Author: Paul Hayes, Medical Director
As medical director at Inotec AMD Ltd, I have a wide-ranging role, but I am chiefly responsible for leading our clinical research programme, designing, implementing and running our clinical trials, and representing the company at academic and industry conferences around the world. I am also involved in product development and design, and in raising finance.
Inotec AMD began as a University of Cambridge spin-out company, established to use technology developed in the Department of Engineering to create a specialist wound care device. NATROX® is a small portable device that delivers a high concentration of pure oxygen directly to the skin and wound bed to accelerate the healing process, and initiate healing in chronic wounds. Its lightweight and compact design allows it to be completely portable, making it perfectly suited to use in the community setting.
Non-healing wounds place a significant burden on patients, who are usually already living with other serious conditions. The need to allocate a portion of their day, 2 or 3 times per week, to wait and get their wound dressed has a significant impact, often making regular employment very difficult. They also suffer from pain, fluid leakage from the wound, and odour, which means that patients often choose not to go out in public because of the embarrassment they feel about their condition. Infection of the open wound leads to increased pain, the need for antibiotics, and sometimes hospital admission. All of the preceding factors often have an impact on the quality of life of the spouse as well.
The ultimate consequence of non-healing lower limb wounds, such as venous, arterial or diabetic ulcers, is major limb loss. This has an immediate and obvious impact on the patient and their quality of life. What is not commonly understood is the effect of amputation on patient mortality, with the 5-year life survival of around 45% being worse than most malignancies.
One of our SBRI study patients commented:
“At each visit to the diabetic foot clinic, I would sit in the waiting room amongst patients with missing legs wondering if that was going to happen to me. Fortunately, thanks to the team at the clinic and my NATROX, my wound healed and I escaped with both legs”
NATROX is currently available in over 15 countries around the world and the focus of a major 18-centre clinical study on NHS patients in the UK. Following the experience gained in the UK through SBRI Healthcare support, and overseas, it will be launched to the NHS in early 2017. For us to continue to commercialize the product successfully and make it generally available through the NHS, we must continue to collect robust clinical data through well-designed and executed trials and evaluations, build support for the device amongst clinicians, and generate supportive health economic data.
Paul Hayes MD FRCS
Inotec AMD Ltd
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