INNOVATIVE products don’t just fall out of the sky like rain on a winter’s day. There’s a lot of development, refinement, testing and research in that process, and most importantly a moment where someone who’s been banging their head against a brick wall for months finally comes up with a way to take a sledgehammer to it.
Newcastle company G-MED specializes in taking innovative ideas devised by people such as NHS nurses, and helping to develop them into a product that can be used in the medical field. Managing director Ged McGonnell said: “As a company, what we’re trying to do is find products within the NHS where a nurse or a surgeon or a porter has come up with an idea that meets an unmet need. A lot of these people might have the clinical experience and the technical expertise, but might not know how to get a product past the concept phase. It’s about getting these products peer reviewed and developed. “Universities like Newcastle and Northumbria have a good set up in terms of prototyping, so I’m very lucky to have them on my doorstep.” McGonnell has more than a decade of sales experience in the pharmaceutical and medical device fields, and set up G-MED two years ago to market interesting medical devices. It builds links with people who are involved in services such as the NHS Innovations Hubs, which act as links between the NHS, companies and universities. There are eight of these hubs around the country, including NHS Innovations North in Sunderland.
When the product is available, G-MED either sells it on under licence or attracts a company to buy the product and supply it to the NHS itself. McGonnell said: “The majority is surgical or intensive care tools, as there’s more opportunity there for niche products.” it is currently preparing a portfolio of four products for release in the next few months. The first to be released will be an arterial cannula sling developed at Durham University, as well as a radial angiography sling. A mammography accessory is also in the pipeline, but G-MED is most excited about a non-injectable connector for the arterial line, a device developed by two staff at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Kings Lynn that allows medics to withdraw from an artery while preventing any injections.
McGonnell said: “The connector will stop mistakes being made. An arterial line should never have anything injected into it, and this will stop people accidentally injecting into the wrong line. “There are patents filed on this and I’ve got a big company who would be interested in taking it off my hands when the time comes.”
Contacts: Jamie Ollivere at RTC North
Notes to editor: RTC North is an independent innovation agency committed to helping business and society manage change. Excelling in the areas of technology transfer, business growth and innovation management, RTC North has worked with thousands of organisations since 1989 to create jobs, wealth and a better quality of life for the people of Northern England. Today the company employs over 60 people and has offices in Sunderland, Liverpool and Leeds.