Forte Medical joins ABHI UK Healthcare Pavilion

The Association of British HealthTech Industries (ABHI) recently launched the UK Healthcare Pavilion, a single platform to unite MedTech companies with the UK healthcare sectors, both NHS and private. Forte Medical is very happy to have joined such an august and respected portfolio of companies, providers and innovators.  Our entry features films about our technology featuring advocates, policy makers, healthcare professionals and the AHSN Network. Click here to view.

US Partnership Deal With Owen Mumford Announced

The partnership between Forte Medical and Owen Mumford USA was launched today at the OCTANe Medical Innovation Technology Forum (MTIF) at Newport Beach, CA 28-29 October 2019. 

Introducing Peezy Midstream to the USA has long been an ambition of Forte Medical. Our disruptive and innovative MedTech called for a partner with experience, knowledge and a savvy mindset. We found that partner in Atlanta-based Owen Mumford USA whose reach covers the USA and Canada and is managed by Travis Shaw.

Owen Mumford has been at the forefront of medical device innovation for over 65 years, creating solutions that improve the delivery of healthcare and home health treatments for people around the world. Their products span devices that make blood testing more comfortable to solutions that make it easier to administer life-saving medication.

Owen Mumford’s experience in medical devices began in the 1950s when founders Ivan Owen and John Mumford established the company. The company have direct sales offices and a network of distribution partners serving customers in over 60 countries, and employ over 800 people across the Americas, Europe and Asia.  

“Owen Mumford USA is delighted to partner Forte Medical in North America and Canada,” says Travis Shaw. “Our team looks forward to expanding our mutual synergies. Research indicates that Peezy Midstream can add significant clinical and cost value to healthcare providers, a true win-win for all parties.”
 
Thanks to the Greater Irvine Chamber of Commerce for making this possible.

urine infection medication

Comment On Incentivising Companies To Develop New Antibiotics

It is very interesting to read that pharma companies are to be incentivised to develop new antibiotics to combat antimicrobial resistance (AMR). A significant yet consistently overlooked contribution to the problem of AMR is unreliable urine collection and analysis, which leads to the staggeringly high rates of broad-spectrum antibiotic prescribing that is fuelling the AMR crisis.

NHS Improvement data confirms that 50% of the global rise in AMR has a urinary source and that Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) is being routinely treated with increasingly pointless broad spectrum antibiotics.

All NHS and Public Health England guidelines specify that midstream urine is required for accurate analysis. There is no guarantee that this occurs as there is no protocol for urine collection. We know from a 2016 FOI request to all NHS Trusts that urine specimen contamination rates reach as high as 70%, with an average of 23%. This means 15m people a year are not being accurately diagnosed and are generally prescribed a broad spectrum antibiotic that will not treat their condition.

Some years ago, in response to failed UTI treatment amongst his patients, a diligent NHS GP identified this problem and invented a low-cost, British made medical device that collects midstream urine specimens. It has taken almost 15 years for us to persuade the NHS that his device is worth using; clinical trial results confirm its efficacy and substantial cost savings due to reduced retesting and false-positive urine specimens. Our world-first device delivers win-win for diagnostics, clinicians, patients, AMR and NHS finances all for 87p. Can the pharma companies compete with this?

Before the Government “incentivises” the already well-off pharma industry to develop new medicines, it would do well to get the basics right and look to NHS generated innovation to help it succeed. As it happens, our British SME is looking for investment; perhaps the Government would instead like to incentivise our work in delivering a tangible, ready-made solution for this global problem?

Urine specimen testing

Urine Is Liquid Gold When It Comes To Testing

Today’s Hippocratic Post features an overview on the importance of urine and the evidence supporting why our technology plays such a vital role in enabling right-first-time diagnosis and treatment.

