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News Article | May 8, 2017
Site: www.theengineer.co.uk

Without an improved talent pipeline we risk being unable to keep up with the pace of technological change writes Engineering UK Chief Executive Paul Jackson Last month we were looking at submissions to the industrial strategy and just four weeks on it’s all about election strategy. It is time to make sure one of them, the industrial one, doesn’t get lost in the rhetoric of the other. The next government needs to deliver an industrial strategy that breaks down barriers and sees real alignment of policy, industry and education. We are heading for an industrial revolution in manufacturing and a revolution in the way we organise and live our lives. The success of those developments and all their future applications is dependent on strong engineering skills. To be innovation leaders rather than followers we need to build on our engineering talent. I hope that post-Brexit Britain will continue to welcome talented professionals from abroad, not least because there is not currently the capacity or funding within the education system to harness the undoubted talent of the future workforce. But, we are selling short a generation of home grown talent if we don’t do all we can to unlock the opportunities ahead of us and give them access to the highly paid, skilled jobs that will drive the transformation. Industry 4.0 will be as transformative as previous industrial revolutions and will spawn new industries and opportunities. It will, however, look very different. Data exchange and connectivity are not just buzzwords but the building blocks of a new way of doing things. As our phones, homes and working practices become smarter we are ever more reliant on the digital applications of those exchanges and connections. But, without an improved talent pipeline we risk being unable to keep up with the pace of change and falling behind as a nation and an economy. A couple of recent discussions have struck on how much engineering is already changing. Talking with a senior exec from an energy company I heard about how the engineering function was being developed along systems integration lines rather than the disciplines that we all recognise from the 19th Century. A visit to the Centre for Advanced Biomedical Imaging at UCL reinforced that view. Brilliant work is going on with all sorts of imaging and masses of data processing and the Centre is part of the medical faculty rather than engineering. Why? Because it is closer to the customer so clinical trials at University College Hospital can be undertaken more easily. Systems, data, customers. They’re all important. This integration in application will increasingly need to be reflected in the integration of various aspects of engineering technology. The next generation will develop and deliver that integration and that starts with science, technology, engineering and maths subjects at school. We owe it to the engineering workforce of the future to ensure that as young people today they are fully supported in understanding and developing the skills they’ll need to be part of changing the world in which we live. Wherever they hear about future opportunities in engineering and technology, be it from professional bodies, industry, teachers or the media, they need clear and consistent message – studying science and maths keeps your options open. That’s how we’ll inspire tomorrow’s engineers.


