The winners have been announced for the sixteenth annual MediWales Awards, celebrating outstanding achievements across the Welsh life science and health technology sectors. The awards ceremony was back in person this year, at the Mercure Holland House Hotel, before the current restrictions were imposed, with nearly 400 guests attending from across Wales and the UK representing the Welsh NHS, industry and academia. This year the MediWales Innovation Awards were held in partnership with the Life Sciences Hub Wales as well as contributions by Health and Care Research Wales and Welsh Government. As in previous years, the awards were supported by Development Bank of Wales as well as the drinks reception being sponsored by Healthy.io and the Swansea University Medical School Health Technology Centre.
Industry Award Category Winners:
Innovation Award, Creo Medical: Creo medical focuses on the development and commercialisation of minimally invasive advanced energy endoscopic surgical devices. The Company’s patented Technology combines adaptive bipolar radiofrequency and super high-frequency microwave energy, powering a suite of multi-modal devices to optimise treatments.
Partnership with the NHS Award, Alpha Laboratories: Alpha Laboratories were the industry partner for the Clinical Biochemistry team at Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board in their successful implementation of a quantitative Faecal Immunochemical Test, FIT test, and the associated clinical pathways. This Symptomatic FIT test helps to identify patients who may have significant colorectal disease who will benefit from an urgent referral, thus identifying priority cases while also saving resources and minimising waiting times.
Start-Up Award, IQ Endoscopes: IQ Endoscopes is developing a range of clinically effective and high-quality single use flexible endoscopes to counteract the inefficiencies of current reusable technology and eliminate the risk of cross-contamination. Flexible endoscopy is a minimally invasive surgical technique used to diagnose early-stage diseases such as cancer.
Outstanding Achievement Award, BiVicTriX: Founded in 2017, and drawing upon frontline clinical experience, BiVictriX is a rapidly emerging biotechnology company, applying a novel approach to develop safer, more effective cancer therapies. BivictriX have developed therapeutics, which are uniquely selective for particular cancer types, to enable higher dosing and more aggressive cancer eradication without causing harmful side-effects.
Export Achievement Award: CellPath: CellPath specialise in the manufacture and worldwide supply of consumables, equipment and services to the Cellular Pathology market, aiding hospitals in cancer diagnostics. Recent export growth has been supported by capital outlay projects over recent years including; the opening of a new large international distribution centre; and increased staff numbers to better support an extensive international distributor network.
COVID Response Award, British Rototherm Group: Rototherm is a leading manufacturer of precision instrumentation. As a response to the Covid-19 pandemic, and during a period of extreme demand for PPE, the company pivoted operations to manufacture face shields. The NHS placed significant orders, moving production from 1,000 units per week to 250,000 units per week within a single month.
Industry Judges Award, Virustatic Shield: Virustatic Shield Ltd was established to launch the patented, Virustatic Shield face covering. The Virustatic Shield was part of an NHS national trial to evaluate the potential of reusable face masks in place of single-use products. The drivers for this initiative were cost, waste, environmental impact and supply shortage.
NHS Award Category Winners:
Scaling Up Innovation and Transformation Award, All Wales Medical Genomics Service and Velindre Cancer Centre: The All Wales Medical Genomics Service has worked with Velindre Cancer Centre as the pilot site for the implementation of the first NHS commissioned pharmacogenetics test.
The objective was to establish a ‘new’ innovative test for patients due to receive the Chemotherapy drug fluoropyrimidine. Chemotherapy drugs can build up in the body and cause severe side effects.
Health and Social Care Research Partnership with Industry Award, Hwyel Dda University Health Board TriTech Institute and Bond Digital Health: The group have developed a digital mobile phone app, COPD Pal, that allows patients to take control and manage their COPD.
With funding from the Welsh Government Efficiency Through Technology Programme and as part of a Bevan Commission Exemplar Project, the organisations worked collaboratively to produce a tailored prototype. Bond Digital Health then refined and added functionality to the app to ensure it met the needs of patients and clinicians.
Digital Impact Award, Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board Pharmacy: This project trialled the use of IRIS software integrated with the Welsh Clinical Portal to identify Acute Kidney Injury patients as they were admitted to Wrexham Maelor hospital. Acute Kidney Injury is associated with high morbidity and mortality. Prompt Acute Kidney Injury diagnosis and medicines optimisation is paramount to reduce medication related harm.
NHS Wales Working with Industry Award, Cwm TafMorgannwg University Health Board, Improvement: Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board Improvement Team have worked with Baxter Healthcare, to develop a strategy for safer intravenous fluid administration. This collaboration connected the clinical use of intravenous fluids to the manufacturers, who have experience in similar projects. Safer intravenous fluid administration can reduce the risk of complications, promote wound healing, and reduce salt imbalance in patients.
NHS Judges Award, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, Eye Care: With the aim of delivering shared opthalmic care services and addressing acute sector, capacity and demand issues through the utilisation of capacity and technology available in the primary sector. The Cardiff and Vale University Health Board Eye Care Team has implemented an Electronic Patient Record, and an Electronic Referral Portal, to support the digitisation of eye care.
Gwyn Tudor, MediWales said: “We were thrilled that the sixteenth annual MediWales Awards were able to be held in person again this year. Since the pandemic, there has been so much to celebrate in the sector, and it was wonderful to take the opportunity at the award to celebrate these achievements. Thank you to everyone who contributed to the event, our members and everyone who continuously supports MediWales, not only at the awards but throughout the year”
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