Pioneering software that enables anaesthetists to make better decisions for high risk patients during surgery has been awarded InnovateUK funding.

St John’s Innovation Centre based Directed Systems has been allocated a Digital Health Technology Catalyst Round 3 Collaborative R&D grant to develop and market their innovative cardiovascular clinical decision assist systems.

The company will work alongside clinicians at University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust (UHB) to create the technology for operating theatres, intensive care units and emergency departments. Their key collaborator at UHB is Dr Tom Clutton-Brock, consultant anaesthetist and Director of the NIHR Trauma Management MedTech Co-operative, and also the Medical Devices Testing and Evaluation Centre (MD-TEC).

The aim of the research will be to complete product development, usability and clinical testing, and CE Mark approvals for the clinical decision support software for the UK and European market.

Low blood pressure (hypotension) during operations occurs frequently and is associated with complications and poor outcomes. For patients this means longer hospital stays and in worst cases increased risks of mortality.

Evidence shows that reducing hypotension can reduce these side effects. Once developed the technology aims to help improve patient outcomes by optimising care and reducing complications. It will also support reducing hospital length of stays and help to save hospitals money.

“We are delighted to receive this support from InnovateUK. It enables us to build our relationship with UHB and complete our product development. Our vision is that our software will make a real difference to patients’ lives as well as saving the NHS substantial costs”, Dr Mark Leaning, CEO and Founder of Directed System.

Dr Tom Clutton-Brock added: “There is substantial evidence to show that patients undergoing major or emergency surgery do not tolerate even quite short periods of hypotension and may experience post-operative complications. Although skilled at controlling blood pressure anaesthetists need help with complex patients. Directed Systems have developed a very elegant solution to this problem and it is exciting to be working closely with them in pre-clinical and early clinical studies.”

Over the last year the ABHI has been supporting Directed Systems with their US Strategy and the company has joined their US Accelerator with the Dell Medical School.

During this time Directed Systems has seen strong interest in their technology from the United States and have submitted a FDA 510(k). They are also currently collaborating with Cleveland Clinic.

Paul Benton, Managing Director, International, said: “The UK is a world leader in health innovation and digital tech like this really highlights why. It has been great to support Directed Systems with their US Strategy and to be able to showcase their software to senior US healthcare figures as a cutting-edge example of British technology. “

The total project cost is £750k and runs from April 2019 to December 2020. Supporting innovations like Directed Systems is a key element of the government’s Industrial Strategy and will create the industries and jobs of tomorrow.

About Directed Systems

Directed Systems is a medical device company based in Cambridge, UK. They develop and market cardiovascular decision support systems for clinicians in the operating room and critical care. Working alongside clinicians and using smart algorithms, the company are developing new software solutions that will enable clinicians to make even better decisions for their high-risk patients during surgery. Their vision is to help clinicians reduce complications, length of stay and save costs. Directed Systems will be launching the product into the US market in 2019, to be followed by a European launch later in the year.

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