Successful clinical trials to create drugs and vaccines for next pandemic disease will rely on building capacity, community engagement, and international collaboration before and during outbreak WASHINGTON - Mobilization of a rapid and robust clinical research program that explores whether investigational therapeutics and vaccines are safe and effective to combat the next infectious disease epidemic will depend on strengthening capacity in low-income countries for response and research, engaging people living in affected communities, and conducting safety trials before an epidemic hits, says a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Using key lessons learned from the Ebola epidemic in West Africa, the report outlines how to improve the speed and effectiveness of clinical trial research while an epidemic is occurring, especially in settings where there is limited health care and research infrastructure. The research and development of therapeutics and vaccines is a long, complex, and expensive process and cannot be compressed into the course of a rapidly progressing outbreak. The development of a drug "from bench to bedside" is estimated, on average, to take at least 10 years and cost $2.6 billion, with less than 12 percent likelihood of eventual licensing. Therefore, making progress on the research and development of products - such as therapeutics and vaccines - before an epidemic breaks is the only way to ensure that promising candidates are ready for trials once an outbreak occurs, said the committee that carried out the study and wrote the report. In addition, clinical trials could be more rapidly planned, approved, and implemented during an outbreak if promising products are studied through Phase 1 or Phase 2 safety trials in advance of an outbreak and if emergency response planning includes clinical research considerations and clinical researchers in the discussions from the beginning. The 2014-2015 Ebola epidemic was the longest and most deadly Ebola outbreak since the virus was first discovered in 1976, resulting in 28,616 cases and 11,310 deaths in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. In August 2014, the World Health Organization declared the epidemic a public health emergency of international concern. Researchers discussed how to conduct clinical trials on potential Ebola therapeutics and vaccines in West Africa, and ultimately, several teams conducted formal clinical trials in the Ebola-affected countries during the outbreak. The clinical trial teams overcame immense logistical obstacles encountered while trying to design and implement trials in West Africa in the midst of a rapidly spreading epidemic of a highly dangerous contagious disease. However, none of the therapeutic trials ended with conclusive results on product efficacy, although limited evidence from the trial for the ZMapp treatment did trend toward a possible benefit. Given the resources, time, and effort put into these trials, they were not as successful as they could have been. The results of the vaccine trials were more fruitful. Two Ebola vaccine candidates have data that suggest they may be safe and produce an immune response, and one is most likely protective, but further data are needed. Planning and conducting clinical research during the Ebola epidemic also required confronting a number of ethical issues, such as whether it was ethical to conduct clinical trials at all in the midst of a public health emergency and whether the research activities drew effort away from providing clinical care to the most people possible. There was also disagreement among researchers over how clinical trials should be designed during the Ebola epidemic, particularly whether trials should use randomization and concurrent control groups. Randomized controlled trials are generally the preferred research design, because they allow researchers to directly compare the outcomes of similar groups of people who differ only in the presence or absence of the investigational agent. However, many argued that randomized controlled trials would be unethical during the Ebola epidemic, as this trial design would deprive patients of an agent that could potentially prevent or treat Ebola, given the high mortality rate and lack of known and available treatment options. The committee concluded that randomized controlled trials are both ethical and the fastest and most reliable way to identify the relative benefits and risks of investigational products, and except in rare circumstances, every effort should be made to implement them during epidemics. The issues that influenced choices about trial design during the Ebola epidemic - such as community mistrust, the feasibility of a standard-of-care-only arm, the high and variable mortality rate, limited product availability, and the potential conflicts between research and care - are likely to recur in future epidemics. Nevertheless, the perceived ethical or logistical hurdles that these issues present are not sufficiently compelling to override the benefits of randomized trials. Rather, randomized trials may be the most ethical trial design, because they offer the fastest route to identifying beneficial treatments while minimizing the risks of exposure to potentially harmful investigational agents. To improve the national and international clinical trial response to the next epidemic, the committee focused on three main areas - strengthening capacity, engaging communities, and facilitating international coordination and collaboration - both in the period of time before an outbreak strikes and during the epidemic itself. The committee found major capacity challenges that hindered and slowed the research response to the Ebola epidemic, and recommended developing sustainable health systems and research capabilities, improving capacity to collect and share clinical and epidemiological data, facilitating the mechanisms for rapid ethics reviews and legal agreements before an epidemic occurs, and incorporating research systems into emergency preparedness and response systems for epidemics. Affected communities had considerable fear, mistrust, and misunderstanding of national and international response and research staff. Community members feared going to health care facilities for the treatment of Ebola, rumors spread that Ebola was deliberately brought to the region by foreigners, and initial response efforts did not take into account community traditions and beliefs. For example, mandatory cremation policies countered deeply held religious beliefs. Successful clinical research is dependent on a community's understanding of, engagement in, and sense of involvement and respect in the process of planning and conducting research, the committee found. Community engagement should be prioritized during epidemic responses and be a continuous and evolving effort, starting at the onset of the epidemic. Research and response efforts were also greatly affected by the relationships among international stakeholders and their ability to coordinate and collaborate. For example, there were a few Ebola-specific therapeutic candidates with suggestive efficacy available at the beginning of the outbreak that could have been investigated in clinical trials, but the mechanism to prioritize which should be studied first was limited. The committee recommended the establishment of an international coalition of stakeholders to work between epidemics that would advise and prioritize pathogens to target for research and development, develop generic clinical trial design templates, and identify teams of clinical research experts who could be deployed to assist with research during an outbreak. The committee also highlighted seven critical steps to launching successful clinical trials when the next epidemic first strikes and before it peaks. The steps are to collect and share patient information and establish standards of care, engage communities and establish mutual trust, integrate research efforts into response and facilitate stakeholder coordination, prioritize vaccines and therapies and select trial designs, negotiate contracts, consult with regulators, and perform independent ethics reviews. The study was sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, National Institutes of Health, and U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine are private, nonprofit institutions that provide independent, objective analysis and advice to the nation to solve complex problems and inform public policy decisions related to science, technology, and medicine. The National Academies operate under an 1863 congressional charter to the National Academy of Sciences, signed by President Lincoln. For more information, visit http://national-academies. . A roster follows. Copies of Integrating Clinical Research Into Epidemic Response: The Ebola Experience are available from the National Academies Press at http://www. or by calling 1-800-624-6242. Reporters may obtain a copy from the Office of News and Public Information (contacts listed above). Gerald T. Keusch, M.D.* (co-chair) Professor of Medicine and Global Health Boston University Schools of Medicine and Public Health Boston Keith McAdam, M.D. (co-chair) Emeritus Professor of Clinical and Tropical Medicine London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine London Abdel Babiker, Ph.D. Professor of Epidemiology and Medical Statistics Medical Research Council Clinical Trials Unit at University College London London Susan S. Ellenberg, Ph.D. Professor of Biostatistics Perelman School of Medicine University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia Roger J. Lewis, M.D., Ph.D.* Professor and Chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine Harbor-UCLA Medical Center Los Angeles Alex London, Ph.D. Professor of Philosophy, and Director of the Center for Ethics and Policy Carnegie Mellon University Pittsburgh Michelle M. Mello, Ph.D.* Professor of Law Stanford University School of Medicine and School of Law Stanford, Calif. Olayemi Omotade, M.D. Professor of Pediatrics and Child Health Institute of Child Health University College Hospital University of Ibadan Ibadan, Nigeria Fred Wabwire-Mangen, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health Makerere University School of Public Health Kampala, Uganda