 

Forte Medical Review

A Year In Review – 2018

  • New evidence showing a 70% reduction in false positive dipped specimens
  • Extended uptake by the NHS
  • Investment including a JV to create a Smart Peezy
  • Sheena Byrom joining our Advisory Panel
  • Being recognised in the Sunday Times 2018 Maserati 100 list that celebrate British entrepreneurship

These have been a few of our highlights for 2018 – to read more, please click here

Sheena Byrom Joins Our Advisory Panel

We are delighted to announce the appointment of consultant midwife and lifelong campaigner for positive childbirth, Sheena Byrom OBE to our Advisory Panel.

Sheena Byrom is a practising midwife of 40 years, having worked in the NHS for most of that time. One of the UK’s first consultant midwives, and as head of midwifery, she successfully helped to lead the development of three birth centres in East Lancashire. An international speaker, Sheena provides consultancy services to both NHS Trusts and to organisations globally; helping them to support normal, physiological childbirth. She is involved in several midwifery related charities, and is one of the project leads of the Midwifery Unit Network, which assists and promotes midwifery led units (birth centres) both online, and face-to-face. Sheena and her midwife daughter Anna Byrom are the proud new owners of The Practising Midwife, and an exciting online platform All4Materity.com – the go to place for maternity workers to learn, share and care.

Sheena’s midwifery memoirs, Catching Babies, is a Sunday Times bestseller, and her seminal book, The Roar Behind the Silence: why kindness, compassion and respect matter in maternity care jointly edited with Soo Downe, is being used as a resource to improve maternity care throughout the world.  Sheena and Soo are currently editing a second book, ‘Squaring the Circle: researching normal childbirth in a technological world’, will be published in 2019.

Sheena was awarded an OBE in 2011 for services to midwifery, and was made an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Midwives in 2015. In 2016 and 2018, Sheena received Honorary Doctorates from Bournemouth University and the University of Central Lancashire, and in 2017 she was made a Visiting Fellow at Bournemouth University. Her personal and midwifery related website is sheenabyrom.com.

Sheena is committed to the humanisation of childbirth, to maximising normal physiological birth processes, and for all women to experience a positive birth. The global onslaught of medical technology as a means to improve safety continues to influence childbearing women’s physiology and autonomy, and her work to reverse the trend is ongoing.

Commenting on her appointment, Giovanna Forte said: “With over 5 million urine samples provided every year by pregnant women and up to 1 in 4 of those being contaminated, it is incredibly important to us to have someone of Sheena’s expertise, knowledge and practical experience in the antenatal sector to help us.  We very much look forward to working with her to positively change attitudes towards urine specimen collection and further help improve right-first-time diagnosis and appropriate treatment for pregnant women as well as the well-being of mother and baby.”

 

Forte Medical UCI conference

Attending the Greater Irvine Chamber’s 2018 Life Sciences

Giovanna Forte, CEO was delighted to be one of 10 British executives to make their way to UC Irvine (UCI) for the Greater Irvine Chamber’s 2018 Life Science Showcase event.

In collaboration with UCI Applied Innovation, the Greater Irvine Chamber hosted UK owned life science companies to position Southern California and UCI as a strong global brand for innovation and entrepreneurship. Applied Innovation worked closely with the chamber to promote industry cluster growth in the region.

Click here to read more about the event

Peezy Usability Study Forte Medical

Peezy Midstream Case Study at NHS NIHR Conference 2018

Back in March of this year, the NHS National Institute for Health Research contacted Forte Medical, asking for a case study demonstrating how their research has assisted the launch of Peezy Midstream.

A few months earlier the NIHR in conjunction with the West Midlands AHSN conducted a valuable Usability Study on our diagnostic device. Results were excellent and have assisted us with adoption training and reassurance to HCPs and patients alike that using Peezy Midstream is far, far easier than trying to deliver this elusive urine specimen any other way …

The case study presented by Giovanna Forte on 10th October 2018 was very well received and has already led to enquiries from Primary Care clinicians who can see the benefit of right-first-time diagnoses for UTI and other common conditions that can take up so much GP time when left untreated.

