 The device contains miniature cameras and a light source, and captures 400,000

images as it travels through the body SCOTCAP

 Professor Donald seen

scanning unborn grandchild. He had four daughters and 13 grandchildren, and was the driving force behind the creation of Yorkhill Maternity Hospital

ƒ This first scanner was later

refined by a future head of Glasgow School of Art, to make it less intimidating to expectant mothers


Te history of Touch Bionics begins with a programme of work conducted at the Princess Margaret Rose Hospital in Edin- burgh from 1963, starting with research into developing prosthetic solutions for children affected by Talidomide. In 1986 David Gow, a Mechanical Engi-

neering graduate, joined the hospital’s Bioengineering Centre with responsibility for research and development - focussing on electronic arms, including shoulders, wrists, and hands. In 1998, he achieved international recognition with the fitting to a patient of the world’s first electrically powered shoulder. Supported by Scottish Health Innovations

Ltd (SHIL), which works with NHS Scotland to identify, protect, develop, and commer- cialise healthcare innovations, Gow subse- quently led a spin-out from the NHS in 2002, the first to do so, to create Touch Bionics. In 2007, the company launched the

‘i-limb’, the first powered prosthetic hand to incorporate articulating fingers that open and close around objects in a more natural and anatomically correct way than any previous hand prosthesis. Te i-limb hand helped amputees across the world to improve their everyday lives with the

increased function offered by its indepen- dently articulating digits. Te following year, it acquired an American

company which developed lifelike pros- thetic coverings for the i-limb hand. Since then, Touch Bionics has launched a series of enhancements to their technology including individual fingers, pulsing grip strength, Blue- tooth enabled customisation, gesture control, and aesthetic and durability improvements. By the end of 2015, more than 5,000

patients had been fitted with Touch Bionics i-limb and i-digits products. In 2016, Touch Bionics was acquired by Össur, a global leader in non-invasive orthopaedics “that help people live a life without limitations”. On being awarded

the CBE in 2014, Gow said: “I feel lucky to have been fortunate to work alongside skilled teams of engineers, clinicians and entrepreneurs.”

From 1998, the ‘Limb of the Future’

It is the stuff of science fiction; a miniature camera navigating its way through your body, transmitting images which are then screened by specialist medical staff for signs of life- threatening diseases, such as bowel cancer. Except, it is happening now – in Scotland.

A ground-breaking trial of the technology is being run by the Digital Health & Care Institute (DHI), part of the Scottish Funding Council’s Innovation Centre Programme, in collaboration with NHS Highland. Te device, containing two miniature

cameras and a light source, is sent to patients in the post, negating the need for a hospital appointment. Before the process they are guided by a nurse, usually via video conference. Swallowed like a tablet – it is the size of large vitamin pill - the device takes the same route through the body as food. Around 400,000 images are recorded on

a reader worn by the patient. Te images are then reviewed by specialists at Raigmore Hospital in Inverness. If abnormalities are spotted the patient will be called in for colo- noscopy, so that a tissue sample can be taken for further analysis. So far, 56 patients have benefitted from the procedure. As the database of images grows, algorithms

can be written to accelerate image assessment and artificial intelligence used to better recog- nise tissue that would subsequently test posi- tive or negative for disease. Te trial team is also exploring the possibility of using specific frequencies of light or special dyes that have the potential to highlight cancerous tissue. In the future, the device could be remotely

controlled by clinicians to inspect specific areas of the body and use infrared or ultra- sound, as well as video. Existing processes for investigating potential problems are often time and resource intensive for both patients and the NHS. Between 2008 - 2016 there was a 104% increase in new attendances for gastroen- terology services. SCOTCAP, as the project

is known, could significantly reduce pres- sure on services, as well as discomfort and disruption caused to patients, at the same

time as improving diagnosis. “If we can demonstrate a Scottish

model that delivers results that are as good as, if not better than traditional colonoscopies, it will be transforma-

tive,” said Professor George Crooks, chief executive of the DHI. n

NHS70 | SUMMER 2018 | 19

Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36