Sirion powers UCLH's initiative aimed at driving improved financial value, performance and compliance in its large procurement and client contracts. LONDON, Oct. 28, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- SirionLabs, the G-Cloud listed provider of technology solutions for effective management of strategic services contracts, today announced that University College London Hospital (UCLH), one of the largest NHS trusts in the UK, has expanded the scope of its Sirion deployment to cover all of its large, strategic services contracts. Eight of UCLH's largest contracts including IT services, PFI, medical services (ambulatory transport and pharmacy), and client services contracts will be managed using Sirion's cutting-edge post-signature contract management capabilities. Sirion's deployment is part of UCLH's aim at driving improved efficiencies and savings in its commercial arrangements through an effective combination of processes and technology. This initiative assumes significance in light of the recent studies, including the National Audit Office (NAO) study and the Carter review, highlighting the need for the public sector to address critical gaps in their management of complex services contracts. As part of this program, UCLH commenced a proof of concept engagement with SirionLabs in early 2016 with the deployment of a large client services contract (for delivering a range of technology, medical and facilities management services to a large patient care services company) for management on Sirion. This was quickly followed by a large procurement contract for IT and BPO services.With the objective of sharing UCLH's learnings and experience from this program for the benefit of the broader healthcare sector in the UK, SirionLabs and UCLH are jointly organising a seminar around the theme Haemorrhaging Value: Removing waste through effective management of contracts in the health sector to be held on 31st October in London. This exclusive, by-invitation event will be attended by senior leaders from UK's public healthcare sector with speakers from UCLH, the Cabinet Office, PCS and CGI. "Like most NHS organisations, UCLH is continuously looking for ways to reduce avoidable expenditure and improve revenue, and do this while maintaining high standards of care for our patients. We recently commenced an initiative at UCLH to drive improved financial value and performance in our large procurement and client contracts. We chose Sirion to power this initiative due to its advanced capabilities for managing complex services contracts in the post-award phase," said Tim Jaggard, Finance Director, UCLH, further adding "We are pleased with the results of the pilot engagement with Sirion – material reduction in wasted expenditure, increased revenue, and improved relationships with our suppliers and customers." "UCLH is one of the UK's leading NHS Trusts with a rich history of innovation and excellence. This program adds to UCLH's reputation as a pioneer in the healthcare sector," said Evangelos Apostolou, President, EMEA for SirionLabs. "We are pleased with Sirion's contribution to the initial success of this initiative. With the expanded scope of Sirion's deployment, we look forward to making a bigger impact by enabling UCLH to drive higher value realisation in all of its key commercial engagements." About UCLH UCLH (University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust), situated in the West End of London, is one of the largest NHS trusts in the United Kingdom and provides first-class acute and specialist services. The state-of-the-art University College Hospital which opened in 2005, is the focal point of UCLH alongside four cutting-edge specialist hospitals. UCLH is committed to research and development and forms part of UCL Partners which in March 2009 was officially designated as one of the UK's first academic health science centres by the Department of Health. UCLH works closely with UCL, translating research into treatments for patients. Visit our website www.uclh.nhs.uk, we are also on Facebook (UCLHNHS), Twitter (@UCLH) and Youtube (UCLHvideo). About SirionLabs SirionLabs is transforming the way buyers and suppliers of complex services engage with each other using our flagship enterprise platform - Sirion. Sirion radically simplifies the delivery and consumption of complex services. It bridges the gap in existing supplier governance (for buyers) and revenue assurance (for suppliers) solutions by tightly integrating all key disciplines – contracts, performance, financial, risk, and relationship management. Leveraging automation and advanced analytics, Sirion helps buyers and suppliers to create higher value and stronger relationships, while enabling effective management of cost and risk in complex services engagements. You can visit us at www.sirionlabs.com, and follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter. This release was issued through WebWire(R). For more information visit http://www.webwire.com.


