NHS RESEARCH SCOTLAND (NRS) NHS Research Scotland (NRS), a partnership of Scottish NHS Boards and the Chief Scientist Office (CSO) of Scottish Government, helps ensure NHS Scotland provides the best environment to support research. It co-ordinates access to world- class facilities and leading expertise across all therapy areas, underpinning NHS Scotland as a base for trials of the most advanced healthcare treatments, diagnostics and medical technologies and bringing them to patients faster. Over the last year more than 30,000

patients have participated in research in Scotland and the top 20 pharma companies have trials in Scotland. Attracted by Scotland’s unified health service, stable population and some of the best health data in the world, it allows research across all disease areas to be delivered. Tis covers everything from cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, stroke and dementia with a total of 28 therapy areas which bring together leading clinicians and academics with patients and carers. Tis collaborative environment enables ambitious research projects to be conducted ultimately leading to improved treatment options and better outcomes for patients. Tis ability to undertake high-quality research at pace is critical to broader life science objectives. Not only is Scotland working to make people better and healthier but it is building economic growth and supporting the nation’s vision to be the location of choice for businesses, researchers, healthcare professionals, and investors. / @NHSResearchScot

GROUND-BREAKING RESEARCH IN ACTION As the second biggest killer worldwide, research into the prevention and treatment of stroke has the potential to drive life- saving benefits and improve the quality of life in patients following stroke. A broad range of research studies are conducted within the NHS. For example, arm mobility is a major problem and is associated with poor quality of life in patients who have had a stroke. It is estimated to affect about 75% of all patients in the early months and remains a permanent issue for about half of patients so new treatments are urgently required. Te NRS Stroke Network partnered with Microtransponder Inc® - an innovative clinical technology company – to trial the Vivistim® System for treatment of post-stroke upper limb mobility. Te medical device surgically implanted just below the collar bone, delivers electrical stimulation to the vagus nerve. Te stimulation, which is given in conjunction with rehabilitation physiotherapy, is believed to cause the brain to be more receptive to the recovery training exercises delivered after stroke.

SCOTTISH HEALTH INNOVATIONS LTD (SHIL) With more than 160,000 staff working across NHS Scotland, it is a rich resource of ideas and innovations from within the health service. Scottish Health Innovations Ltd (SHIL) work in partnership with NHS Scotland to identify, protect, develop and commercialise healthcare innovations to improve patient care. Te multidisciplinary team use specialised knowledge to help bring new ideas and innovations from healthcare professionals to life. Tis includes intellectual property advice and protection, project management, idea incubation, funding advice, development and commercialisation, and post- commercialisation monitoring. Over the last 15 years SHIL have been

able to harnesses the entrepreneurial talent of all NHS staff, whether that be front-line clinicians, researchers, nurses, pharmacists, specialists, managers, or support staff, to turn a range of ideas into viable products and services to improve patient care.

INNOVATIVE PRODUCTS From pre-hospital emergency anaesthesia to nosebleeds to rehabilitation after stroke, SHIL has worked closely with health professionals across Scotland to develop and commercialise a range of products to improve patient care. Te most recent launch in collaboration

with the Scottish Ambulance Service and Air Paramedic Paul Swinton is SCRAM 2.0 – an emergency airway bag. Inspired by Paul’s experience working with the air-ambulance attending accidents and emergencies in the pre-hospital setting, the bag is designed to form a system of advanced preparation and organisation of equipment and drugs; promoting the delivery of safe, timely, and well-governed pre-hospital emergency anaesthesia. “Te effectiveness and speed of

potentially lifesaving pre-hospital airway management can significantly impact the outcome of critically ill or injured patients,” said Paul Swinton, Air Ambulance paramedic with the Scottish Ambulance Service and co-inventor. Using the insight and experiences

of health professionals alongside the expert services of SHIL is a strong model in developing products that really do make a difference to patients and health professionals. Other products include Prism Glasses™ - an innovative solution to rehabilitation and phantom limb pain; Rhinopinch – a simple but highly effective clip to staunch nose bleeds and the Ambulance Child Restraint, an innovative system for the safe and effective handling of young patients being transported in ambulances which is now widely adopted by Ambulance Services across the UK. n


SHIL also has a strong record in producing spin-out companies on behalf of NHS Scotland. If a product is thought to have the scope for more than one iteration, or if the NHS innovator has ideas for multiple products in the same field, a spin-out company helps establish a brand for their products and raise capital from a wide range of sources. Clear Surgical, a 2013 spin-out,

develops innovative solutions to surgical problems. Starting life as a small, wafer thin light dreamt up by NHS Ayrshire staff it is set to transform surgical lighting in hospitals across the globe. Measuring just 4mm thick and 5.5cm long, the cartridge adheres to surgical instruments and lights up the operating cavity from the inside so that surgeons can see more clearly. SHIL took the initial idea from concept

design stage through to fully-approved product; and following successful trials at hospitals in Edinburgh and Ayrshire, the light was launched at the world’s largest medical trade show Medica, attracting orders from hospitals in the USA, Canada, Germany, Portugal, Italy, Australia and Saudi Arabia. Graham Watson, SHIL’s Executive

Chair, said: “Oplight is the first major advancement in surgical lighting in many years and we believe the market is going to be huge. It’s an extremely versatile product with a wide range of surgical applications, from cardiac and spinal to bowel and breast, at a fraction of the cost of current lighting options. To date more than £1.3 million has been invested in the company, showing there’s a high level of confidence in the power of this invention to transform surgical lighting across the globe.” Actively supporting healthcare

professionals to turn ideas into reality helps capitalise on the talent, entrepreneurism and commitment of staff and uncover transformational ideas throughout NHS Scotland. Scotland has a proud history of shaping

health and patient care through research, science and innovation and is set to continue to transform the world of modern medicine. NHS70 | SUMMER 2018 | 33

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