Business & Economy
The clinicians using tech to level-up global healthcare
October 11, 2021
The North East business helping improve lives and aiding recoveries across the world.
A team of clinicians and tech experts have banded together to make surgery safer in the world’s least technically-advanced nations by utilising leading-edge robotics.
Imperial Medical Solutions (IMS), which uses vast global medical connections to ensure patients in emerging economies receive the best chance of clinical success, is introducing pioneering surgical robotics to these areas and training surgeons to operate them.
The Hartlepool-based business has worked with the Department for International Trade (DIT) to help understand the potential market and establish links within the healthcare community in Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, where it is introducing the “FreeHand” robotic system for minimally invasive surgery, created by OR Productivity Ltd.
FreeHand is an affordable “Cobot” (collaborative robot), with rapid set-up that’s easily integrated into operating rooms. It is an ideal entry point into robotic surgery in emerging economies like the Caribbean and South East Asia and an exciting piece of UK tech, that has been warmly welcomed in the Caribbean.
IMS was formed last summer by radiologist Dr Ramdas Senasi, surgeons Ahsanul Haq , Prof Tan Arulampalam and solicitor Nazia Aftab. It has since recruited people from across the world, including Dr Racquel Lowe-Jones in Jamaica, Mr Chong Soon Yong and Mr Meng Soo Ho in Malaysia and e-health expert Mr David Taylor who is supporting the entry of telemedicine and remote diagnostic technology in the Caribbean and South East Asia.
Many of its strengths lie in partnerships with Industry giants is also supported by key opinion leaders and TedX speakers like Professor Ken Catchpole, a world expert in Human Factors and Dr Balaji Ganeshan, an expert in Artificial Intelligence.
IMS’s Chairman, Dr Ramdas Senasi said: “IMS is a young and dynamic company, born via video-conferencing during COVID. We offer clinical leadership and strategy, supporting MedTech Companies and healthcare organisations. There’s no “one-size-fits-all” answer, so using our agility and knowledge of health markets, we create bespoke healthcare solutions. Our core ethos is patient safety and democratising healthcare.”
“We are doctors speaking to doctors. We work together to help organisations adopt new tech to improve patient care. We are proud to have brokered the distribution of FreeHand with the most well established medical distributor in the Caribbean and we hope to introduce more technologies through this route.”
FreeHand has already been utilised in over 15,000 keyhole surgical procedures across the world, and while IMS is integrating the technology in Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica, it has also establishing a similar distribution model in South East Asia.
IMS Medical Director, Mr Haq, said: “The system is vital to parts of the world with no access to integrated surgical robotics. FreeHand Collaborative Robots help reduce surgical times, the number of staff involved, lengths of hospital stays, all while increasing surgical skill. The single most important part of keyhole surgery is vision – seeing what you are doing. We have assistants holding cameras who have to make room for the surgeon and know exactly where to point the equipment, but with FreeHand that person can be freed while the surgeon utilises the equipment using small head movements to control what they see.”
The CEO of IMS Professor Tan Arulampalam, a world renowned laparoscopic surgeon and early pioneer in surgical innovation, said “ This opportunity goes beyond robots. It is about moving towards software solutions and data. The hardware we use is important but it is imperative that we also focus on the “user interface” and “user experience”.
IMS is working with UWI Faculty of Medical Sciences, in Trinidad and Tobago, and Jamaica to launch “Project Chaconia” and “Project Lignum Vitae” – projects named after the national flowers of both countries. It is envisaged that this will open the door to digital transformation in healthcare in the Caribbean and act as a “playbook” for other emerging economies, allowing other UK technologies to be adopted by many countries.
The Company is working with the DIT to explore MedTech markets across the world and utilise the Company’s enormous web of world-recognised leaders in MedTech fields. IMS has recently hosted the successful “Adapting and Innovating: The Future of Healthcare International Summit” this summer with their partners Convenzis, the DIT and FCDO, examining the global response to the pandemic, which was a success.
Victoria Gemmill, DIT Northern Powerhouse Regional Team and Head of North East Region comments that “Imperial Medical Solutions is a Company formed on a brilliant concept that improves healthcare in areas that need it most and further enhances the reputation of our amazing NHS as incubators of genuine life-saving talent. I am so pleased that DIT has been able to support the company’s efforts to improve surgical provision in Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica and very much look forward to seeing IMS grow its operations in South East Asia.”
Dr Ramdas Senasi added: “If you are a MedTech company looking to explore the Caribbean and South East Asia, you may want to give us a call. After all, we are the team that got a robot into the Caribbean.”