News Article | November 22, 2016
Site: www.technologyreview.com

Software will alert medics to early signs of illness, but some critics argue that too much data is being shared. DeepMind, Google’s artificial intelligence outfit, wants to streamline health care by using machine learning to provide medics with intelligent notifications. But not everyone is happy with the piles of data being shared with the company. The project will provide medics across a number of London hospitals with alerts about patients via an app called Streams. The app is meant to provide easy access to patient histories and test results for nurses and doctors. But its system will also learn to track patterns in patients’ blood test data and flag cases that show early signs of kidney injury to the appropriate doctors. DeepMind has signed a five-year contract with the U.K.’s National Health Service to provide the app, according to the BBC. In return, DeepMind gets access to records belonging to over 1.6 million patients who are registered with one of the Royal Free NHS Trust’s three London hospitals. The new agreement is actually an overhaul to an existing contract that came under fire earlier this year as part of an investigation by New Scientist. A freedom of information request showed that the Royal Free Hospital Trust had already entered into a data-sharing agreement with DeepMind, but the partnership had failed to register the app with the U.K. government’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency. The new contract rectifies that oversight. But some critics still worry about the arrangement. Speaking to the Financial Times, Julia Powles, a lawyer from the University of Cambridge who specializes in technology, said that DeepMind is getting “swift and broad access into the NHS, on the back of persuasive but unproven promises of efficiency and innovation.” She added that there’s no real way of knowing what the company is doing with the data. For its part, DeepMind argues that the software will help streamline health care at the hospitals by “freeing up clinicians’ time from juggling multiple pager, desktop-based, and paper systems.” Ultimately, the company claims that once the software is fully rolled out it could “redirect over half a million hours per year away from admin and towards direct patient care.” It also points out that patient data is encrypted, and is used only by DeepMind, not the larger organization of Google. It’s not the only health-related project that DeepMind is working on. The company is also using its machine learning approaches to help University College Hospital streamline its radiotherapy treatments, and with Moorfields Eye Hospital to spot the early signs of visual degeneration. Much rests on the underlying aims of DeepMind. Its critics clearly suspect that these projects are a way to obtain large quantities of data that would otherwise be off-limits to it. But if its goal is to simply make health-care services as efficient as possible, then there’s little other way to enlist its help than offering up such large data sets. With any luck the mantras of “first, do no harm” and “don’t be evil” can happily co-exist.


News Article | November 22, 2016
Site: www.technologyreview.com

Software will alert medics to early signs of illness, but some critics argue that too much data is being shared. DeepMind, Google’s artificial intelligence outfit, wants to streamline health care by using machine learning to provide medics with intelligent notifications. But not everyone is happy with the piles of data being shared with the company. The project will provide medics across a number of London hospitals with alerts about patients via an app called Streams. The app is meant to provide easy access to patient histories and test results for nurses and doctors. But its system will also learn to track patterns in patients’ blood test data and flag cases that show early signs of kidney injury to the appropriate doctors. DeepMind has signed a five-year contract with the U.K.’s National Health Service to provide the app, according to the BBC. In return, DeepMind gets access to records belonging to over 1.6 million patients who are registered with one of the Royal Free NHS Trust’s three London hospitals. The new agreement is actually an overhaul to an existing contract that came under fire earlier this year as part of an investigation by New Scientist. A freedom of information request showed that the Royal Free Hospital Trust had already entered into a data-sharing agreement with DeepMind, but the partnership had failed to register the app with the U.K. government’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency. The new contract rectifies that oversight. But some critics still worry about the arrangement. Speaking to the Financial Times, Julia Powles, a lawyer from the University of Cambridge who specializes in technology, said that DeepMind is getting “swift and broad access into the NHS, on the back of persuasive but unproven promises of efficiency and innovation.” She added that there’s no real way of knowing what the company is doing with the data. For its part, DeepMind argues that the software will help streamline health care at the hospitals by “freeing up clinicians’ time from juggling multiple pager, desktop-based, and paper systems.” Ultimately, the company claims that once the software is fully rolled out it could “redirect over half a million hours per year away from admin and towards direct patient care.” It also points out that patient data is encrypted, and is used only by DeepMind, not the larger organization of Google. It’s not the only health-related project that DeepMind is working on. The company is also using its machine learning approaches to help University College Hospital streamline its radiotherapy treatments, and with Moorfields Eye Hospital to spot the early signs of visual degeneration. Much rests on the underlying aims of DeepMind. Its critics clearly suspect that these projects are a way to obtain large quantities of data that would otherwise be off-limits to it. But if its goal is to simply make health-care services as efficient as possible, then there’s little other way to enlist its help than offering up such large data sets. With any luck the mantras of “first, do no harm” and “don’t be evil” can happily co-exist.


