Scots woman with chronic nerve pain fitted with a neurostimulator implan

  • Wii operation
    Dr Gordon McGinn fitted the new `neurostimulator implant’ at Glasgow’s New Victoria Hospital.
  • Wii consoles Scots patients in pain

    Helen McArdle

    16 Jul 2010
    It is a bestselling games system that millions of people play in their lounges and bedrooms, but now the technology behind Wii consoles has been used for the first time in a Scottish operating theatre.

    A new pain-relief implant that mimics Wii-style technology was trialled in Glasgow yesterday.

    Ailsa MacKenzie-Summers, 42, from East Kilbride, became the first patient to benefit from the new technology when NHS Greater

    Glasgow and Clyde’s Dr Gordon McGinn fitted the neurostimulator implant at Glasgow’s New Victoria Hospital.

    The implant uses state-of-the-art Wii-style motion-sensing technology to provide pain relief automatically whenever a patient moves around. At present most implants require the patient to constantly adjust the amount of pain relief according to their movements.

    Read the full article HERE

    Raigmore Hospital shows benefactors its new echo heart scanner in action

    Raigmore demonstrates use of £49,000 portable ultrasound to charities who helped raise the cash

    By mike farrell

    Published: 07/07/2010

    New equipment funded by local charities has been donated to a Highland hospital to provide a speedier diagnosis of heart conditions.

    The Highland Heartbeat Centre at Raigmore Hospital in Inverness has been given a new portable ultrasound, known as an echo heart scanner, costing £49,000.

    The machine uses sound to take detailed images of the heart to determine what conditions it is suffering from.

    The Monadhliath Heartbeat Challenge raised £27,000 towards the purchase of the scanner, while the remaining £22,000 was donated by the British Heart Foundation (BHF).

    Organisers of the annual charity biathlon and BHF representatives met with consultant cardiologist Dr Stephen Cross at the hospital yesterday to see how the equipment was being put to use.

    Dr Cross said: “I think the scanner will definitely be a big help to patients with heart conditions.

    “We have already seen the benefits of it so far and we will hopefully be able to continue this good work through the challenge with the help of BHF to bring further equipment to the centre.”

    Wi-Fi Adoption in Healthcare Growing at 60%

    LONDON – June 22, 2010
    The uptake of Wi-Fi within healthcare has grown at more than 60% over the past 12 months in both wireless local area network and Wi-Fi RTLS (Real-Time Locations Systems) deployments, and high double-digit growth is expected to continue for at least the medium term.

    Other wireless technologies being adopted and deployed in healthcare including cellular M2M and wearable wireless sensors have also seen significant growth over the past 12 months.

    Wireless communications continue to be adopted in healthcare applications ranging from Wi-Fi networks to wearable sensors that wirelessly transmit a patient’s condition to monitoring applications.

    “Wi-Fi adoption has helped overcome initial concerns about complexity and reliability of wireless within healthcare,” says ABI Research principal analyst Jonathan Collins “The growing number of wireless technologies and wireless applications being developed, piloted and deployed within healthcare further underline the level of interest in using wireless to improve the flexibility and efficiency of healthcare services around the world.”

    The technologies tracked by ABI Research’s Wireless Healthcare Research Service include Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Low-Energy Bluetooth, ZigBee, 802.15.4 and proprietary low power RF offerings across applications such as WLAN, personal monitoring, disease management, assisted living and telepresence.

    The market trends for these technologies are documented in “Wireless Healthcare and Fitness Market Data,” a database which tracks adoption of remote patient monitoring, telehealth and telepresence, as well as “body area networks,” voice-over-Wi-Fi and chronic disease management.

    BCS Health Scotland Conference 2010

    BCS Health Scotland Conference 2010 NHS Scotland logo

    Open for Registrations 22nd and 23rd September 2010

    Register now for the most exciting eHealth conference in Scotland this year! Held at the prestigious Glasgow Science Centre you not only have a great programme, wide range of exhibitors, great views over the Clyde and City but complementary entrance to the fun science exhibits as well!