2018 NIHR Peezy Presentation

NIHR_PeezyMidstream-Case-Study

“Maximising Our Medtech Might”

The NHS National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) will be holding their national industry event on 10th October and our CEO, Giovanna Forte will be participating in the session focusing on “Maximising Our Medtech Might”.

The theme for this year’s event is: The Future Now and provides a platform to discuss the latest developments and opportunities in the UK clinical research environment. We’ll be examining the new era of clinical trials, focussing our lens on patient centricity and asking ‘where is clinical development heading next?’

Click for further information on the NIHR CRN National Industry Event 2018

Prevention, technology and how to unblock NHS adoption

The inaugural speech delivered by Mr Matt Hancock upon his appointment as Secretary of State for Health, focused quite rightly on the acceleration of preventative practice and the adoption of novel technology.  Forte Medical welcomes this approach … if it happens.  

It is high time to highlight and seriously consider the problems behind historic innovation adoption across the NHS because examples of what works – and just as importantly what doesn’t – can only serve to steer the powers that be to develop a better way. Our game-changing urine collection technology, which many rightly observe “has been around for years” is a prime example of how and why changes need to be made.

The NHS has long enjoyed international recognition for its vision and offering; yet Forte Medical has endeavoured to work with the NHS for over eight years – the outcomes of which more later – but the difference in our experiences of engaging in the US healthcare sector through the ABHI Trade Mission is palpable and there is much that could be learnt from their approach.

In the US, those of us attending with the ABHI are given the opportunity to present an “accelerator pitch” to leadership and key stakeholders of leading healthcare providers. Clinical, Medical and Nursing Directors, Patient Safety, Infection Control, Finance and Procurement will gather to meet us and listen to what we have to say. They get it – and are not afraid to try something new. In a few short months, Forte Medical has not only evaluations live with a number of leading providers, short-circuiting the equivalent process endemic here in the UK, but sales to laboratories that serve the health insurance market.

In the absence of NHS Leadership willing to accept an equivalent scheme where the AHSN Network may short-list and present the most compelling innovations every quarter, other steps must be taken to make such introductions seamless and effective.

Happily there have been successes for us over the past eight years. The excellent clinical results around Peezy Midstream are being recognised; thanks to the work of the ABHI, the AHSNs and a handful of diligent Healthcare Professionals, adoption is becoming a reality.

Meanwhile, I offer to those in the driving seat some examples of where, to the detriment of clinical outcomes, patient safety and yes, cost savings, inertia has proven easier to embrace than change. This in itself is where change is most needed.

2013: Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust: A peer reviewed and published clinical trial of 104 male and female patients delivered a reduction in urine specimen contamination from a Trust average of 23% to 6%. The Abstract presented at the World Congress of Endourology and the Societe International de Urologie, surmised that: “Peezy is a welcome innovation by patients. The improvement in possible unreliable results was impressive, suggesting a significant financial saving due to the common nature of the investigation in LUTS assessments.”

At that time Peezy Midstream could have delivered direct savings to the Trust of £160,000 and indirect savings of £3.2m taking into account outlying costs of repeat appointments and tests. Procurement was disinterested, citing specimen collection as a non-priority and their position in Special Measures as prevention to the adoption of anything new (just when it was probably most needed).

2015: Barts Health NHS Trust: Professor Frank Chinegwundoh has Championed Peezy Midstream since he began a trial of 200 patients in his own clinic at the Royal London. He publicly presented interim results proving a reduction in historic contamination rates of 23% to 1.5% across 66 patients, pointing to significant clinical and cost improvements for the whole Trust. Despite his best efforts and support from the Trust’s Microbiology team, he has struggled to complete the evaluation. We have attempted to engage with antenatal to transfer the evaluation there but they, together with procurement and overall Trust leadership remain elusive. Are potential direct savings of £214k and indirect of £4.3m not worth investigating?