Treatment Effect of AC5-Significantly Shortening of Time To Hemostasis vs Control- Was Consistent Whether Patients Were Taking Antiplatelet Therapy or Not FRAMINGHAM, MA--(Marketwired - Oct 31, 2016) - Arch Therapeutics, Inc. ( : ARTH) ("Arch" or the "Company"), developer of devices for use in controlling bleeding and fluid loss in order to provide faster and safer surgical and interventional care, reports additional positive data in its recently completed single-center, randomized, single-blind prospective clinical study (NCT 02704104) of the AC5 Topical Hemostatic Device™ ("AC5™") in skin lesion patients with bleeding wounds. On August 15, 2016, the Company reported top-line data from the clinical study that indicated that AC5 was safe and that it reduced time to hemostasis in wounds versus controls. Today, the Company released the results of additional analysis of the subgroup of 10 patients who were taking a prescribed antiplatelet medication, commonly known as a blood thinner, such as aspirin, which indicated that AC5 had similar effects for the subgroup of patients taking an antiplatelet agent. In particular, in this newly reported analysis of the primary and secondary outcomes for wounds among patients treated with an antiplatelet agent, the primary objective of safety throughout the surgical procedure and until the end of a 30-day follow-up period post procedure was met and AC5 was well tolerated. Moreover, AC5 shortened time to hemostasis ("TTH") versus a control whether or not patients were taking antiplatelet therapy, suggesting that AC5 performance is not affected by antiplatelet therapy. The reduced median TTH of the AC5 treated wounds versus the control wounds was statistically significant for both the overall group of 46 patients (p<0.001) and for the subgroup of 10 patients on antiplatelet therapy (p=0.005). Further, the median TTH for wounds treated with AC5 was less than 30 seconds for both the overall study group and for the subset of patients taking antiplatelet therapy. Terrence W. Norchi, MD, President and CEO of Arch Therapeutics, said, "We have eagerly awaited initial data to support the hypothesis that the mechanism of action of AC5 is independent of a patient's underlying bleeding or coagulation status. These results are an important first step in highlighting an important differentiating feature of AC5 and our self-assembling peptide technology platform." Jack Kelly, MD, Principal Investigator of the study, and a plastic, reconstructive and aesthetic surgeon and Professor of Surgery at Galway University Hospital, Galway, Ireland, said, "We have been impressed with how patients in this study responded to treatment and how easy AC5 was to use. The favorable safety and efficacy profile of AC5 in the overall study was supported when looking at the subset of patients taking antiplatelet therapy, which is particularly noteworthy. Many patients have perturbed hemostasis pathways, whether from natural disease or the use of prescribed or over the counter blood thinners, therefore we always have a concern about more bleeding in these patients. AC5 may provide their care providers a valuable tool to address those challenges." As previously reported, this first study assessing the safety and performance of AC5 in humans served to evaluate the safety and performance of AC5 in patients scheduled to undergo excision of skin lesions on their trunk or upper limbs. Of the 46 patients enrolled in the human study, 10 patients were taking an antiplatelet agent and 36 were not. Each patient had two wounds, of which one was treated with AC5 and the other received standard care plus a sham treatment according to a randomization process. Consequently, each patient served as her/his own control. The study's overall primary objective of safety throughout the surgical procedure and until the end of a 30-day follow-up period post procedure was met and AC5 was well tolerated. No serious adverse events were reported. A secondary endpoint was performance as assessed by time to hemostasis. The median time to hemostasis of wounds in the AC5 treatment group was 41% faster than for those in the control group. This result was statistically significant (p<0.001, Wilcoxon signed rank test). An additional secondary endpoint of healing of treated wounds was assessed as measured by the ASEPSIS wound score at Days 7 and 30. The majority of patients had an ASEPSIS score of 0 in both wounds on both days, and all AC5-treated wounds healed satisfactorily as per wound healing scoring criteria. Previously, Arch's clinical advisory committee deemed the study results to be clinically significant and have recommended submitting a manuscript to a peer-reviewed medical journal for publication. In light of this new data, the committee added, "This first human study assessing the safety and performance of AC5 has revealed an impressive and statistically significant result in patients on an antiplatelet agent, indicating that it may have broad potential scope in different applications." The advisors include Arthur Rosenthal, PhD, Professor of Practice, Emeritus, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Boston University, and a former member of Arch's Board of Directors; Steven Schwaitzberg, MD, Professor and Chairman of the