Introducing Espicom Interactive

The Medical Technology Blog

Introducing Espicom Interactive – Espicom’s new online delivery platform

Welcome back to Pharmaceutical News. Today we have some exciting news, the launch of our new service Espicom Interactive.

Espicom Interactive is our new feature-rich online delivery interface which provides a range of powerful and useful time-saving functions. Available now, Espicom Interactive lets you maximise the value of your Espicom service, with features such as the ability to save your researched text instantly to MS Word. Tables, graphics and illustrations are instantly opened and saved in MS PowerPoint and MS Excel.

Field staff and agents worldwide will benefit from machine translation into 9 languages, which cover key emerging markets such as Brazil and China. Watch the instructional video below to assess the power and versatility of the Espicom Interactive platform.

Espicom Interactive Instructional Video


For many companies the cost of business information represents a significant investment. Its practical use in defining commercial strategy and in understanding market environments is critical to success. However, the value of such investments is only really beneficial if the service empowers staff to greater efficiency in its use. Business information should be a support to effective decision making and not a burdensome administration task.

To download the Espicom Interactive Brochure please click on the thumbnail below


To access Espicom Interactive and review a sample document which will let you try the service for yourself at no charge, please click on the link to Espicom Interactive

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UK healthcare sector investment

The Medical Technology Blog

Investment in nanoscience set to benefit UK healthcare sector

Grant funding totalling over £6.5 million has been awarded for seven business-led projects that will focus on developing therapeutic agents and diagnostics where nanoscale technologies are the focus of innovation. The funding will be provided by the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the Technology Strategy Board, and the projects will be led by Critical Pharmaceuticals, Johnson Matthey, Mologic, Nanomerics, OJ-Bio, Renishaw Diagnostics and Sharp Laboratories of Europe.

The aim of the investment is to help ensure that the UK can become an early competitive adopter of these technologies and rapidly meet the urgent and difficult challenges posed within the worldwide healthcare sector, by translating early-stage ideas from academia and commercialising them through the building supply chains with businesses. This investment is part of a two-stage initiative under the Nanoscience through Engineering to Application Grand Challenge for Healthcare. The university partners on two of the funded projects had initially received three years of funding from EPSRC and these projects will follow onto scale-up the technologies developed in the first stage.

The proposed R&D projects will seek to develop closer links between the healthcare community and the emerging nanoscale technologies community, in order to rapidly develop and commercialise early-stage nanoscale technologies. Key challenge areas include the earlier and better detection and diagnosis of disease, leading to marked improvements in patient outcomes, and effective treatments that are tailored to patients’ needs, and which either modify the underlying disease or offer potential cures.

£1 million UK government funding

Separately, a group of projects are to receive over £1 million of UK government funding to enable them to develop new and improved “health-economics” tools or products that will assist and improve the design and evaluation of clinical trials for infectious agents. The funding, from the Technology Strategy Board, in partnership with the Department of Health, UK and with additional contributions from EPSRC to fund academic social science components, has been awarded for three development contracts. These will be undertaken by Diagnostics for the Real World (Europe), Integrated Medicines and the Health Protection Agency.

The funding award follows the organisations’ participation in the “Assessing the Impact of Near-Patient Testing” competition for development contracts managed by the Technology Strategy Board and developed in discussion with the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) and the British In Vitro Diagnostics Association. The competition was run under the Technology Strategy Board’s infectious disease programme that aims to reduce the economic burden, death and illness of such diseases.

Two of the projects, to be undertaken by Diagnostics for the Real World and the Health Protection Agency, will focus on sexually transmitted infections, while the remaining Integrated Medicines project will focus on sepsis.

Article source: Kindly provided by Sophie Bracken, editor of Espicom’s business publication Diagnostics Focus

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Medica 2011

The Medical Technology Blog

Visit Espicom Stand 16F-24-2 in the UK Pavillion for your chance to win an iPad 2!

