May 17, 2020

Yacht maker designs a 'hospital boat' concept

hospital boat
yacht maker
Mario Alfani
2 min
Mario Alfani's hospital boat concept
The concept of a floating hospital, or a ‘hospital boat to be more precise, has been coined by an Italian yacht designer, newspaper the Daily Mai...

The concept of a floating hospital, or a ‘hospital boat’ to be more precise, has been coined by an Italian yacht designer, newspaper the Daily Mail is reporting.

Mario Alfani, an Italian yacht specialist, was inspired to create the concept after one of his close friends spent time working as part of a medical mission on the African continent.

It features high-tech theatre facilities, testing labs and recovery wards and also boasts a heli-pad and an ambulance storage space.

Earlier this month the hospital boat concept was awarded a prize at the 2012 Millennium Yacht Design Awards.  

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Alfani said he has modelled the design of the hospital boat on Italy’s Bergamo Hospital.

However, its catamaran-style concept means that it would be able to dock close to the shore or on beaches.

Accoridng to the Daily Mail, his theory behind the hospital boat is that it could be used to rescue victims of natural disasters such as tsunamis, or incidents like the recent sinking of the Costa Concordia cruise liner.

He also hopes that it would prove to be useful for those living in rural coastal areas who have limited access to hospitals, or residents whose local hospital or health facility has outdated infrastructure.

Based on Alfani’s designs the hospital boat has the capacity to treat 50 patients a day, who would be tended to by nine nurses and doctors and three crew members.

He has suggested that aluminium alloy would be used to manufacture the boat.

Commenting on his innovative concept, Alfani told local news source L'Eco Di Bergamo: “The earth is surrounded by water and it is unthinkable that there is no tool that allows immediate first aid at sea.”

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Jun 16, 2021

NHS opens 8 clinical trial sites to assess cancer treatment

2 min
NHS and OncoHost to launch clinical trials analysing cancer patients response to immunotherapy

The UK's National Health Service (NHS) is opening eight clinical trial sites to assess patients' responses to personalised cancer therapy. 

The trials will analyse how patients diagnosed with advanced melanoma or non-small cell lung cancer respond to immunotherapy, to help predict their response to treatment.  They will be hosted at Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust facilities. 

Immunotherapy helps the body's own immune system fight cancer, but while it has achieved good results for some cancer patients, it is not successful for everyone. Finding ways to predict which people will respond to the treatment is a major area of research.

OncoHost, an oncology startup,  will provide advanced machine learning technology to develop personalised strategies aiming to improve the success rate of the cancer therapy. The trials will contribute to OncoHost’s ongoing PROPHETIC study, which uses the company’s host response profiling platform, PROphet®

“Immunotherapy has achieved excellent results in certain situations for several cancers, allowing patients to achieve longer control of their cancer with maintained quality of life and longer survival,” said Dr David Farrugia, Consultant Medical Oncologist at NHS, and chief investigator of all eight NHS clinical trial sites.

“However, success with immunotherapy is not guaranteed in every patient, so this PROPHETIC study is seeking to identify changes in proteins circulating in the blood which may help doctors to choose the best treatment for each patient." 

"I am excited that Gloucestershire Oncology Centre and its research department have this opportunity to contribute to this growing field of research and I am determined that our centre will make a leading national contribution in patient recruitment.”

Previous studies in the US and Israel have shown that PROphet® has high accuracy in predicting how patients with cancer will respond to various therapies.

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