2016: Infection Control Director, Home Counties NHS Trust: The UK’s first Infection Control Director was familiar with Peezy Midstream, having spent 18 months setting up a trial that never happened at a London Teaching Hospital. On reading of his new appointment, we contacted him to see if he would implement his earlier work on this study at the new NHS Trust. The answer perplexed: if we sponsored his Conference at the RSM to the tune of £10,000 he would ensure the trial took place with good results. We thanked him and declined.

2018: A South West NHS Trust: The Head of Gynaecology and Obstetrics at this General Hospital was keen to trial Peezy Midstream to counter the 9% urine specimen contamination rate cited in antenatal, where screening accuracy is so important. A protocol was produced and trial conducted; the resulting paper citing tangible clinical improvements and cost savings with a potential for reduced broad spectrum antibiotic prescribing. This Abstract was peer reviewed, published and presented at a leading Conference earlier this year.

We asked the Clinical Lead if given the evidence and benefits she would now adopt Peezy Midstream? She demurred, saying by email that “Following the study, the way in which the wee is collected improved and the midwives and HCAs started to follow the right rules of sending off only the right urines. Not as good as with a Peezie [sic], but better than before.”

A new study has shown that Peezy Midstream reduces antenatal false positives by almost 70%; by implication the HCAs are still sending off too many “right urines” wasting time, money and possibly prescribing unnecessary broad spectrum antibiotics to pregnant women. Add to this the transient nature of staff, forgotten instructions … and in other words: Your innovation works but I am not prepared to make changes and although I don’t know what happens behind the closed toilet door, I am prepared to assume that patients will listen to verbal instruction … and be damned if they don’t. 

Innovation Managers in the South, North and Midlands: In 2014 and 2015, three “clinical innovation leads” from Trusts that boasted high urine contamination rates were presented with Peezy Midstream as a route to clinical excellence and cost savings. One manager refused outright to engage with an evaluation citing urine as “low priority”; the other two sat on the trial product for so long, the three-year use-by date expired.

Private providers who profit from inaccuracy and repeat testing: One of the largest private NHS laboratory providers assured us some time ago, that they would “never use or recommend use of your device; if it reduces retests to the extent you say, it will knock about half a million off our bottom line.” When I enquired as to their commitment to help the NHS treat its patients efficiently they observed “that’s the NHS’s problem, we have shareholders to answer to.”

Connecting the dots between clinician, trial, procurement and adoption

Every evaluation, every clinical trial must be conducted with the involvement and approval of all relevant stakeholders; without these interests being represented, evidence of prevention and improvements across the many facets of clinical and patient care stand not a chance of being translated into Good Practice. Thank heavens for the arrival of the AHSNs – would that they had existed in our earlier years.

The Future Operating Model (FOM) may also change things; our own Category Tower Manager Akeso&Co has visited almost every NHS lab in the country to understand their challenges. If this diligence has been mirrored across the other Consultancies involved, a more logical, efficient and pragmatic view of innovation being delivered to the NHS could become a reality.

Meantime, the money wasted for all parties in trials that go nowhere, not to mention the lost benefits that could have been delivered to patients and NHS Finances over the last five years from our own NHS GP created innovation, doesn’t bear thinking about. We believe we are nearly there; meantime, the USA calls. One way or another our perseverance will pay dividends for the one in four patients both here and across the pond, where diagnoses fail because of inconsistent urine collection methods. They deserve so much better.

  • Four steps to accelerating preventative innovation within the NHSWhere innovation has arrived outside of an AHSN introduction but is desirable, ensure the appropriate AHSN is involved to better cement protocols, stakeholder interest, deliverables and adoption
    • Incentivise clinical staff to embrace evaluations that, if successful will deliver tangible improvements to their work and working lives.
    • Appoint “adoption” managers who will oversee the implementation of new technology so that a more seamless approach is taken with wholesale acceptance by clinical teams
    • Reward private contractors on clear results and value, not volume; until then the NHS will fail to receive best endeavours in the interests of its patients – or balance sheets.