    The futuristic building mirrors BCS Health Scotland’s Innovative and Modern outlook See Here

    We have an extensive International speaker Programme over both days with three themes held in twin parallel tracks.

    Keynote speakers include:

    Matthew Swindells, former CIO Connecting for Health, and chair BCS Health

    Rikard Lovstrom from Sweden to talk about their National Patient Overview project and eHealth strategy

    Dorothy Whittick from Canada talking about the Canadian Health Infoway national developments and a Wellness project in Alberta

    Brian Robson from Scotland on the Quality theme and his experiences with IHI in America.

    Kathy Dallest from Australia speaking on Clinical Safety Management in eHealth.

    New! NHS Scotland eHealth Awards!

    An exciting new event will be presentation of the ‘NHS Scotland eHealth Awards!’. These awards are given to winning NHS teams for three categories sponsored by BCS and Scottish Government.

    Twin Exhibitions: We are very grateful to our sponsors with 18 commercial exhibitions in a superb bright atrium area and ANOTHER FIRST: 15 public information stands in a separate gallery open to the public. There is plenty to see!

    The three main themes to be addressed at the BCS Health Scotland Conference 2010 are Quality, Innovation, and Efficiency. International speakers from Australia, Canada, Sweden, America, Ireland, Wales and numerous UK speakers will position themselves on current relevant issues such as patient safety, the quality strategy, efficiency gains from IT and more.

    For the first time, the NHS Scotland eHealth Awards will be presented to eHealth teams in Scotland. These awards will be presented by Scottish Government and by BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT, to help boost the status of the IT profession in NHS Scotland at a time of significant change.

    Moreover the new Vidiowiki delegate social networking tool will be used for linking up delegates before and after the event. Users can navigate a mind-map of delegates, speakers and exhibitors to create linkups and watch short clips about presentations and demos. This will help planning and networking before coming to the event.

    A selection of posters will be available to view during the conference:

    • A novel security risk assessment model – Napier University
    • Clinical content modeling – NHS National Services Scotland
    • Trans-national exchange of eHealth innovations in northern Europe- Aberdeen University
    • A Study to evaluate the effectiveness of an electronic dashboard – Ulster hospital
    • A Study to evaluate the response times for alerts – Ulster hospital

    Around 250 participants are expected to take part in this open event. Online registration is possible here. Details about fees and early bird registration can be found online.

    A draft programme for the event can be found online at the event website.

    Exhibitors are also leading a fun social evening at 5pm on the first day.

    Yet again BCS Health Scotland has been able to produce all this for the incredibly low delegate registration prices starting as low as £30.

    So register soon for the early bird rates, find us here BCS Health Scotland Conference

    Forth Valley Hospital to use robot 'workers'

    Thursday, 17 June 2010

    Robot at Forth Valley hospital
    Hospital managers say the robots will not replace humans

    A hospital in Scotland is to become the first in the UK to use a fleet of robots to carry out day-to-day tasks.

    The robots will carry clinical waste, deliver food, clean the operating theatre and dispense drugs.

    They are currently undergoing final tests ahead of the August opening of the new £300m Forth Valley Hospital in Larbert, Stirlingshire.

    The robots will have their own dedicated network of corridors underneath the hospital.

    NHS Forth Valley chairman Ian Mullen said the new hospital would be “packed full of design features to improve patient care and improve the life of staff”.

    Members of staff will use a hand-held PDA to call up the robot to move meal trays, or linen, or whatever

    Ian Mullen NHS Forth Valley

    He added: “Members of staff will use a hand-held PDA to call up the robot to move meal trays, or linen, or whatever.

    “The robot will come up in the service lift by itself, pick up the item and go back into the lift.”

    Tom McEwen, the project manager for manufacturer Serco, said a series of pre-programmed routes would be set out for the robots to follow.

    “The robots will follow the sytem using a series of laser beams which will tell it exactly where it is,” he explained.

    Computers on board the robots will be able to tell doors to open, and sensors will tell the robots to stop if anything – or anyone – is in the way.

    One of the most valuable aspects of using robots is in controlling infection.

    Click the link to read more about robot workers

    Audit Scotland reports on the cost of using locum hospital doctors.

