A Scottish body supporting innovation in the health service has developed a revolutionary product that has attracted more than £600,000 of investment to make it widely available to medical professionals.
Scottish Health Innovations Ltd (SHIL) has taken the initial idea of a special operating light integrated into a surgical tool from the concept design stage through to fully approved product.
Now, through a SHIL spin-off company – Clear Surgical Ltd – the product, set to transform surgical theatres, will be manufactured and brought to market, with £620,000 invested by the investment group, Kelvin Capital and the Scottish Co-investment Fund. It is estimated that two thirds of hospital procedures could benefit from the use of an illuminated retractor and it is believed the annual market size worldwide is in excess of thirty million devices.
The instrument is designed for use by medical professionals carrying out open cavity surgery and will provide retraction for surgical incision while using small, in-built LED technology to illuminate the part of the body being operated upon. At present, overhead lighting is often blocked out by medical professionals carrying out an operation, casting a shadow over the area of interest. Clear Surgical’s illuminated retractor directly illuminates the interior cavity of an incision during surgery while the retractor holds open the incision. Ultimately this provides two functions in a single device.
SHIL, which encourages NHS staff to discuss ideas for innovation and develops IP on behalf of the NHS, received details of the need for an illuminated retractor from a member of staff at NHS Ayrshire and Arran.
Keith McKellar, CEO of SHIL, said: “This is a great example of the NHS working collaboratively with Scottish companies to design and develop solutions to problems faced within the health sector. SHIL are uniquely positioned to allow this type of innovation to drive growth in the Scottish life sciences sector.”
Jim McGuire of Clear Surgical Ltd said: “This is an exciting opportunity to take an innovative product to market. The confidence I have in the success of this product led me to form the company and take up the position of CEO of Clear Surgical Ltd. This product will be the first in a portfolio of medical devices originating from the NHS in Scotland.”
The product is expected to be made widely available by early 2014.