An innovative, new clinical project to examine the effects of the use of bioelectrical technology for pain management in patients waiting for knee replacement surgery, will launch this October.
The six-month project is a collaboration between the University of Wales Trinity Saint David’s (UWTSD) Assistive Technologies Innovation Centre (ATiC), The TriTech Institute at Hywel Dda University Health Board (TriTech) and bioelectric technology pioneers NuroKor BioElectronics.
It is supported by Life Sciences Hub Wales through Accelerate, a £24million co-funded programme by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) through the Welsh Government. The project will review the effectiveness and possible health economic benefits of NuroKor’s electroceutical therapy in the management of patients suffering from knee osteoarthritis.
The wearable technology uses bioelectric nerve stimulation to deliver personalised pain relief, recovery support and rehabilitation to patients.
Since the pandemic, NHS surgery waiting lists are at an all-time high, with some patients waiting more than two years. People awaiting knee replacements and other surgical interventions currently only have access to traditional pain management options such as medication and physiotherapy. NuroKor’s mediliev Rx device could present an alternative and effective pain management option to improve the quality of life for people waiting for a medical procedure.
As part of the project, ATiC will work with NuroKor to discover and define the needs and experiences of people living with osteoarthritis who are awaiting knee replacement surgery. The user experience and usability of the current mediliev Rx will be evaluated to provide NuroKor with insights that can be applied in the development of new electrotherapy technologies.
TriTech will focus on assessing the potential benefits to patients and the health service of both the existing technology and any emerging bioelectronic products, for self-management of chronic pain, in addition to the impact on quality of life, mobility and mental health.
Rick Rowan, CEO and Founder of NuroKor BioElectronics commented: “The launch of this collaboration is incredibly exciting and provides an alternative option for people facing longer waiting times for surgery. It brings together medical professionals, engineers, scientists, and researchers. The study is a key project for NuroKor, as we continue to demonstrate how non-invasive neuromodulation offers a solution for pain sufferers and healthcare professionals while improving efficiency and savings for pressured healthcare systems.”
Dr Sean Jenkins, Associate Professor and ATiC Principal Innovation Fellow, UWTSD, said: “This exciting new project is an excellent example of tripartite collaboration between the private enterprise, university and health sectors, supported by the ERDF-funded Accelerate programme. We are especially pleased to collaborate with Hywel Dda UHB’s newly established TriTech Institute to deliver a real-world service and usability evaluation.
“The anticipated outcomes of this evaluation will deliver a significant impact in the treatment of chronic pain by assisting people to self-manage symptoms at home, bringing long-term economic health benefits to the NHS.”
Professor Chris Hopkins, Head of TriTech and Consultant Clinical Scientist, Hywel Dda UHB, said: “We have a special partnership with ATiC and the University of Wales Trinity Saint David. We are very much looking forward to collaborating with NuroKor in order to examine the impact of this technology on our osteoarthritis patients awaiting knee replacement surgery.”
Gareth Healey, Head of Accelerate at Life Sciences Hub Wales, said: “We are delighted that the Accelerate programme is supporting NuroKor by helping to cultivate cross-sector collaboration. Multi-partner projects like this one are key for investigating the potential health and wellbeing benefits for patients and economic benefits for our health and social care systems. We look forward to our continued partnership with NuroKor, ATiC, and TriTech as we explore future collaborative opportunities.”
NuroKor has opened a research and development centre at Tramshed Tech, in Cardiff – a hub for start-ups, scale-ups and large enterprises in the tech world – as part of the programme.
Founded in 2018, NuroKor is a company committed to the development of bioelectronics as electroceutical technology. NuroKor develops and formulates programmable bioelectronic software for clinical and therapeutic applications, in a range of easy-to-use, wearable devices. It provides the highest-quality, medically regulated products, delivering personalised pain relief and recovery support and rehabilitation to patients.
About The University of Wales Trinity Saint David’s (UWTSD) Assistive Technologies Innovation Centre (ATiC)
The University of Wales Trinity Saint David’s (UWTSD) Assistive Technologies Innovation Centre (ATiC) is an integrated research centre that puts user-centered thinking and strategic innovation tools into practice through its cutting-edge User Experience (UX) and Usability Evaluation research facility located in Swansea’s Innovation Quarter.
ATiC is a partner in the £24m Accelerate Wales (the Welsh Health Innovation Technology Accelerator) project. The Accelerate collaboration between UWTSD, Cardiff University’s Clinical Innovation Accelerator, Swansea University Medical School’s Healthcare Technology Centre, and the Life Sciences Hub Wales, is co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund, through the Welsh European Funding Office. Visit: https://www.uwtsd.ac.uk/atic/
About The TriTech Institute, Hywel Dda University Health Board.
TriTech Institute supports the development of healthcare solutions on a local, national, and global level offering designers and manufacturers a single point of access to the NHS through a collaborative and agile approach.
The team is comprised of industry-leading engineers, scientists and clinicians who rapidly move innovative medical technologies into trials and direct patient care. The team’s advanced skills in clinical and research design are combined with technical engineering expertise to manage the whole innovative pathway from an early unmet need, through to concept design, prototyping, clinical testing, and real-world service evaluations.
Embedded within the NHS, their innovative consultancy service has supported a range of customers, varying from global healthcare tech companies to pre-CE marking services. The TriTech team can support a wide range of solutions – from initial research and development phases of a new medical device or software to supporting SMEs and start-ups with regulatory compliance advice. Visit: https://tritech.nhs.uk
About the Accelerate Programme
Accelerate is a pioneering collaboration between Welsh universities and Life Sciences Hub Wales. It helps to translate innovative ideas into new products and services to improve the health and wellbeing of those living in Wales.
The Accelerate programme offers enterprises, bespoke research, development, and innovation expertise to refine and validate health care solutions and speed up adoption into the health sector in Wales for economic benefit. For more information, visit https://lshubwales.com/innovation-support/accelerate-wales