Department of Surgery at the University of Buffalo's Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and past President of the Society of American Gastrointestinal Endoscopic Surgeons; Paresh Shah, MD, Vice Chair of Surgery, Director of General Surgery and Professor of Surgery at New York University Langone Medical Center, New York University Langone School of Medicine; and William Denman, MD, anesthesiologist at Massachusetts General Hospital, past Chief Medical Officer of GE Healthcare and past Chief Medical Officer of Covidien. The Company expects to submit further study details and data to a peer-reviewed journal for publication. The Company also plans to include data from this trial in its regulatory filings, including in a CE mark application for AC5, which is currently anticipated to be filed at the earliest by the end of this year. Arch is currently planning its next clinical-regulatory steps for both the EU and the US. The study, conducted at University College Hospital, Galway, Ireland, was carried out in collaboration with CÚRAM, Science Foundation Ireland Centre for Research in Medical Devices and the HRB Clinical Research Facility based at National University of Ireland Galway. Arch Therapeutics, Inc. is a medical device company developing a novel approach to stop bleeding (hemostasis) and control leaking (sealant) during surgery and trauma care. Arch is developing products based on an innovative self-assembling peptide technology platform to make surgery and interventional care faster and safer for patients. Arch's flagship development stage product candidate, known as the AC5 Surgical Hemostatic Device™, is being designed to achieve hemostasis in surgical procedures. The HRB Clinical Research Facility, Galway (CRFG) is a joint venture between Galway University Hospitals (GUH), Saolta, and National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG) and has been in operation since March 2008. The HRB-CRFG provides the infrastructure, physical space, facilities, expertise and culture needed to optimally support clinical research. It focuses on studies aimed at understanding a range of diseases and speedily translating the knowledge obtained through this research work into advances in patient care. CÚRAM is the Science Foundation Ireland Centre for Research in Medical Devices, based at NUI Galway. Supported by Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) and industry partners, CÚRAM enhances Ireland's standing as a major hub for the global medical devices industry. Its goal is to radically improve quality of life for patients with chronic illness by developing the next generation of smart, implantable medical devices. CÚRAM's innovative approach incorporates biomaterials, drug delivery, cell based technologies, glycosciences and device design to enhance, develop and validate both traditional and new combinational medical devices, from molecular design stage to implant manufacturing. CÚRAM's devices are being developed with strong clinical collaborations to enable rapid translation of research findings to clinical application. Key to the approach is the establishment of unique networks of national and international collaborations, integrating world class clinical, academic and industrial partners This news release contains "forward-looking statements" as that term is defined in Section 27(a) of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21(e) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Statements in this press release that are not purely historical are forward-looking statements and include any statements regarding beliefs, plans, expectations or intentions regarding the future. Such forward-looking statements include, among other things, references to novel technologies and methods, our business and product development plans and projections, or market information. Actual results could differ from those projected in any forward-looking statements due to numerous factors. Such factors include, among others, the inherent uncertainties associated with developing new products or technologies and operating as a development stage company, our ability to retain important members of our management team and attract other qualified personnel, our ability to raise the additional funding we will need to continue to pursue our business and product development plans, our ability to obtain required regulatory approvals, our ability to develop and commercialize products based on our technology platform, and market conditions. These forward-looking statements are made as of the date of this news release, and we assume no obligation to update the forward-looking statements, or to update the reasons why actual results could differ from those projected in the forward-looking statements. Although we believe that any beliefs, plans, expectations and intentions contained in this press release are reasonable, there can be no assurance that any such beliefs, plans, expectations or intentions will prove to be accurate. Investors should consult all of the information set forth herein and should also refer to the risk factors disclosure outlined in the reports and other documents we file with the SEC, available at www.sec.gov. On Behalf of the Board, Terrence W. Norchi, MD Arch Therapeutics, Inc.


