low cost 3D printed bionic hand. She was assigned to the story. After the successful crowd funding campaign Joel quit his job to make open-source hands for amputees. Shortly after that he discovered a competition run by Intel which was looking for the best wearable tech project.

The winner would receive $500,000. He quickly got back in touch with Samantha asking for her help with the all-important pitch. There were more than 500 applicants and this was soon trimmed down to 30. The 30 entrants were given the opportunity to enter a three-month intense programme/competition in the USA.  Samantha quit her job and the two of them set up Open Bionics and travelled to the States with the hope of winning the money. After three months, the numbers were cut from 30 to 10. The pair made it through to the end of the process but were pipped at the post, securing second place and a prize worth $250,000 which was enough to set up the business. During the three months in the States, the intense programme gave them the skills and knowledge of how to set up, market and drive a start-up company. They used the money to hire a main core engineering team and set up their lab in 2015.

One of the significant elements they took from the programme was the importance of understanding your audience. “We turned immediately to Dan Melville. He was amazing. We had worked with him before on the Open Hand Project and he helped us a great deal to understand prosthetics, the history, usage, design and potential. He also introduced us to loads of people who have built or used prosthetics.”

We later met Dan in the Open Bionics studio. He said, “I was born with only one full arm and never truly got on with the traditional prosthetic. When I came across the Open Hand Project on Kickstarter, I saw the title ‘3D Printed, low cost, bionic arm.’ I was intrigued.” Dan quickly got in touch with Joel to offer his help on the testing front and within months he was in the studio testing the first prototype. “I’d brought my brother along and once the hand was fitted I was able to shake his hand, which was pretty emotional.” Two years on, Dan is still one of the main testers at Open Bionics and travels to lots of global events to promote the business. He said, “I think what the team are doing is amazing. I’m so excited about the future of prosthetics and feel so privileged to play a small part in bringing these particular bionic limbs to reality.” He talked us through a number of movements the bionic arm he was testing could do… open and close to pick up a mug of coffee or bottle, grip to pick up small things like screws and a bunch of keys and a half hand to pick up carrier bags, as well as a finger point and thumbs up to be able to gesture.bionic-arm

The process Open Bionics use to produce the current robotic limbs is quite unique. They use a 3D scanner to scan the residual limb and then use a 3D printer to produce the socket for a perfect fit. The 3D printer then continues to make the rest of the robotic limb. It’s this printing technique that enables the customisation that previously wasn’t available. Amputees can currently pay anything from £30,000-£80,000 for a bionic arm, but Open Bionics want to create limbs that will cost less than £4,000. The focus now is to create a lightweight limb with a comfortable socket that will ideally have some form of temperature control, can perform multi-grip functions and importantly, look great. The latest one in development is based on a fictional character called Adam Jenson from the game Deus Ex. Next up is the Disney line and then the Marvel Superheroes line, making prosthetics appealing for kids. Samantha told us that they want to work on something specific for upper arm amputees and then exoskeletons to give people movement who may have suffered a stroke or have some other debilitating condition which restricts movement.

From an early stage Open Bionics have been truly transparent in their development, sharing lots of findings with the open source community. They set up the Ada hand project, a platform for research into prosthetics, object grasping and many human-robot-interaction applications. “Our open source licence aims to build a community to allow people to use our designs as long as they feed back on the results and share any developments they have made.” This allows Open Bionics to harness expertise to develop and advance the current offering, creating a cycle where hopefully the designs and manufacture will keep on improving and benefit everyone. The Ada hands have a global reach and can be found in many countries across the world. Sam informed us that they have never taken out an advertisement or spent any money on marketing so they are constantly amazed when new orders arrive.
The team have received global acclaim, won numerous awards and continue to push the boundaries with innovative technology. In the past, the manufacture of bionic hands has been generic and out of touch with individual requirements, but Open Bionics have changed that by initiating debate with amputees with the idea of developing a product aimed at comfort and affordability. “What we do is really rewarding, every development we make feels like a real leap forward and when we test the devices the reactions we get from the amputees and their families are priceless.” Sam and Joel are clearly focused individuals who are committed to driving this young exciting team forward and helping to change the future of robotic limbs for good.

www.openbionics.com

Learn more about the #HealthcareHeroes at: www.healthcare-heroes.com

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Havas Lynx comes out on top with 5 golds at the prestigious PM Society Awards

Leading healthcare communications agency, Havas Lynx, has celebrated an unprecedented number of big wins at the prestigious Pharmaceutical Marketing Awards  (PM Society Awards).  The Manchester based agency collected a total of five golds, four of which were won for its innovative “Change the face of HIV” campaign for Viiv healthcare.  This year’s awards sweep of gold, silver and bronze takes the agencies total to an incredible 36 PM Society wins in the past six years.

