Tagged / epidural simulator

BU at the THE Awards 2014


The Bournemouth University and Poole Hospital research team who developed a medical device to make epidurals safer and more effective, were celebrating being shortlisted for the THE Awards 2014 in London last night.

The project was nominated for Outstanding ICT initiative of the Year and – although pipped to the post by the Open University – being shortlisted for an award of this calibre is an incredible achievement and honour.

BU’s Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research and Innovation Professor John Fletcher was at the ceremony. He said: “Congratulations to the NHS-BU team for being shortlisted. We were very worthy contestants.  I felt privileged and proud to share the evening with such a successful team.”

The nominated team at the awards ceremonyThe clinical project was initially proposed by the senior consultant anesthetist at Poole Hospital, Professor Mike Wee. The device was developed by Dr Neil Vaughan for his PhD, supervised by Professor Wee and Dr Venky Dubey. Dr Richard Isaacs – now at Southampton General Hospital – was also part of the research team. All four, pictured here, were at the awards ceremony, along with colleagues from across the university who have supported this innovative and important project.

Comedian Jack Dee hosted proceedings, sharing his unique and entertaining take on the Higher Education sector!

A full list of categories and winners can be viewed on the THE website. The event organisers also took over £9000 in donations for the Institute of International Education’s ‘Scholar Rescue Fund’; a charity that has led global efforts to rescue threatened scholars and students.

Congratulations to all nominees and winners and thank you to THE for such organising such a fabulous evening!

Image: (Top left clockwise) Dr Venky Dubey, Dr Neil Vaughan, Dr Richard Isaacs, Professor Mike Wee.

Epidural simulator shortlisted for THE award

L-R: PhD student Neil Vaughan, Professor Michael Wee and Dr Venky Dubey.A prestigious BU and Poole Hospital medical engineering project has been shortlisted for Outstanding ICT Initiative of the Year in the 10th annual Times Higher Education (THE) Awards.

Dr Venky Dubey, Dr Neil Vaughan (Bournemouth University) and Professor Michael Wee (Poole Hospital) developed a prototype epidural simulator that will improve training for this delicate procedure. The team are now working with NHS Innovations South West Ltd., who develop and commercialise new innovative technology and train NHS Innovation Leaders. Their company mission is to enhance healthcare delivery. More information is available at www.NISW.co.uk

The device uses software to replicate epidural insertion, combining ultrasound and MRI images to assist epiduralists in determining the position of the needle.

Unlike existing epidural training technology this incorporates patient’s weight, height and BMI.  Coupled with a physical manikin, this is a realistic model for training. An accompanying training package helps users monitor their improvement

There is more information on this research project on the BU Research Webpages.

Congratulations to Venky, Neil and the Poole Hospital team for this achievement. We wish them luck for the awards ceremony, which will take place on Thursday 27 November 2014 at the Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane, London.

The award ceremony promises to be a spectacular event with over 1000 guests expected to attend, including politicians, senior sector figures, and academic and university staff from all corners of the UK.

The full shortlist for all 18 categories is published in the latest issue of Times Higher Education, and is also available on the awards website.


Epidurals PhD researcher wins EPSRC award

Congratulations to SciTech’s Dr Neil Vaughan who has won the EPSRC’s ICT Pioneers ‘Transforming Society’ award. The accolade, which recognises the most exceptional UK PhD students, was awarded to Neil at a ceremony in Westminster last week for his innovative epidural simulator project.

The simulator uses software to replicate the epidural process, thereby assisting in training for this delicate procedure that is performed over 1000 times each day in the UK.

Neil’s supervisor Dr Venky Dubey said: “This is an exceptional achievement for BU and the collaborating partner Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. Neil was up against stiff competition from top universities, including the University of Oxford, University College London and the University of Bath.”

The clinical project was proposed by the senior consultant anaesthetist at Poole Hospital, Professor Michael Wee, who also co-supervised the PhD.

Neil’s work was judged by a panel of technical experts from academia and industry. He triumphed through a rigorous selection process over a six month period, which included a written proposal, video and poster presentation. This culminated in a high-profile research showcase, where finalists pitched their project to representatives from the EPSRC, Hewlett Packard, Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL), BT and an audience of hundreds.

For more information about the project view the news item on the research webpages.