Winners have been announced at the fifteenth annual MediWales Innovation Awards, which celebrate outstanding achievements in the Welsh life science and health technology communities. This year, the awards ceremony took place entirely online for the first time, with guests tuning in from across Wales to represent the NHS, industry, academia, government and more. Many companies and NHS teams received recognition for standout innovations in response to Covid-19.
Award winners from Welsh industry were:
Innovation – CanSense has developed an accurate, fast, non-invasive diagnostic for early detection of cancer using a simple blood sample. The technology allows GPs to make informed decisions quickly, speeding up the diagnostic process for those at greater risk and therefore reducing patient anxiety.
Start-up – Llusern Scientific, a spin-out from the University of South Wales, has developed an affordable, rapid test to detect Covid-19 within 30 minutes. Requiring minimal user training and no need for a lab, the diagnostic platform has the potential to be truly transformative.
Partnership with the NHS – DTR Medical has worked in partnership with ENT surgeons to develop the SNAP endoscopic guide. This enables surgeons to re-start vital Nasendoscopies, which are critical in the diagnosis of head and neck cancer, by reducing Covid-19 risks for the clinician.
Export – Sharp Clinical has invested in a new commercial expansion offering blister and carton packaging as well as serialisation and labelling, enhancing their export capabilities to international markets. The company saw a 50% return on investment from export sales within the first four months.
Outstanding Covid Achievement – Bond Digital Health has created a digital platform, called Transform, for the rapid diagnostics industry to digitise and share data in real time. As part of a global consortium producing a rapid antigen test for Covid-19, Bond’s platform has helped decision makers to monitor the spread and manage the outbreak.
Industry Judges Award – Hybrisan has developed a novel surface and hand sanitiser which is non-hazardous and doesn’t use alcohol. Due to high demand in the fight against Covid-19, the company has partnered with Gwalia Healthcare to develop new products and is also scaling up its unique electrospinning technology for face mask production.
Award winners from NHS Wales were:
Scaling Up Innovation and Transformation – NHS Wales Health Collaborative, Respiratory Health Implementation Group, and Institute of Clinical Science and Technology. The team designed, disseminated and implemented the national Covid-19 hospital guidelines to support healthcare professionals responding to admission demands during the peak of the pandemic.
Digital Impact – The Welsh Clinical Portal mobile app, created by NHS Wales Informatics Service, allows the medical workforce to access relevant patient information while on-the-go from a mobile phone or tablet. This helps to prevent extra footfall and transfer of paperwork in hospitals during the Covid-19 outbreak.
NHS Working with Industry – Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board’s Cellular Pathology team partnered with Talking Point to customise voice recognition software, enabling quick, hands-free transcribing of reports. This improved turnaround by several days and allowed the service to continue remotely when the pandemic hit.
Health and Social Care Research Partnership with Industry – Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, Public Health Wales, Centre for Trials Research and Health and Care Research Wales collaborated to set up the Oxford Covid-19 vaccine study in Wales. This crucial study was set up in record time.
NHS Judges Award – Tec Cymru established the NHS Wales Video Consulting Service across primary, secondary and community services in Wales. Responding to the urgent need to avoid face-to-face communication, the rollout enabled remote delivery of healthcare services to reduce the risk of infection.
Gwyn Tudor, CEO of MediWales, said:
“This year, while we’re all missing the opportunity to get together with old friends and colleagues in person, the fifteenth MediWales Innovation Awards carries more significance than ever before, offering the chance to recognise and share the tremendous efforts that Wales’ life science sector and NHS have made to innovate, collaborate and maintain business and operational resilience in these most challenging of times.”
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