News Article | August 31, 2016
Site: www.technologyreview.com

Working out how to zap a tumor with radiation is a laborious process for physicians. Google’s machine-learning division, DeepMind, thinks AI can help ease the burden. When medics apply radiotherapy to a cancer patient, they have to carefully determine which parts of the body should be exposed to radiation in order to kill the tumor while ensuring that as much healthy surrounding tissue as possible is preserved. The process, known as segmentation, requires the doctor to manually draw areas that can and can’t be treated onto a 3-D scan of the patient’s tumor site. The process is particularly complex for head and neck cancers, in which the tumor often sits immediately next to many important anatomical features. Now, though, DeepMind will work with University College Hospital in London to develop an artificial-intelligence system that can automate the process. DeepMind will analyze 700 anonymized scans from former patients who suffered from head and neck cancers. They hope to create an algorithm that can learn how physicians make decisions about this part of the treatment process, ultimately segmenting the scans automatically. “Clinicians will remain responsible for deciding radiotherapy treatment plans, but it is hoped that the segmentation process could be reduced from up to four hours to around an hour,” explains DeepMind. In time, the DeepMind team hopes, the same algorithm might find application in treating cancers elsewhere in the body. IBM’s Watson supercomputer has also been applying machine learning to personalized cancer treatment, though its approach is a little more bookish. It’s currently drawing on 600,000 medical evidence reports and 1.5 million patient records and clinical trials to help doctors develop better treatment plans for cancer patients. This isn’t DeepMind’s first foray into medical research, either—in fact, this is the third project that it’s announced in collaboration with the U.K.’s National Health Service. After coming under fire earlier in the year when an app project appeared to provide DeepMind with free access to 1.6 million patients’ records, the research outfit recently announced that it was helping to spot the early signs of visual degeneration by sifting through a million eye scans. Perhaps it’s working its way down the body.


