Two pieces of innovative healthcare technology have won national awards for “enterprise”, one a hybrid pressure care mattress and the other a new approach to magnetic resonance imaging in laboratories.
Both have won a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the innovation category. To win one, businesses have to demonstrate outstanding commercial success and a unique approach to a new invention, service or product.
Direct Healthcare Services has won for its Intelligent Pressure Care Management product, which features hybrid mattress technology.
The Dyna-Form Mercury Advance powered hybrid mattress was designed specifically to reduce incidences of pressure ulcers.
The South Wales-based firm described the design as a hybrid of a “high specification foam mattress and a dynamic mattress”.
It allows nurses to instantly convert any standard hospital bed into a dynamic mattress, enabling earlier intervention for “at risk” patients, simultaneously improving clinical outcomes and delivering substantial savings, said the company.
Currently, it estimates that 35,000 patients a day in the UK are nursed on one of the mattresses.
Direct Healthcare Services was established in 2009 and specialises in the design and manufacture of innovative pressure care solutions, including mattresses, cushions and overlays.
Its managing director Graham Ewart said: “Delivering genuine innovation that makes a real difference to both patients and the lives of our hardworking healthcare professionals is at the very heart of everything we do, so we are incredibly honoured to receive such a prestigious award.”
Meanwhile, MR Solutions won its award for the development of a pre-clinical multi-modality MRI scanner, which does away with the need for liquid helium cooling.
Mattress and MRI scanner win prestigious innovation award
In order for high powered MRI scanners to operate the magnet needs to be cooled to minus 269 degrees centigrade to achieve superconductivity. Until now, this was only possible by immersing the magnet in liquid helium – a cumbersome, expensive and potentially risky process.
Instead, MR Solutions has developed an MRI system using a novel magnet design, which only needs a readily available cryocooler unit to get to the very low temperature required.
Its 3T to 7T MRI benchtop scanners are used across the world and can be installed alongside other equipment because the new design has reduced the stray magnetic field.
Dr David Taylor, chief executive of MR Solutions said: “We are constantly striving to achieve greater advancement in the preclinical imaging field. With multi-modality imaging – incorporating PET and SPECT – we can really begin to speed up drug development research.”
The Queen’s awards are made annually by the Queen for the highest levels of excellence demonstrated in each category.
In total, 249 awards have been announced this year for outstanding business achievement in the fields of international trade, innovation and sustainable development.