Competition this year was tougher than ever, with entries from a total of 51 agencies and 83 in-house creative teams.  Havas Lynx’s record-breaking ten accolades were achieved in recognition of its innovative work across a variety of therapy areas and categories.

The PM Society Awards are widely regarded amongst the most esteemed in the pharmaceutical healthcare sector, and is the biggest annual gathering in the industry. They are unique among healthcare creative awards in that they include categories judged by healthcare professionals – the targets of the work (TARGET) – as well as a creative panel from the industry (CRAFT).

Havas Lynx’s gold awards comprised of:

Best primary care advertisement – Change the face of HIV for Viiv healthcare (TARGET)

Best advertisement campaign – Change the face of HIV for Viiv healthcare (CRAFT)

Disease awareness – Sun safety on site for HSS Hire supported by Cancer Research UK (CRAFT)

Best Primary Care Campaign – Change the face of HIV for Viiv healthcare (CRAFT)

Best Film – Change the face of HIV for Viiv healthcare (CRAFT)

Dave Hunt, Havas Lynx CEO, said:

“We’re incredibly proud to have smashed our own awards record and been recognised at the PM Society Awards, despite incredibly tough competition.  

“Our strategy to invest heavily in our creative capabilities over the past few years has really paid dividends and we now have a studio team of over 75, and a total of eight hugely talented Creative Directors.  This month we’re delighted to be welcoming Tim Jones to the team, a truly stand-out, multi-award winning Creative Director, who brings with him a wealth of experience in consumer and HCP campaigns.

“As an agency we are constantly evolving, and we are dedicated to creating profound work that has real impact. These awards are recognition of that and testament to our hard work.  It’s real a privilege to work closely with our clients, whose ground-breaking work inspires us on a daily basis.”   

About HAVAS LYNX

Informed by experience and driven by innovation, the people of Havas Lynx are agents of the next era in health.

Dedicated to helping clients connect consumers, professionals and brands with information, services, and influences to drive new relationships and better outcomes. Comprised of what was formerly known as Euro RSCG Life 4D and Creative Lynx, Havas Lynx has offices in New York, Manchester and London. A member of the Havas Health global network.

Website: www.havaslynx.com

YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/HavasLynx

Twitter: @HavasLynxEU

Instagram: www.instagram.com/havaslynxeu/

Facebook: www.facebook.com/HAVASLYNXEurope

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Generation Now – Round Table Event

When we started our journey into Generation Now I had no idea how much interest it would generate and how it would develop a life all of its own. Generation Now puts the millennial healthcare professional under the spotlight and never more so than at our most recent event – a round table meeting of key millennial healthcare professionals, at the Royal Society of Medicine.

We were delighted to be joined by some of the industry’s top healthcare entrepreneurs and millennials. Between them Dr Shafi Ahmed, Dr Stephanie Eltz and Dr Matt Jameson Evans represent some of the most innovative faces of healthcare in the twenty-first century. Dr Ahmed, consultant general and colorectal surgeon, is a leader in the use and development of augmented reality in clinical practice in areas such as sharing the latest surgical techniques through live streaming oncology operations[i]; Dr Eltz is a trauma and orthopaedic registrar and founder of Doctify – a platform-neutral online patient-doctor interface and Dr Jameson Evans, previously an orthopaedic surgeon, is the co-founder and chief medical officer of HealthUnlocked – an online community that is gaining a reputation for being the LinkedIn for patients with chronic conditions. We also had key leaders from the pharmaceutical industry and the ABPI.

The round table discussion was lively – as you’d expect with such big personalities in the room. Entrepreneurs by nature are generally outgoing and yes sometimes outspoken – but then the point of the evening was to try and discover what the millennial generation could expect from healthcare, and what we could all be doing to help it get there.

Big data came up and, not unexpectedly, but maybe not quite fairly, the NHS’s apparent struggle to cope with it. Perhaps the recent involvement in healthcare of big data big guns such as Google and Facebook can help it find its place in healthcare. ‘Wearables’ were also seen as one of the next big things. Continuous blood glucose monitors are already ‘a thing’ but imagine the possibilities for 24/7 monitoring of health predictors and the benefits that this could bring to people with other chronic conditions. And where do I even begin with the possibilities that virtual and augmented reality could bring?

We may all be used to viewing healthcare as an immovable object, but everyone in the room was in agreement that much of the technology, either under development or already available to support the millennial HCP, will disrupt this status quo. As an industry we have so much to offer the millennial HCP and help them become positive disruptors, that can take new technology into healthcare for the benefit of all of us. One thing is clear – the future is most definitely coming, and with it huge steps in our understanding of patients, diseases and treatment.