News Article | December 14, 2016
Site: www.theguardian.com

Talks at Acas aimed at bringing an end to the long-running Southern rail dispute have adjourned for the day, leaving passengers facing the uncertain prospect of further chaos on Britain’s biggest rail franchise. Southern’s owner, Govia Thameslink Railway, began talks with the drivers’ union, Aslef, on Wednesday morning, on the second day of a strike that had completely wiped out Southern’s services. Sources close to the talks described them as positive but with no concrete progress, and no concessions offered by either sides in terms of calling off the strike or halting the driver-only operation of trains. Talks will resume at 10.30am on Thursday and are likely to last through the week. All of Southern’s 2,242 weekday services, which normally carry more than 300,000 passengers, were cancelled again on Wednesday, the worst strike-led disruption since privatisation. If no resolution is found, an ongoing overtime ban will seriously disrupt services on Thursday, before drivers strike again on Friday. Conductors in the RMT union will walk out for two days from Monday. While talks will resume between GTR and Aslef on Thursday, relations between the train operator and the RMT union, representing conductors, have been further damaged after the RMT leader, Mick Cash, left Acas claiming to have been “barred” from talks. Cash said GTR was fully aware on Tuesday night that he would be attending talks, but that he was told on arrival by the company that he would not be allowed to take part. “RMT is furious at the complete contempt that has been shown to us by Southern rail this morning, which leaves us in a state of limbo when we should all be around the table thrashing out the issues that have led to the current action. “Our members were expecting discussions to take place today and instead we have had the door slammed in our faces. That is no way to rebuild the confidence of the workforce in the Southern management and the talks process and it is no way to reach a solution, which is what the public are crying out for.” But GTR said it still hoped to talk to Cash, although only Aslef had been invited by Acas to discuss the current strike by drivers. Nick Brown, GTR’s chief operating officer, said: “We hope today’s talks with the Aslef leadership are productive. I have spoken with the general secretary of the RMT this morning and informed him we’d be happy to meet him at Acas later today to talk about any new proposals he has to try and end the conductors’ dispute and I also asked him to call off their programme of strikes planned for Christmas and New Year.” Little progress is believed to have been made on Wednesday in talks between GTR and Aslef, but the fact that neither side has yet left the negotiating table may be a positive sign. Previous talks had broken down swiftly as the company continued to insist on the flexibility to run trains without a second crew member in some circumstances – a red line for the unions who fear jobs will be lost or deskilled, as the company, and more broadly the government, pushes to introduce more driver-only-operated trains. The current talks take place after days of recriminations from both sides, with the train drivers’ union Aslef accusing the government of blocking serious talks and manipulating the Southern dispute. The transport secretary, Chris Grayling, said the unions had embarked on an unnecessary political strike. Passengers on Southern and Gatwick Express have been warned to expect services to be severely disrupted on Thursday following the strike and an ongoing overtime ban. Southern passenger services director, Angie Doll, said: “We will be working hard to run as many services as possible tomorrow, but regrettably I have to warn passengers that services will be severely impacted, with reductions and cancellations across all routes. “With today’s strike ending at midnight, despite our best efforts, some trains and crew will still not be in position for tomorrow’s service; and the overtime ban will continue to have a serious impact.” Southern advised passengers not to travel at all on Friday, when drivers will again be on strike. There will be no Southern services and Gatwick Express will run every half an hour. A commuter group is planning a protest march from Southern’s major London hub, Victoria, to the Department for Transport on Thursday. The Department for Transport is playing down the idea of toughening strikes laws but not ruling it out as a last resort. Chris Philp, the Tory MP for Croydon South, said he will continue to push for a rule that when a strike occurs on critical public infrastructure, at least a 50% service is maintained and the strike should be “reasonable and proportionate,” after meeting with Chris Grayling, the transport secretary, this week. “When you have a system of driver-only operated trains operating on the network and the track today where a strike is taking place, it’s clearly not safety concerns that are behind this,” Philp said. “When they are bringing such misery on commuters, when there are not safety concerns and no job losses, it’s an issue for them to address.” At least seven Conservative MPs whose constituencies are affected by the Southern strike are understood to be backing Philp’s plan. Paul Scully, Conservative MP for Sutton and Cheam, told the Guardian he was one of them, saying more trade union legislation should be considered after the strike is over. “If you are having a dispute about automation, then the last thing you should do is show how the human factor of driving trains and acting as guards can be so disruptive. We’ve got to get the dispute out the way and make sure we have talks but after that we have to look at making sure this can’t happen again.” Theresa May was pressed on the issue in prime minister’s questions, branding it an “appalling strike” and criticising Labour’s links to Aslef. The issue had been raised by Tim Loughton, MP for Shoreham, who said one of his constituents will struggle to get to University College Hospital London for life-saving cancer drug trials.


Turnbull J.,University College Hospital | Patel A.,Nose and Ear Hospital
Trends in Anaesthesia and Critical Care | Year: 2015

Cricoid pressure was introduced in the 1960's to protect patients undergoing general anaesthesia against pulmonary aspiration. Evidence supporting its use was largely based on small cadaver studies, expert opinion and case studies. However, its uptake across the anaesthetic community was universal, perhaps due to the fear of aspiration, but also because it was thought to have little in the way of adverse effects. Recently, the role of CP has been reassessed, with many suggesting its use is no longer warranted, particularly in fully fasted patients. Evidence has shown that not only is CP ineffective in occluding the oesophageal lumen, but it may also interfere with crucial aspects of airway management. Moreover, the ability of medical and nursing staff to perform effective, consistent CP is questionable. However, at present, there is no valid alternative, and the use of CP is therefore likely to continue in selected patients. © 2015 .


Barnett S.F.,University College London | Alagar R.K.,University College London | Alagar R.K.,Hexham General Hospital Northumbria NHS Trust | Grocott M.P.W.,University College London | And 6 more authors.
Anesthesiology | Year: 2013

Patient satisfaction is an important measure of the quality of health care and is used as an outcome measure in interventional and quality improvement studies. Previous studies have found that there are few appropriately developed and validated questionnaires available. The authors conducted a systematic review to identify all tools used to measure patient satisfaction with anesthesia, which have undergone a psychometric development and validation process, appraised the quality of these processes, and made recommendations of tools that may be suitable for use in different clinical and academic settings. There are a number of robustly developed and subsequently validated instruments, however, there are still many studies using nonvalidated instruments or poorly developed tools, claiming to accurately assess satisfaction with anesthesia. This can lead to biased and inaccurate results. Researchers in this field should be encouraged to use available validated tools, to ensure that patient satisfaction is measured and reported fairly and accurately. Copyright © 2013, the American Society of Anesthesiologists, Inc. Lippincott Williams &Wilkins.

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