    Scottish hospitals could save £6 million a year by more efficient use of locum doctors

    Posted: 17 June 2010

    The NHS in Scotland could save almost 15 per cent of the money it spends on locum doctors in hospitals – or about £6 million a year – through better planning and procurement.

    An Audit Scotland report, Using locum doctors in hospitals, says health boards spend around £47 million a year on locum doctors in hospitals. Locums are doctors of any grade or specialty who provide temporary staffing cover at any time. This spending has doubled in the past decade but, in many cases, health boards are not always clear about why locum doctors are being hired and how long they are using them for.

    Auditor General for Scotland, Robert Black, said:

    “Locum doctors have an important role in ensuring hospitals are adequately staffed and provide good quality patient care around the clock. In recent years, the demand for locum doctors has risen due to workforce issues such as increased difficulty in filling vacancies and the impact of European legislation governing working hours.

    “Health boards need better information about why and when they use locum doctors; the grades and specialties of doctors they are hiring as locums; and whether locum doctors are existing employees or from agencies. With better information, boards could improve their workforce planning and use locum doctors more cost-effectively.”

    The report also says the NHS needs to get better at managing the potential risks to patient safety of using locum doctors. This is particularly important for locum doctors who are hired through private agencies as they may be unknown to the board and unfamiliar with the hospital in which they are working.

    Health boards across Scotland need to be consistent in the way they screen and induct locum doctors and the way they manage their performance. For example, pre-employment checks are not always formalised, induction arrangements are variable across different health boards, and feedback on locums’ performance is mainly verbal, with few written assessments or records. There are no formal systems for sharing information about individual locum doctors between boards.

    Click the link for further information from Audit Scotland

    Cardiology Service improves for patients in NHS Highland

    An expansion to the cardiology service at Raigmore Hospital in Inverness means as many as 400 patients a year will no longer need to travel out with the Highland area for cardiac treatment.

    Patients requiring percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) – the process of putting balloons and Stents into patient’s arteries to open up narrowings that can cause a heart attack or angina – can now be treated in Inverness following the setting up of the PCI service in Inverness.

    Professor Steve Leslie is one of two interventional cardiologists working for NHS Highland.  He said: “This is great news for the patients in Highland.  By having this service here in Inverness our patients won’t have to travel to another centre such as Aberdeen or Edinburgh.  They’ll be treated locally, be seen more quickly and they will get the procedure done by doctors who they know and are familiar with.

    “We have been preparing for this for a while.  Dr Jamie Smith who joined Raigmore last year after a specialist Fellowship in Canada in PCI is the other interventional cardiologist and we have been going to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary regularly to carry out these procedures.  Senior nurse Isobel Adams, who has worked in one of the biggest PCI centres in the UK, brings a wealth of nursing expertise to the role and the cardiologists and cardiac surgeons in Aberdeen, along with the North of Scotland Planning Group, have and continue to be very supportive.”

    The service will run during normal working hours throughout the week so some patients will still have to travel if they need to be treated at weekends or out of hours but for the majority they can be treated closer to home.

    Frederick Falconer, age 70 from Inverness was one of the first patients to receive PCI in Inverness.  He said: “You can’t help but worry when you know you need to have this done and having to travel away from your local area just adds to any anxiety you already feel.

    “I did actually take the trip to Aberdeen in March to get this procedure done.  However, my health deteriorated quite badly and I wasn’t fit for it to happen.  I spent a lot of time in hospital after this, both in Aberdeen and in Inverness and I did not relish the idea of having to make that journey again.

    “I had the procedure done in Raigmore Hospital on the 19th May and immediately noticed a big difference.  I walk a fair bit and even though it’s not been long since I was treated I find this a lot easier now, I can breathe better.

    “I am very grateful that I was able to have this done locally, not having to travel as far was a huge weight off my mind.  It is a blessing for the people in the Highlands.”

    Professor Leslie said: “Highland has such a remote and dispersed population which itself presents a challenge but with the development of the PCI service we are now able to provide a higher level of cardiac care to our patients.”

