How TransMedics is reviving technology for surgery technicians
New technology created by TransMedics can mimic the conditions of the human body and may help replenish the low supply of hearts for transplantation by as much as 30 percent.
Called Organ Care System (OCS) maintains organs in a warm, functioning state outside of the body rather than the traditional method of keeping organs on ice until reaching a recipient.
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As reported by our sister publication Business Review Australia, the portable machine has already been used in 15 successful heart transplants in Australia and the United Kingdom and has recently been approved for medical use in the U.S.
Earlier this year, surgeons at St. Vincent’s Hospital in New South Wales discussed three cases where they waited as little as two minutes after a person’s heart stopped before removing it. They then attached it to the OCS within 20 minutes and it began beating once again.
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“OCS, a AUD$250,000 device, essentially consists of a sterile chamber containing oxygen, blood and nutrient supply to the heart,” wrote Business Review Australia, “which keeps the heart pumping outside of the human body until it is ready for transplant.”
The “living” organ transplant increases the amount of time an organ can be maintained outside of the body, giving surgeons a chance to assess the function of the organ and allow resuscitation of the organ once removed from the deceased owner.
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“The device is vital,” said Stephen Large, a surgeon at the UK’s Papworth Hospital, which has used OCS as part of eight different transplants. “The heart gets an absolutely essential infusion of blood to restore its energy.”
Skin Analytics wins NHSX award for AI skin cancer tool
An artificial intelligence-driven tool that identifies skin cancers has received an award from NHSX, the NHS England and Department of Health and Social Care's initiative to bring technology into the UK's national health system.
NHSX has granted the Artificial Intelligence in Health and Care Award to DERM, an AI solution that can identify 11 types of skin lesion.
Developed by Skin Analytics, DERM analyses images of skin lesions using algorithms. Within primary care, Skin Analytics will be used as an additional tool to help doctors with their decision making.
In secondary care, it enables AI telehealth hubs to support dermatologists with triage, directing patients to the right next step. This will help speed up diagnosis, and patients with benign skin lesions can be identified earlier, redirecting them away from dermatology departments that are at full capacity due to the COVID-19 backlog.
Cancer Research has called the impact of the pandemic on cancer services "devastating", with a 42% drop in the number of people starting cancer treatment after screening.
DERM is already in use at University Hospitals Birmingham and Mid and South Essex Health & Care Partnership, where it has led to a significant reduction in unnecessary referrals to hospital.
Now NHSX have granted it the Phase 4 AI in Health and Care Award, making DERM available to clinicians across the country. Overall this award makes £140 million available over four years to accelerate the use of artificial intelligence technologies which meet the aims of the NHS Long Term Plan.
Dr Lucy Thomas, Consultant Dermatologist at Chelsea & Westminster Hospital, said: “Skin Analytics’ receipt of this award is great news for the NHS and dermatology departments. It will allow us to gather real-world data to demonstrate the benefits of AI on patient pathways and workforce challenges.
"Like many services, dermatology has severe backlogs due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This award couldn't have come at a better time to aid recovery and give us more time with the patients most in need of our help.”