C2I 2021: Healthcare & Medical shortlist

Shortlisted finalists in Healthcare & Medical saw innovations ranging from surgical robotics to prosthetics with haptic feedback.

C2I 2021

Category: Healthcare & Medical

Highly Commended

Project: Paediatric Central Venous Catheter Training Simulator

Partners: Brunel University London with Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust


This project involved development of a safe, financially viable and user-friendly training simulator allowing clinicians to become proficient in CVC (central venous catheter) insertion in acutely ill babies.

A high-risk procedure with an error rate as high as 35 per cent, common complications include arterial puncture, nerve injury and treatment delays.

Successfully developed features of the simulator include a pump to recreate blood circulation during training, ultrasound compatible materials, and a 1:1 scale model to enable a realistic experience.

A feasible innovative training simulator has been delivered and GSST is now looking to develop additional training simulators that can be used in a wide-scale programme.

The Terabotics project integrates THz spectroscopic imaging with surgical robotics to enable earlier detection and improved treatment of cancer.

THz in vivo imaging can help to locate and diagnose lesions that cannot be detected by other imaging modalities. This means surgical removal could be performed immediately rather than having to wait for analysis of biopsies, a process that can typically take weeks.

While still in early stages, the team has developed instrumentation able to do THz in vivo skin measurements of healthy volunteers.

Key targets include improved platforms for skin cancer detection and surgical removal, a new probe for minimally invasive robotic surgery in the abdominal cavity, and a new flexible imaging probe for robotic colonoscopy.

C2I 2021

Category: Healthcare & Medical

Project: ITraXS - Intra-Tracheal Multiplexed Sensing

Partners: University of Nottingham with Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, P3 Medical, CHEATA, Bluefrog Design, Derby Clinical Trials Support Unit (all UK) and King Faisal Hospital (Saudi Arabia)

ITraXS responds to an unmet need for an advanced endotracheal tube for supporting breathing for patients in critical care.

Complications associated with currently used endotracheal tubes include incorrect tube cuff inflation pressure resulting in health problems such as tracheal injury. In some cases these health problems can be lifelong and eventually fatal.

A 'smart' tube through which optical fibre sensors help to maintain optimum blood flow and contact pressure, this Nottingham-led innovation allows the opportunity for clinicians to obtain patient health data through the endotracheal tube itself - a device that is not traditionally 'smart', performing an essential function which can now be enhanced through this team's world-first design.

C2I 2021

Category: Healthcare & Medical

Project: A Sensorimotor Prosthesis for the Upper Limb (ProLIMB)

Partners: Dr Helge Wurdemann, UCL with the University of Warwick, Global Disability Innovation Hub, Otto Bock Healthcare, Re-NABLE and Steeper Group

ProLIMB aims to develop an affordable body-powered prosthetic fingertip digit with integrated mechanical haptic feedback.

Due to work-related incidents, the fingertip and finger are the most frequently amputated body parts — however, currently available prosthetic fingers and fingertips are bulky with limited motion and sensation, constrained by cost, weight and space.

ProLIMB combines Warwick’s expertise in developing parameterised mathematical models of limb motion, and UCL’s in creating soft robotic structures and haptic feedback interfaces.

Though still in relatively early stages of development, researchers are confident that the project will see development of a low-cost prosthesis that can deliver sensation and functionality to patients who have undergone partial hand amputation.