Smarter Epidural wins the Clinical Innovation Award 2012 - sponsored by Enterprise Ireland and Cleveland Clinic

Irish Clinician to work with Cleveland Clinic to develop improved Epidural delivery

Pictured above is the winner and runners up of the 2nd annual Clinical Innovation Award, sponsored by Enterprise Ireland in association with Cleveland Clinic. Pictured L – R Dr Peter Lee (winner), Mr Seamus Morris, and Dr Sean Dinneen (Runners Up).
Pictured above is the winner and runners up of the 2nd annual Clinical Innovation Award, sponsored by Enterprise Ireland in association with Cleveland Clinic.  Pictured L – R Dr Peter Lee (winner), Mr Seamus Morris, and Dr Sean Dinneen (Runners Up).

Monday 17th December 2012: A smarter epidural has won the 2nd annual Clinical Innovation Award, sponsored by Enterprise Ireland in association with Cleveland Clinic. The winner, Dr Peter Lee, a consultant anaesthetist with Cork University Hospital, collaborated with University College Cork under their Biomedical Design module to identify a solution for improved epidural delivery.

The purpose of the Clinical Innovation Award is to tap in to Ireland's clinical community with a view to developing new healthcare products and services that will improve patient care and benefit both the health care system and Ireland's medical technologies sector.

Dr Lee and his collaborators have developed a simple, cost effective and globally applicable solution to the problems associated with epidural administration. This procedure is technically difficult, and requires a clinician to blindly pass the needle into the epidural space for delivery of a local anaesthetic. Complications include neurologic injury and post-dural puncture headache. For trainee anaesthetists, there is a 1 in 5 failure rate for the first 50 epidurals performed. Dr Lee will receive a grant of €15,000 and the opportunity to work with Cleveland Clinic and Enterprise Ireland to develop the commercial feasibility of his innovative idea.

Announcing the winner, Chris Coburn, Executive Director, Innovations at Cleveland Clinic, said: 'We look forward to working with Dr Lee and his collaborators to develop the commercial potential for his idea. We are excited about this simple but elegant solution to the problems associated with epidural delivery. As one of the top four hospitals in the US, we can offer Dr Lee access to a broad range of users to get feedback on adoption factors around this innovation and accelerate its progress to the market'.

Welcoming the announcement Richard Bruton TD, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, said: 'Healthcare, medical technologies and life sciences are key sectors which we are targeting for jobs growth as part of the Government's Action Plan for Jobs. We are in the process of implementing a number of policy changes to support growth, in particular the establishment of a Healthcare Innovation Hub to bring the health service and industry together to target opportunities.

'This initiative by Enterprise Ireland provides Irish clinicians with an unrivalled opportunity to work with one of the best medical centres in the world to develop products and services that can lead to jobs, and I congratulate Dr Lee and his team on their achievement. My hope is that through this and the other measures we are implementing we can see further growth in the life sciences sector and help create the jobs we need'.

Dr Keith O'Neill, Director of Life Science and Food Commercialisation in Enterprise Ireland, said: 'Enterprise Ireland is delighted to continue our strong partnership with Cleveland Clinic through this award. We are also greatly encouraged by the broad engagement from the clinical community in Ireland. With 30 applications for this award, we have a 50% increase in the number from last year. More than 16 different hospitals from across the healthcare sector in Ireland were involved. Applications were also received from GP practices and clinicians associated with the 3rd level sector. We believe that engaging with the clinical community will improve the opportunities for our indigenous Medical Technologies sector, resulting in new products and services that can lead to jobs'.

The award also recognised two runner-up clinicians, Dr Sean Dinneen, Consultant Endocrinologist with the Galway Roscommon University Hospital Group, and Seamus Morris, Consultant Othopaedic surgeon in the Adelaide & Meath and UPMC Beacon Hospitals. These will both receive Feasibility Funding from Enterprise Ireland to investigate the commercial potential of their ideas.

ENDS

For further information contact:

Ciara Clogher
Communications, Research & Innovation
Enterprise Ireland

Ciara Clogher
+353 86 0759268

Notes for Editors

More information on runner-up clinicians Dr Sean Dinneen, Consultant Endocrinologist with the Galway Roscommon University Hospital Group developed a solution for the management of complications arising from diabetes. The diabetic foot is one of the more difficult complications to manage in diabetes and can result in the devastating loss of a limb if not managed appropriately. Dr Dinneen, in association with colleagues from National University of Ireland Galway have identified a solution for optimal management of the high risk diabetic foot.

Seamus Morris, Consultant Othopaedic surgeon in the Adelaide & Meath and UPMC Beacon Hospitals, has identified an unmet need in the treatment of complex deep soft tissue wounds which can often result in bacterial infection, and fracture blisters, resulting in wounds that may take weeks to heal. This results in significant healthcare costs as well as a physiological and psychological burden to the patient. The solution being developed by Mr Morris will speed up the healing process and can be used in a wide variety of clinical settings.

About the Clinical Innovation Award 2012:
Full details of the awards are available on the Enterprise Ireland web site: www.enterprise-ireland.com/clinical

About Cleveland Clinic
Cleveland Clinic is a nonprofit multispecialty academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education. Cleveland Clinic has pioneered many medical breakthroughs, including coronary artery bypass surgery and the first face transplant in the United States. U.S.News & World Report consistently names Cleveland Clinic as one of the nation's best hospitals in its annual "America's Best Hospitals" survey. About 2,800 full-time salaried physicians and researchers and 11,000 nurses represent 120 medical specialties and subspecialties. In 2010, there were 4 million visits throughout the Cleveland Clinic health system and 167,000 hospital admissions. Patients came for treatment from every state and from more than 100 countries. Visit us at www.clevelandclinic.org. Follow us at www.twitter.com/ClevelandClinic.