Is medical market and business intelligence critical to your company? Then let us invite you to visit and review the latest class-leading products from Espicom – the choice of leading executives in 50 countries worldwide.

What’s in store for you on UK Pavilion Stand 16F-24-2…

  • Our brand-new, unique state-of-the-art statistical analysis service Medistat Interactive Market Evaluator which combines a powerful and easy-to-use tool with Espicom’s respected market and trade data – ideal for easily comparing and contrasting trends in order to identify opportunity avoiding risk.
  • Management reports – critical competitive/market analysis for leading sectors such as advanced wound care and point-of-care diagnostics
  • Extensive and comprehensive daily-updated news feeds in key technology areas such as medical diagnostics, orthopaedics and cardiovascular devices

It all results in better business and time saved!

Also…we would really like your feedback – We are demonstrating our new feature rich delivery platform – come and see its facilities and tell us your opinion, the things you like and what you would like to see more of.

Finally…that iPad2 – We will be holding a draw to win an iPad 2 at the show. To enter, all you have to do is leave your business card with us. Could there be a better way to view Espicom’s excellent content?

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Our first video on Youtube;

Please check it out and leave a comment or if you’re in a good mood, give us a thumbs up!

Thanks, Paul.

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The Medical Technology Blog

Hello and welcome back once more to The Medical Technology Blog.

The European Union has applied EUR 1.67 million from its Sixth Framework Programme (6th FWP) for research programme to help develop an instrument that more quickly identifies the harmful bacteria or fungus that may be lurking in the wounds of burn victims and causing an infection. Such a device would help to speed up the diagnostic and healing process by days.

At present, doctors have had to rely on microbiological tests that take several days to identify which bacteria are responsible for the infection. In contrast, researchers from Germany, Italy, Lithuania and the UK have been working on a small prototype electronic device, known as the Woundmonitor, which can pinpoint the type of bacteria within a few minutes, by identifying the minute amounts of gas the bacteria are producing. The quicker infections can be diagnosed, the faster patients can be treated, which can in turn lower the cost of lengthy hospital stays.

Most burn injuries occur at home or at work and are more predominant among vulnerable groups such as the elderly or young children. Early diagnosis and treatment of infection in burn patients is critical. However, despite advances in modern medicine, it still takes up to three days for microbiological tests to identify the bacteria present in the wound. Traditionally, medical students were taught to recognise bacterial infections by their characteristic odour. Clinicians and researchers from Germany, Italy, Lithuania and the UK in the Woundmonitor project used the same approach, but were assisted by the latest information and communication technologies.

The researchers developed an instrument that can identify types of bacteria from the small amount of volatile gases, recognisable by smell, that they emit. The experts first identified the three major types of bacteria: staphylococcus, streptococcus and pseudomonas, which account for about 80 per cent of the bacterial infections found in burns. They then identified the volatile chemicals spread by the bacteria when they multiply. With this information, the team designed an instrument containing eight gas sensors. The pattern of the responses from the sensors represents the characteristics of the chemicals present, by which the bacteria are identified.

This complex , but nimble, instrument has already been tested in a hospital in Manchester, UK, and at a Kaunas regional hospital (Lithuania). Results are said to have been very satisfactory and the researchers have positively assessed the instrument’s risk level. Several commercial companies have also indicated an interest in the instrument and discussions are underway to develop the instrument for commercial use.

The University of Manchester in the UK s co-ordinating the EUR 2.2 million programme, which commenced in January 2006. Other partners in the project include Puslaidininkiu Fizikos Institutas and Kaunas Medical University Hospital (both in Lithuania), CNR-Istituto Nazionale per la Fisica della Materia and Biodiversity (both Italy-based), Umwelt-Systemtechnik (Germany) and the Department of Burns and Plastic Surgery at South Manchester University Hospitals Trust.

Thanks to Lawrence Miller for this post, Lawrence is Espicom‘s medical newsletters team leader, and the managing editor of Medical Industry Week and Diagnostics Focus

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Eye Imaging-Early Warning for Alzheimers!

