The new Medical Devices Testing and Evaluation Centre (MD-TEC) in Birmingham will have its grand opening in the New Year.
The event, on 17 January, will feature a tour of the facilities and talks by key staff members, including a keynote speech. The Centre will be housed on the third floor of the state-of-the-art Institute for Translational Medicine (ITM), based on the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham site.
The ITM was delivered through Birmingham Health Partners, an alliance between University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust (UHB), the University of Birmingham and Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust.
MD-TEC has been supported through the European Regional Development Fund and will boost the life science economy in the Greater Birmingham area. It will act as a central space to accelerate the development of medical innovations for small and medium-sized businesses.
Liam Grover, Professor in Biomaterials Science at the University of Birmingham’s College of Engineering and Physical Sciences, will lead biomaterials development and Dr Tom Clutton-Brock, Clinical Director of the NIHR Trauma Management Healthcare Technology Co-operative and Deputy Director of the ITM, will lead medical device usability and safety testing.
MD-TEC will offer a range of support, including med-tech materials, and the facilities will include purpose-built replicas of key clinical areas. It will boost the growing regional reputation for medical device development, including collaboration with the NHS and academia, as well as the commercialisation of devices.
Dr Clutton-Brock said: “The new MD-TEC promises to be a game changer, in terms of ensuring medical devices are fit for purpose and successfully reach market faster. Evidence suggests that the majority of device related adverse incidents are user related, so it is crucial that usability testing is included in a device’s technical file.
“Many devices undergo significant re-design after introduction into clinical practice, which is very costly to the life sciences industry.The MD-TEC will provide a dedicated test facility for med tech companies to test the usability of their technology in a realistic environment, using real clinical staff without placing patients at risk.”
Led by UHB, key delivery partners for MD-TEC are the University of Birmingham and Aston University, with Birmingham City University, Birmingham Community Healthcare Trust and the West Midlands Academic Health Science Network as supporting partners.
Aston University will play a direct role at MD-TEC, with Professor James Wolffsohn providing expertise in human senses such as vision and hearing and Dr Sinziana Popescu involved in usability testing.
For more information on MD-TEC or the event, please contact Sian Dunning, MD-TEC Project Manager, on 0121 371 8540.