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12 June, 2019 - 15:58 By Kate Sweeney

Cambridge software to help anaesthetists in their decision making during surgery

Directed Systems

Pioneering software that enables anaesthetists to make better decisions for high risk patients during surgery has been awarded Innovate UK funding.

Cambridge-based Directed Systems has been allocated a Digital Health Technology Catalyst Round 3 Collaborative R & D grant to develop and market their innovative cardiovascular clinical decision assist systems.

The company will work alongside clinicians at University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust (UHB) to create the technology for operating theatres, intensive care units and emergency departments. 

Their key collaborator at UHB is Dr Tom Clutton-Brock, consultant anaesthetist and director of the NIHR Trauma Management MedTech Co-operative and also the Medical Devices Testing and Evaluation Centre (MD-TEC).

The aim of the research will be to complete product development, usability and clinical testing, and CE Mark approvals for the clinical decision support software for the UK and European market.

Low blood pressure (hypotension) during operations occurs frequently and is associated with complications and poor outcomes. For patients this means longer hospital stays and in worst cases increased risks of mortality. Evidence shows that reducing hypotension can reduce these side effects. 

Once developed the technology aims to help improve patient outcomes by optimising care and reducing complications. It will also support reducing hospital length of stays and help to save hospitals money.

Company co-founder and CEO Dr Mark Leaning said: “We are delighted to receive this support from Innovate UK. It enables us to build our relationship with UHB and complete our product development. 

“Our vision is that our software will make a real difference to patients’ lives as well as saving the NHS substantial costs.”

Dr Clutton-Brock added: “There is substantial evidence to show that patients undergoing major or emergency surgery do not tolerate even quite short periods of hypotension and may experience post-operative complications. 

“Although skilled at controlling blood pressure anaesthetists need help with complex patients. Directed Systems has developed a very elegant solution to this problem and it is exciting to be working closely with them in pre-clinical and early clinical studies.”

Over the last year the ABHI has been supporting Directed Systems with their US Strategy and the company has joined their US Accelerator with the Dell Medical School.

During this time Directed Systems has seen strong interest in its technology from the United States and has submitted a FDA 510(k). The company is also currently collaborating with Cleveland Clinic.

Paul Benton, Managing Director, International, said: “The UK is a world leader in health innovation and digital tech like this really highlights why. It has been great to support Directed Systems with their US Strategy and to be able to showcase their software to senior US healthcare figures as a cutting-edge example of British technology.”

The total project cost is £750k and runs to December 2020. Supporting innovations like Directed Systems is a key element of the Government’s Industrial Strategy and will create the industries and jobs of tomorrow.

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