The Medical Technology Blog

PET scan of a human brain with Alzheimer's disease
Image via Wikipedia

Hi and thanks for visiting The Medical Technology blog. Today’s post concerns the news that non-invasive optical imaging of the eyes could lead to earlier diagnosis, intervention and monitoring of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) That is according to new research published online in the journal NeuroImage, showing that the nerve cell-damaging plaque that builds up in the brain with AD also builds up in the retinas of the eyes and shows up there earlier.

Scientists at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, in collaboration with colleagues from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel and the University of Southern California, discovered characteristic amyloid plaques in retinas from deceased AD patients and used a non-invasive optical imaging technique to detect retinal plaques in live laboratory mice genetically modified to model the human disease. The combined results suggest the possibility that non-invasive retinal imaging may be helpful in early diagnosis of the disease.

The researchers considered the retina a better target for non-invasive imaging of AD since it is readily accessible and, unlike other components of the eye, is part of the central nervous system, having a direct connection and therefore many similarities with the brain. Previous studies have documented non-specific visual disturbances, eye disorders and certain types of retinal abnormalities occurring with AD and other neurodegenerative conditions, but this is the first to identify human retinal plaque deposits that could provide a specific diagnostic marker of the condition.

In lab tests, plaques in the retinas of mice genetically modified to model AD could be detected at a very early, pre-symptomatic stage – before the plaque appeared in the brain. A high-resolution, non-invasive optical imaging approach was developed to monitor individual beta-amyloid plaques in the retinas of live mice. The system is based on a specific marker and the adaptation of an existing optical system used to examine rodent eyes.

The research team used a fluorescent compound, called curcumin, to label and detect retinal plaques. This is believed to be the first use of curcumin as an imaging agent to detect AD-related plaques in the retinas of live animals. Curcumin binds to beta-amyloid plaques and makes them visible when viewed microscopically. In the Cedars-Sinai research, curcumin injected into the bloodstream of live mice crossed the blood-retinal barrier and specifically bound to the retinal plaques, allowing them to be viewed in high resolution with a non-invasive procedure.

Curcumin is more commonly known as the main base for the indian spice, turmeric, often used as a colourant is responsible for the yellow colour and was once described as Indian saffron, but of course, being significantly cheaper. Curcumin has been clinically trialled for uses within many diseases including multiple myeloma, pancreatic cancer, myelodysplastic syndromes, colon cancer,  and psoriasis.

Observations from multiple genetically-engineered mouse models of AD demonstrated a correlation between retinal plaques and brain plaques as disease progressed. In the laboratory mice, an immune system-based therapy that reduces the amount of plaques in the brain also reduced plaque load in the retina to the same extent, suggesting that the retina could represent the brain in assessing response to therapy. Beta-amyloid plaques were identified in retinal samples from human patients who had died from AD, and their features correlated with the diagnosed stage of the disease. Importantly, plaques were detected not only in patients who definitely had the disease, but also in the retinas of some people who were suspected of having early-stage AD based on clinical diagnosis and microscopic examination of brain tissue after death.

Collectively, the results are said to offer the first evidence for the existence of Alzheimer’s-specific plaques in the retina of human patients and the ability to detect individual plaques in live mouse models, creating a strong basis for future research building on these findings. According to the authors, these studies establish the potential of direct retinal beta-amyloid plaque imaging in live subjects as a tool for early AD diagnosis and prognosis, as well as assessment of therapies.

Alzheimer’s is a horrendous disease that steals away the people you love and have known perhaps all your life; it recently had strong coverage in the national press in the UK, when John Suchet, well-known journalist, news reader, presenter and author, wrote the moving book ‘My Bonnie’, after his wife was consumed by Alzheimer’s . I welcome this news, and would like to see more money and research spent on AD, though this is unlikely in this present economic climate.

That’s all for now, please drop back soon, or if you would like more information on the medical technology industry visit our main site at Espicom Business Intelligence.

Thanks, Paul.

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