While there were far too many great points made throughout the course of this event to talk about here, there are a few key things that really stuck in my mind. It’s clear that we all need to increase collaboration to encourage the uptake of these innovative technologies.  We need to stop thinking we have to maintain the status quo – our entrepreneurial HCPs are delivering some amazing new approaches and, if we really embrace them, they have the potential to add enormous value to the way our healthcare system works. Probably the most important point though, was that while innovation should be welcomed, we must remember not to leave people behind. After all it is the millennial healthcare professionals and millennial patients that make our health service what it is; and what it will become.

Thank you to everyone who made this such an exciting and insightful debate.

Participants involved include:
Dr Shafi Ahmed, Consultant and Surgeon, and Co-founder of Medical Realities
Dr Stephanie Eltz, Founder of Doctify
David Hunt, CEO Havas Lynx
Dr Matt Jameson Evans, Co-founder and Chief Medical Officer of HealthUnlocked
Dr Rebecca Lumsden, Head of Science Policy, ABPI
John McCarthy, Vice President, Global Commercial Excellence, AstraZeneca
Dr Claire Novorol, Founder and Chief Medical Officer of Ada, Founder and Chairman of Doctorpreneurs
Sarah Price, Senior Planner, Havas Lynx
Hiba Saleem, Partnerships Director of Doctorpreneurs and CO-founder of Medtech Student Network
Dominic Tyer, Editorial Director, PMGroup and Chair

The Generation Now Round Table event will be featured in the November edition of PME, available online from 8th November 2016.

[i] http://www.wired.co.uk/article/wired-health-virtual-reality-surgery-shafi-ahmed

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The future is bright

We believe that the future is bright, that health will improve and that progressive pharma will be successful. Led by emerging science, amplified by technology and powered by engaged patients.

The scale and impact of progress, will be at the discretion of a new breed of physician, the millennial HCP (mHCP). Digitally native, their number increases year-on-year.

Of course, they exhibit many of the traits of their predecessors; knowledge, empathy, ambition. We’re comfortable with the healthcare professional in them. But what about this other side – the millennial? What does it mean when your homework group included Google and Wikipedia? When you spent 14 months of your medical education online? And when you haven’t written by hand for more than a month?

Millennials are visual. They choose SnapChat, YouTube and Instagram. 72% of them use emojis to communicate their emotions – no language has ever grown more quickly.

Millennials are visual

Millennials are visual

Millennials embrace progress. 95% make positive associations with the word ‘change’. Their digital tools of choice are in a constant state of beta, as they look to optimise their digital being.

Millennials demand more. They believe big business should take as much responsibility as the government. And, as illustrated by the UK Government and Junior Doctor dispute, they believe in collective power.

It would be wrong to define this generation by their birth certificates, and to suggest that this population only includes those born after 1980. Instead, it is a generation that was forged in the last two decades as its members immersed themselves in a new world. Their habits and personalities have evolved with the technology around them. Put simply, they are digital.

In this world, insight, creativity and design are more important than ever. CREATIVE agencies have a critical role to play, aiding and supporting mHCPs to leverage the science and technology at their disposal.

Scientific knowledge has been, and always will be, the critical capability of physicians. The shift, is in their expertise and confidence with technology. And our opportunity is to recognise these new skills, supporting mHCPs in improving outcomes.

Capabilities

Capabilities

Much of the industry boasts an exciting pipeline of products. As we look to build these brands and partner with healthcare professionals, let’s not forget the millennial within them 😉

To find out more about the impact of the millennial generation on healthcare, sign up for the new white paper, podcast, and YouTube series from Havas Lynx at www.m-hcp.com

References
The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. State Health Facts 2015. http://kaiserf.am/1VfEncN (Accessed May 2016)
Ofcom. Media Use and Attitudes Report 2015 http://bit.ly/1E3fFyO (Accessed May 2016)
Docmail. The death of handwriting. 2012 http://bit.ly/1srFRoG (Accessed May 2016)
Bangor University & Talk Talk Mobile. Linguistics Research. 2015. http://bit.ly/1HseRrW (Accessed May 2016)
Pepsi Optimism Project. 2008. http://bit.ly/1R6meY1 (Accessed May 2016)

The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Millennial Healthcare Professional

Originally written in the late 1970s, Douglas Adams’ well-loved sci-fi masterpiece, The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, tells the story of Arthur Dent as he flees Earth shortly before it’s destroyed to make way for a hyperspace bypass. Accompanied by his alien friend Ford Prefect, Arthur finds himself floating around a universe in which small digital devices can tell you everything about anything; where foreign languages can be instantly translated into native tongues; where machine intelligence dwarfs the cognitive capabilities of mankind; and where flagging down a lift is as simple as pressing a button. A universe…rather like the one we live in now.