    US Medical Device Firm Selects Scotland for Landmark Clinical Study

    A state-of-the-art robotic arm for orthopaedic surgery that has the potential to transform the way in which knee joint replacements are conducted in the UK and reduce cost, is to be employed in clinical studies at the NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde’s Royal Infirmary and the University of Strathclyde.

    It is the first time the robotic arm technology pioneered by the MAKO Surgical Corp. will be used outside the U.S. The American firm has joined forces with orthopaedic surgeons from NHS Scotland and leading scientists from the University to establish the multidisciplinary MAKO Centre for Surgical Robotics, which was officially launched today (Thursday 3rd June 2010).


    Over the course of the next three years, the Centre at the University’s department of bioengineering, together with the participating surgeons at the NHS, will engage in randomised clinical trials of MAKO’s RIO® Robotic Arm Interactive Orthopaedic System, which allows surgeons to perform a precise knee resurfacing procedure called MAKOplasty®.

    MAKOplasty®, which is commonly performed on patients with early to mid-stage osteoarthritis of the knee, has been successfully employed by orthopaedic surgeons in the U.S. since 2006 to enhance the accuracy of the surgical procedure and significantly improve patient recovery time. This in turn might reduce the length of time patients stay in hospital post-operation which may translate into considerable cost savings for health trusts.

    Jim Mather, Minister for Enterprise, Energy and Tourism, said: “Scotland’s reputation for scientific excellence is globally renowned. We produce one per cent of the world’s published research with only 0.1 per cent of the world’s population, and our health science research is at the heart of many advances in medical technology. All of this means there is no better place to pioneer this exciting new partnership.

    “The new MAKO Centre can help revolutionise the way knee joint replacement surgery is carried out in the UK and will further enhance Scotland’s reputation for being at the forefront of turning the latest scientific research into real health benefits for patients. I am delighted to learn about the launch of this important Centre.”

    Dr. Maurice R. Ferré, President and Chief Executive Officer of MAKO, said: “As an innovative, U.S. based public medical device company, we intend to gradually introduce our technology in international markets. To begin this process, we chose partners in the UK who could bring together best-in-class clinical and research services.

    “We are delighted that Scottish patients will be the first in the UK to benefit from MAKOplasty® – a procedure that is already transforming partial knee orthopaedic interventions in the USA.”

    The robot in action on a synthetic bone during the launch.

    Professor Jim McDonald, Principal of the University of Strathclyde, said: “The creation of the Centre for Surgical Robotics reflects Strathclyde’s strategic mission to apply high quality research and enhance our successful links with industry and the NHS to bring benefits to wider society.”

    “If successful, the Centre will contribute to improving the functional outcome of knee surgery patients in Glasgow, reducing pain and helping patients recover more quickly. In addition, the technology could reduce the cost to the NHS.”

    He added: “The potential for further developments through this new partnership could transform many other aspects of orthopaedic surgery.”

    Jim Crombie, Director of Surgery & Anaesthetics for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC), said:  “This research study has just started and is typical of NHSGGC’s support of cutting edge science. We will be working closely with University of Strathclyde and MAKO Surgical Corp over the coming three years to support full completion.

    “The results of this study will be considered as part of our clinical effectiveness processes. NHSGGC recognise the many benefits associated with working with colleagues within our academic institutions and will continue this type of collaboration across many areas of our service provision.”

    MAKO, the University and NHS Scotland will support the first full and independent randomised clinical trial of the MAKO RIO® and will draw on NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde’s excellence in orthopaedic innovation and joint replacement surgery, as well as the University’s internationally recognised expertise in biomechanical and functional assessment of orthopaedic devices.

    MAKO Surgical Corp.

    MAKO Surgical Corp. is a medical device company that markets both its RIO® Robotic Arm Interactive Orthopedic system and its proprietary RESTORIS® implants for minimally invasive orthopedic knee procedures.

