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INNOVATION UK87 Healthcare RENFREW GROUP INTERNATIONAL Fierce competition now demands the swift conversion of new medical concepts into marketable products and this requires the technologist to recruit the help of inventive designers to realise the products' full potential. But turning a medical device concept into a product requires a level of innovation and commitment that's often underestimated. The design and selection of materials or production methods, the incorporation of chemistries and biologicals requires widely differing skills drawn from those with both scientific and technical backgrounds. Renfrew Group International approaches this challenge from a different perspective. We deliver a finely balanced combination of product design, engineering and biotech development skills for the crucial healthcare, medical device and diagnostics industries. Our concepts evolve from tan-dem thinking, a union of the scientific and the technical in a way proven to deliver robust intellectual property. Together our team of inventor designers and innovative biochemists, backed by electronics and software design and supported by comprehensive in- house product devel-opment facilities, offer a world- class design- for- manufac-ture service. The diagnostics, pharmaceutical and medi-cal device sectors are ideal areas for novel design and development. Products are highly diverse and technically advanced and cover a vast range of applications from rapid pregnancy tests to controlled- release drug deliv-ery. Each delivery system, medical device or diagnostic test requires a unique combination of materials knowl-edge and innovative design, and it is here, where Renfrew Group is at its most effective. Designs to Combat Healthcare Acquired Infection With side rooms for isolation cases in ever- shorter sup-ply across NHS hospitals, the Department of Health first conceived of, and then assigned a project for a portable isolation unit to the National Innovation Centre, which in turn appointed Renfrew Group International to develop a system that could be quickly assembled around the bed of patients suffering conditions such as MRSA and C. difficile to help prevent cross- infection. Recent trials of the unit at the University College London Hospital ( UCLH) resulted in positive reviews from clinicians, staff, patients and visi-tors alike. The isolation unit comprises an aluminium frame struc-ture supporting internal and external full length/ full height infection control blinds and a " breathable roof". The outer blinds are transparent, to enable patients to see out whilst the inner opaque blinds afford full privacy when required. The entrance to the unit is always open, but incorporates a full- height HEPA- filtered air barrier that helps prevent any bacteria or other harmful particulates getting in or out. The air is drawn from within the enclosure thus simultane-ously decontaminating the entire volume. A portable " waterless" toilet incorporating a sophisti-cated filtration and extraction system to contain both bacteria and odour, and a sealed bagging system, with similar odour- containing properties, in which waste can be stored for a short period and then removed, is sta-tioned inside the unit. To encourage good hand hygiene, the unit has a dual-sided wash station, accessible from outside the unit and from within. The wash station carries a traffic- light dis-play designed to ensure the correct washing sequence is adhered to before passage through the entrance is allowed. Patients feel highly reassured that clinicians and visitors are more likely to wash their hands, while analysis at Nottingham University has shown handwashing levels increasing from 50% to 90% when this graphic device is used. The wash station also incorporates sequential indi-cator lights designed to indicate to the user how long the various stages of handwashing should take to ensure a thorough job. Both the toilet and the wash station are self- supporting. Neither module requires to be plumbed in. The Department of Health is currently looking at the com-mercialisation process for manufacture of the units for the NHS. ( All rights are vested in The Department of Health.) For more information, contact: Bruce Renfrew and Mike Phillips Renfrew Group International Website: www. renfrewgroup. com Renfrew Group International