Microvisk wins Healthcare Project of the Year after visitors queue
up at Medica
7 December 2011
Microvisk Technologies has scooped the Healthcare Project of
the Year Award at the prestigious BioNoW Biomedical Awards, which
showcase the leading biomedical companies in North West England.
The Award follows the highly successful introduction of the
company's handheld devices for monitoring the blood clotting status
of patients at Medica 2011 last month.
Microvisk's ‘CoagMax’ device is a point-of-care test for
clinicians and a ‘CoagLite’ device is a home-use test for patients.
Both be used to establish the correct dosage of anti-coagulation
medication such as Warfarin and to monitor treatment.
The CoagMax and CoagLite devices attracted unprecedented demand
at Medica with distributors and potential partners queuing at the
Microvisk exhibition stand.
European clinical trials of CoagMax and CoagLite are progressing
in the UK and Germany with product launches in both countries
scheduled for early 2012. Clinical trials are also ongoing in major
medical centres in Florida with US product launches scheduled for
mid-2012. During the pilot trials, nine out of ten patients have
expressed a preference for the Microvisk devices.
The devices incorporate a unique SmartStrip that uses embedded
sensors to measure blood clotting speed from a drop of patient’s
blood taken by finger prick, and a handheld reader displays the
results. SmartStrip is the world’s first medical diagnostic strip
based on a micro-electro-mechanical system (MEMS), incorporating a
cantilever to measure fluid viscosity with an on-board memory chip,
and was created as a movement system for nano-robots. MEMS
technology is used in technology-based applications such as
projectors, the iPhone and Nintendo Wii.
Existing devices for measuring blood coagulation use optical
analysis or measure chemical reactions, requiring patients to
provide more blood which is more painful and producing less accurate
Only three companies have developed a blood coagulation
testing system that can be used in a doctor’s surgery and although
certified for home use, market research shows that doctors feel that
they are insufficiently robust and too complex for home use.
Judges at the BioNow Healthcare Awards singled out Microvisk for
its breakthrough achievement in developing robust devices that
deliver laboratory accuracy in the Prothrombin Time or INR test, the
international test for management of Warfarin dosage, and which are
easy for clinicians to use in medical centres or remotely and for
patients to use at home.
TRUSTECH, the NHS innovations hub for the north west, has
facilitated the introduction of Microvisk to Professor Cheng-Hok Toh,
consultant haematologist and centre director of the Roald Dahl
haemostatis and thrombosis centre at The Royal Liverpool University
Hospital, which is now one of the centres where the devices are
John Curtis, chief executive officer of Microvisk, said: “We are
delighted to have been honoured with the BioNow Healthcare Project
of the Year Award — this accolade marks a fitting end to a year of
hard work and achievement by our staff.
“I would like to thank TRUSTECH for their support in facilitating
the link to The Royal Liverpool University Hospital, which has been
invaluable. We continue to work closely with Prof Toh and his team
to fine tune our systems and in the near future will validate the
products with them for our CE mark validation studies.
“We were also delighted at the overwhelming demand from
distributors and potential partners at Medica for our CoagMax and
CoagLite devices. We are currently making excellent progress in
patient trials and as we enter 2012, we will be ramping up for
product launches in the UK and Germany to be followed by US product
launches later in the year.”
Dr Richard Deed, innovation unit manager at TRUSTECH, said: “The
Microvisk devices are a superb example of the development of better
products through collaboration between companies and the NHS.
“Microvisk’s devices will provide a better outcome for patients
who will be able to test their blood clotting ability at home
instead of making weekly trips to the hospital or doctor’s clinic,
as well as generating significant cost savings for healthcare
Seven million people in the western world use Warfarin and the US
FDA estimates that over one million new patients start taking the
drug every year. Patients must have regular blood tests at their
doctor’s surgery or hospital clinic to ensure they receive the
correct dose. Warfarin is affected by food and exercise and if the
dose is too low there is a risk of blood clots forming which can
result in a stroke or heart attack, while too high a dose can lead
to a life threatening bleed.
The Microvisk devices enable patients to test their blood
clotting ability at home, in the same way that people with diabetes
test for glucose.
John Curtis added: “We have a huge market opportunity in the US
and Germany, where payments have been introduced for all at-risk
Warfarin users to do weekly home blood tests, rather than having to
go to the doctor or hospital clinic.”
The Microvisk SmartStrip is unique in the blood clotting
diagnostic world as it is a solid state system that is robust and
simple to use at home. It requires far less blood than other
systems, which means less pain for the user. The coagulation status
(clotting speed) of the patient is measured by tiny multi-layered
paddles on the surface of the strip and a memory chip ensures the
device is calibrated to provide the highest levels of accuracy,
while the MEMS technology means that high volumes of the device can
be manufactured at low cost.