    The MAKO RIO is a surgeon-interactive tactile surgical platform that incorporates a robotic arm and patient-specific visualization technology and prepares the knee joint for the insertion and alignment of MAKO’s resurfacing RESTORIS implants through a minimal incision. The FDA-cleared and CE Mark approved RIO system allows surgeons to provide a precise, consistently reproducible tissue-sparing, bone resurfacing procedure called MAKOplasty® to a large, yet underserved patient population suffering from early to mid-stage osteoarthritic knee disease. MAKO has an intellectual property portfolio of more than 250 licensed or owned patents and patent applications relating to the areas of robotics, haptics, computer assisted surgery and implants.

    Additional information can be found at

    University of Strathclyde Bioengineering Unit

    The Bioengineering Unit at the University of Strathclyde has been at the forefront of the design and evaluation of orthopaedic implants for more than 40 years. It is home to the UK’s only doctoral training centre in medical devices, and the Strathclyde Institute of Medical Devices – a centre to bring together experts in engineering, the life sciences and medicine to create pioneering medical devices and technology to improve patient care. More at

    Hospitals in England and Wales plan to cut medical and nursing staff to save cash

    From The Sunday Times
    April 25, 2010

    Secret NHS cuts to axe thousands of medics

    Hospitals across England are planning to shed at least 650 doctors and 2,000 nurses under new cost-cutting plans

    Burnham claims savings can be made just by cutting waste

    Burnham claims savings can be made just by cutting waste

    Jonathan Oliver

    HUNDREDS of doctors and thousands of nurses will lose their jobs over the next five years under secret cost-cutting plans.

    The cuts to clinical staff, exposed in documents released under the Freedom of Information Act, undermine Labour’s election pledge to protect services.

    Half of all hospitals that responded to the FoI requests said they were planning to cut the number of doctors and nurses. Two-thirds also said they would cut the number of hospital beds.

    Ministers have always insisted that the planned efficiency savings could be achieved by cutting waste and bureaucracy alone.

    Click the link to read more about NHS Staff cuts

    Australian study finds computers are 'better than doctors' at diagnosing serious childhood infections

    April 21, 2010 by Jennifer Trueland

    A thermometer. <em>Picture: Jurii</em>

    Computers are better than doctors at diagnosing serious bacterial infection – such as meningitis – in young children, according to a study published today.

    Children, especially those under five years old, commonly have fever or febrile illness, but it can be difficult to ascertain the cause.

    This can be vital because doctors have to be able to tell whether a child is suffering from a minor viral illness, or a serious bacterial infection, such as pneumonia, meningitis or a urinary tract infection.

    Getting it wrong and failing to diagnose a serious infection and delaying treatment can be fatal – but diagnosing one where it isn’t there can result in children being prescribed antibiotics unnecessarily.

    Researchers in Australia developed a computerised model to distinguish between serious bacterial infections and self-limiting non-bacterial illnesses.

    The study included more than 15,000 healthy children aged under five who attended the emergency department of a large children’s hospital with a fever (defined as a body temperature of 38C or more in the previous 24 hours).

    Doctors performed the usual clinical evaluation and serious bacterial infections were confirmed or otherwise by using standard tests. The signs and symptoms seen by the physicians were combined in a diagnostic model, which was compared to what actually happened in clinical practice.

    The data show that of the seven per cent of children who were later confirmed as having a bacterial infection, only 70-80 per cent were prescribed antibiotics at the initial consultation. Conversely, around a fifth of those who were not subsequently confirmed as having an identified bacterial infection were probably given antibiotics when they shouldn’t have been.

    In each infection – urinary tract, pneumonia and bacteraemia (bacteria in the blood) the diagnostic model out-performed or was as good as evaluation by a doctor.

    Writing in the BMJ, the authors, including Jonathan Craig of the University of Sydney, point out that almost all (95%) of these children had the appropriate tests and that some doctors routinely delay giving antibiotics until test results are known, so this may help to explain the initial under-treatment. However, about two thirds of children who were not treated were subsequently prescribed antibiotics.

    They conclude: “By combining routinely collected clinical information into a statistical model, we have demonstrated that a clinical diagnostic model may improve the care of children presenting with fever who have suspected serious bacterial illness.”

    Click the link to read the rest of the article about computers are ‘better than doctors’

    Click the link to read the full study in the BMJ about the accuracy of clinical symptoms and signs for the diagnosis of serious bacterial infection