How innovations such as Binary Actuation Technology (BAT) have the potential to improve patient outcomes
There are vast unmet health needs in the UK patient population and with sustained budget cuts to the NHS, it is important to continue to create new innovative medical solutions that can improve patient outcomes and also deliver greater efficiencies.
Here Charles Potter, Director at Camcon Medical Ltd., provides insight into the importance of innovation in medical technology and how BAT can be modified and applied in different areas of healthcare and life sciences.
By Charles Potter
By their nature, the healthcare and life sciences industries require innovative and adaptable technologies that, first and foremost, provide solutions for unmet medical needs that can be adopted by our healthcare system. Against a backdrop of ageing populations, growing healthcare needs and shrinking budgets, the NHS is looking to technology innovators to make healthcare services more sustainable and efficient.
With its precise fluid and gas control, Binary Actuation Technology (BAT) has enormous potential to make a substantial impact in these industries, in terms of upgrading existing technologies and processes but also opening the door to new innovations. When reviewing the opportunities where our technology can really demonstrate its full potential, we felt that the three key areas which are most attractive to Camcon Medical are medical devices in respiratory care, dosage control and implantable devices.
Medical devices in respiratory care
Quality of life for patients is an aspect that is core to Camcon Medical’s strategy. This is why our first venture is addressing a huge unmet need for those who have been diagnosed with an array of different respiratory conditions. BAT has been adapted for use in an oxygen-delivery system that can monitor and recognise the breathing pattern of a patient and dispense the correct dosage of oxygen, something that is vital for patient safety, as over-dosing or under-dosing of oxygen can be harmful, and in some cases fatal. This oxygen delivery device will change clinical practise for the better as it is the first device that can be used with both a nasal cannula and with a face mask, improving patient comfort. Oxygen delivery was an attractive area to initially target due to the fact that it will be relatively quick to gain regulatory approval for an ex-vivo medical device.
Utilising BAT’s gas precision control and energy-saving abilities, this device reduces the need for larger oxygen cylinders and larger batteries, in favour of a small and portable design. Furthermore, we have modified our valve technology so that this device functions silently. These attributes of BAT will directly improve the quality of life for a substantial number of patients who require an oxygen supply in hospital or at home, while also creating efficiencies for the healthcare system.
Due to its highly precise characteristics, dosage control will undoubtedly be an area of medicine which will offer a broad number of applications for BAT. Addressing inefficiencies in drug administration and compliance for patients will be an obvious NHS strategy for sustainability in the healthcare system. Advances in precision dosing of medicines can help facilitate better patient outcomes and address cost efficiencies. Further to this, as drugs are being administered at smaller dosages there is now an increased need for accurate and precise delivery of potent drugs.
However, dosing control is also vital in both clinical and non-clinical laboratory environments, where there is a global market for silent, precise and fast dosage control equipment on an industrial scale. Currently technicians often rely on hand-held pipettes or similar measuring equipment. There is great potential to use BAT innovation for high speed and precise dosing and sampling, which is something Camcon Medical hopes to further explore following the launch of its first venture into medical devices with the oxygen delivery system.
BAT’s versatility and its ability to be miniaturised also makes implantable devices a potentially exciting prospect. Implantable devices are often considered as a ‘one-off’ treatment option for patients. There is a growing need for such devices to be long-lasting and remotely controlled ex-vivo so that the patient doesn’t have to endure multiple invasive procedures. With many chronic conditions, a one-off implantable device is important for a patient’s quality of life and for cost-effectiveness – this makes the idea of a long-lasting, precise and efficient BAT valve more poignant.
As BAT is scalable and precise, implantable devices and accurate drug dosing/release may now go hand-in-hand. In medicine, there is a growing need for ‘smart pills’ which target particular organs in the body. This need is more noticeable in conditions which affect different parts of the gastrointestinal tract, where targeted drug release has proven challenging. Unlocking the potential of BAT in this field could help revolutionise implantable devices within the body, so that they can be ‘triggered’ remotely to release the drug dosage at a particular part of the body.
However, whilst this is an exciting arena to explore, implantable devices is an area of medicine that requires lengthy clinical trials and has stringent regulatory approval processes before a product can be brought to market.
BAT’s ‘versatility’ is its greatest asset, and means that the technology will be unsurpassed in the markets and applications we plan to explore in healthcare and life sciences.