Deltex Medical

Deltex Medical is a small British medical technology company that designs, manufactures and markets the CardioQ-ODMOesophageal Doppler Monitor (ODM). Deltex Medical employs 75 people worldwide with our production facility in Chichester and offices in both the USA and Spain. The ODM changes the way doctors treat surgical patients, allowing them to recover faster and leave hospital sooner in better health than they otherwise would do.

The CardioQ-ODM monitor utilises a single patient disposable probe that is placed into the oesophagus through either the mouth or nose. A low frequency ultrasound signal, generated by the monitor, is then bounced off the blood travelling down the descending aorta and the Doppler principle is used to determine the patients circulating blood volume.

The performance of the ODM has been validated through independently conducted, randomised controlled clinical trials and is now being translated into routine clinical practice in leading hospitals around the world.

ODM has been shown in successive studies to save time and money by reducing complications and cutting the average length of hospital stay; in March 2011 it was recommended by NICE for use in over 800,000 surgical cases per year within the NHS, saving over £1,000 per patient

Following the positive NICE appraisal of CardioQ-ODM,intra-operative fluid management using ODM was then prioritised as one of six High-Impact Innovations (HII’s) in the NHS Innovation Review Innovation Health and Wealth (IHW). The NHS Chief Executive’s report included a commitment “to get full implementation of ODM, or similar fluid management monitoring technology into practice across the NHS” and notes the NHS would benefit from a net financial savings of over £400 million per year.

The NHS is recognised as a world leader at invention, however sometimes the best ideas fail to achieve widespread use in the NHS as adoption has been slow. Now more than ever before, innovation has a vital role to play if it is to continue to improve outcomes for patients and deliver value for money.To ensure that the NHS can maximise the savings and patient benefits from the HII’s, implementation of the 6 HII’s are now a pre-qualification for hospitals to claim their Commissioning to Quality Innovation (CQUIN) payments. This amounts to 2.5% of the hospital budget, which for a large university trust would equate to losing over £20 million  of their existing budget.

So the big challenge now for Deltex Medical is whether the NHS can implement its own guidelines. Innovation Health and Wealth was published in December 2011 with the promise of an implementation plan to follow within 90 days. However, almost 12 months have passed and the Department of Health has yet to deliver the promised plans for implementation. The reports’ remit was to set out the actions needed for implementation of innovative technologies within the NHS – both to increase the standard of patient care and to help the NHS create efficiency savings. It can be therefore be clearly seen that this policy is not being delivered at the pace and scale promised.

Deltex have received support from a range of government-funded bodies inclduing UKTI who helped with their Passport to Export Scheme. Deltex also had assistance from the research and innovation manager in NHS South and developed links through participation in the All Party Parliamentary Group on Trade and Investment.

Implementation of the 6 HII’s will be co-ordinated by the recently formed Academic Health and Science Networks (AHSN’s). AHSN’s will improve patient and population health outcomes by translating research into practice and developing and implementing integrated health care systems.

The main purpose of the AHSNs is ‘ensuring and supporting the adoption and spread of the nationally designated innovations (the high impact innovations and the designated “push” technologies); and identifying other innovations that the AHSN decides to prioritise for rapid diffusion’.

Therefore if the AHSN’s can successfully implement intra-operative fluid management using ODM the future growth of sales at Deltex Medical will be exceptionally strong. Links with the proposed AHSN in Kent Surrey and Sussex have been fostered through the South East Health Technologies Alliance (SEHTA) ,which is the Medilink for the South East. (SEHTA)