More than just another sci-fi oracle, Adams has proved an inspiration for those defining a future well beyond his own lifetime, including Dr. Jack Kreindler. A medical technologist and investor, Kreindler is one of a new wave of physician redefining what we expect from HCPs. He spoke to Havas Lynx as part of their research for Generation Now, a new white paper about the millennial HCP (mHCP).

Kreindler’s introduction to Adams set him on an extraordinary and unorthodox career path. To help support himself through medical school, a young Kreindler worked as an IT consultant for Adams: ‘I realised through working with Douglas that we were practicing medicine in kind of the Stone Age. And it got me thinking that perhaps the use of connected devices and information technology would absolutely transform what we regarded as truth in medicine.’

Since then, Kreindler has worked in A&E, specialised in high-altitude medicine, founded a centre for health and sporting performance, and invested in practices driven by machine learning. Each venture has vastly progressed his medical understanding and clinical practice. Moreover, they’ve provided a career diversity that is commonly sought out by millennials. Speaking at an RSM Digital Health Entrepreneurs event last September, Adam Tulk, CEO of Frameshift  (who connect HCPs with temporary work), reported that ‘a lot of doctors want to have less of a purely clinical career and more of a portfolio career.’

Many seek extra-clinical opportunities in digital. Having grown-up with digital engrained in their everyday life, and seen its transformative impact firsthand, they have ambitions to harness this power to shake-up healthcare. ‘The key thing that is redefining those ambitions,’ says Dr. Kreindler, ‘is the generation of entrepreneurs that have made it very big; the Larry Pages, the Elon Musks, and the Zuckerburgs of the world. People don’t have the fear any more. They are thinking if they can do it so can I.’ Systems and providers are moving to support such ambitions. NHS England launched its Clinical Entrepreneurship Programme at the end of 2015, as part of a drive to open-up entrepreneurship and innovation to professionals. It’s a clear indication from Sir Bruce Keogh and his colleagues that, far from harming clinical practice, engaging professionals in non-clinical initiatives could benefit the nation’s healthcare.

And why wouldn’t it? Many mHCPs are as motivated by a sense of social conscience as theyare any personal ambition. Kristian Webb is a cardiac devices specialist who started up a number of initiatives to provide quality patient information. ‘It was the inaccuracies in medical information online that worried me,’ says Webb, ‘I felt I had a professional responsibility to put more accurate information out there.’ Unlike large healthcare companies and organisations, Webb felt no problem with engaging with patients online, using forums and social channels to direct them to robust clinical information before eventually starting up his own repository for cardiology information.

Engaging with patients online, monitoring them remotely, and providing timely information and advice will all be vitally important as mHCPs move away from treating sick patients and towards facilitating sustained good health. It’s a shift that’s vital if we are to alleviate the burden of aging populations suffering multiple comorbidities. But there will be challenges. mHCPs are going to need skills their predecessors never dreamed of, not least in communication. ‘We know more about when to inspire people, when to motivate them to make a change from the advertising industry than we do in medicine,’ says Kreindler.

Interpreting the wealth of data at their disposal will be as critical. As in The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, where the creators of the Deep Thought super computer so struggle to understand the answer it gives to ‘The Ultimate Question of Life, The Universe, and Everything’, so we have not yet mastered the reams of data available in such a way that professionals can easily make use of them.

There’s going to be plenty to keep mHCPs on their toes, especially with the expectations of increasingly empowered patients and the rocketing rate of medical innovation. As such, they’ll need support from all corners. For pharma, this means new opportunities in unchartered galaxies. It’s an exciting, challenging and important time. Just whatever you do, remember The Hitchhiker’s Guide’s golden rule; don’t panic.

More information available at http://www.m-hcp.com

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Generation Now.

The Millennial HCP, by David Hunt

The impact of the millennial healthcare professional on our world.

Millennials are criticised as narcissistic, entitled and technology-obsessed, but our new campaign shows millennial healthcare professionals – mHCPs – in a different light. They have certainly grown up in a digital and interactive world, but have a strong social conscience, are entrepreneurial and are adept at communicating, collaborating and adapting to the world as they find it.

Through a series of in-depth interviews with medical students, academics, innovators, physicians, authors and patients from around the world, Generation Now identifies a new & inspired generation of healthcare professionals. It is a generation with different attitudes and ambitions to their predecessors, and it is a generation who will drive our industry forward and embrace innovation to offer improved outcomes for all.

In our new campaign, we outline key considerations for communicating and collaborating with this new generation, outlining how we can create effective healthcare campaigns that truly make a difference.

For more information on our YouTube & Podcast series, and our White Paper visit www.m-hcp.com

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#MillennialHCP