Team from University of Leicester Win at Medical Futures Innovation Awards 2011

Posted by pt91 at Jun 07, 2011 11:48 AM |
Ground breaking idea: LifeMapTM recognised as potential medical treatment of tomorrow

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 6 June 2011

London, Monday 6th June, 2011: A team from the University of Leicester based at Glenfield Hospital was today named as one of winners at the Medical Futures Innovation Awards, Europe’s leading showcase of early-stage innovation in healthcare, for a new technology which will identify people at risk of lethal heart rhythm disturbances.

The award was presented by TV executive, Michael Mosley at a high-profile ceremony in central London in front of 700 leaders in medicine, politics and business. The event was hosted by comedian Rory Bremner and Dynasty actress Emma Samms, founder of the children’s charity Starlight.

A Medical Futures Innovation Award is one of Europe’s most prestigious healthcare and business accolades, rewarding innovative ideas from front line clinicians, scientists and entrepreneurs.

Dr Will Nicolson of the winning team said:   "Winning this award will give us an invaluable opportunity to attract interest and investment into LifeMapTM.  This endorsement by a world-class panel of experts creates a significant platform of support for the innovation. 

“LifeMapTM is at an early stage, extensive research into the technology is ongoing and there are many possibilities for refinement.  Ultimately LifeMapTM will need an expensive, multicentre trial to confirm its efficacy before it can reach the bedside. 

“We hope that the critical endorsement of LifeMapTM will lead to investment and further research to the benefit of Leicester and our patients."

Dr André Ng, leader of the team commented:   "We are very honoured indeed to have received such a prestigious award. Endorsement from the panel of esteemed judges is really important to LifeMapTM.

“Sudden cardiac death is an area of significant unmet clinical need. LifeMapTM translates our years of basic scientific research into a new clinical application. Our  LifeMapTM innovation, which aims at identifying people at risk of lethal heart rhythm disturbances, could prevent many deaths. Winning the award certainly gives a boost to the work our team are doing.  We hope to bring the new technology into patient benefit in the very near future."

Medical Futures’ founder Dr Andy Goldberg OBE, consultant surgeon at London’s Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Trust and a senior academic for University College London said: “The winners were chosen by a panel of distinguished experts from the thousands of entries received and they deserve every success for their creativity, commercial viability, and most importantly potential impact on patients.

“I continue to be excited by the inspiration and sheer drive and determination shown by all of our entrants, many of whom are working with patients day to day so they see first-hand what is needed – sometimes it’s the simplest ideas that are the real breakthroughs.”

Information on Award Competition: Dragon's Den style interview

The winning innovation from the University of Leicester and Leicester Cardiovascular Biomedical Research Unit was selected in a three stage process from almost 100 applicants culminating in a ‘Dragons’ Den’ style interview in front of a panel that included Sir Bruce Keogh (Medical Director of the NHS) and Professor Keith Fox (President of the British Cardiovascular Society). The team who went ‘into the Dragons’ Den’ consisted of Dr Will Nicolson, Dr Geoff Whiteley (Enterprise and Business Development) and Dr André Ng.

Comment from Dr Will Nicolson:   “The "Dragons’ Den" interview really was just that.  We had just six minutes to pitch LifeMapTM to a panel of eight world-class cardiology specialists followed by twenty minutes of probing questions.  Thanks to extensive preparation the team were able to convince the Dragons of LifeMapTM's potential.”

Information on LifeMap

3 million people die annually of sudden cardiac death - 100,000 in the UK alone.  These deaths could be prevented with a device called an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD), inserted in a minor operation.  However, it is very difficult to work out who needs an ICD because current risk markers for sudden cardiac death are limited.  This has led NICE to call for research into new risk markers.

Dr Nicolson, Clinical Research Fellow at the Department of Cardiovascular Sciences,  has been working under the supervision of Dr G. André Ng, Senior Lecturer in Cardiology and Dr Gerry McCann, Cardiac Imaging Specialist at University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust with support from Dr Fernando Schlindwein, Senior Lecturer in Engineering on a novel technique for sudden cardiac death risk assessment. 

The research creates a "LifeMap": an electrical map of sudden cardiac death risk using an ECG and combines it with a cardiac MRI anatomical map of arrhythmia risk.  The project has been ongoing for 2 years and two clinical retrospective proof of concept studies have been completed with results suggesting great potential for LifeMapTM.

The University of Leicester has patented the technology behind "LifeMap".  A further clinical 160 patient trial is recruiting and a number of smaller studies are ongoing.  The team is already looking towards collaboration with Industry on a clinical version of the device.

Notes to Editors

For further information on LifeMapTM contact Dr André Ng on or 0116-258 3297.

On Monday 6th June between 11am and 3pm, the 2011 winning teams and some of the Awards past winners will showcase their ideas and be interviewed on stage by Michael   Mosley, the former doctor and widely known TV presenter at the awards location Old Billingsgate, 1 Old Billingsgate Walk, 16 Lower Thames Street, London, EC3R 6DX.

Media interviews and filming can be arranged with the winners in London by contacting the Medical Futures’ media team: Annie Wright on: +44 (0)20 8332 6200; +44 (0) 776 965 1942 (mobile); or Chris Fowler on: +44 (0)20 8946 8666; +44(0) 771 917 2225 (mobile);

About Medical Futures

The Medical Futures Awards are run on a not-for-profit basis to help turn ideas into tangible real-world solutions to improve clinical outcomes for patients and provide cost-saving benefits.

The Awards started in 2001 and since then, past winners have secured over £100m in funding, and most importantly many have gone onto become successful services or products that are now changing peoples’ lives.

By entering the awards, front line clinicians, scientists, and entrepreneurs have the chance to pitch their ideas and businesses to a world-class panel of experts whose advice, guidance and peer-review brings unparalleled validation.

From thousands of entries, the top 100 teams were invited to pitch to Dragon’s Den style judging panels of some of the world’s most distinguished and respected doctors, scientists and commercial experts, including the likes of Sir Bruce Keogh, Medical Director of the NHS and Professor Martin Rothman, Vice President of Medical Affairs for Medtronic Inc.

The Medical Futures judging is a transparent process of peer review, in which the winners are chosen based on three criteria: novelty, viability and benefits to patient care.


Twitter: @MedicalFutures


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