GP’s vascular surgical device wins Clinical Innovation Award

Dr Cliona Murphy

Dr Cliona Murphy

A vascular surgical device developed by a local GP (and participant in NUI Galway’s BioInnovate programme ) that makes it easier for doctors to access the body during vascular surgery has won the Clinical Innovation Award 2014. As a result, Dr Cliona Murphy will work with Cleveland Clinic to develop improved outcomes from vascular surgery. Dr Murphy, a General Practitioner and current participant in the BioInnovate programme in National University of Ireland Galway, collaborated with colleagues to identify a technology that will make it easier for doctors to access the body during vascular surgery, and potentially improve outcomes for patients as a result.

Extending his congratulations to Dr Murphy, Richard Bruton TD, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation said, ‘Life sciences are a key part of our Action Plan for Jobs, and since taking office we have put in place a range of measures to support more Irish companies in this area. Dr. Murphy’s vascular surgical device is another great example of the brilliant ideas and businesses that are emerging every year from collaborative research with our Higher Education Institutions. I am delighted to congratulate her on this award, and look forward to working with her in the future”.

The Clinical Innovation Award, now in its fourth year, recognises commercial potential in Ireland’s clinical community, encouraging clinicians to engage in the development of new healthcare products and services that will improve patient care and benefit both the health care system and Ireland’s medical technologies companies.

 Commenting on the awards, Damien English T.D. Minister for Skills, Research & Innovation said “the commercialisation of clinical knowledge and expertise is an important activity which the Government has supported through the Enterprise Ireland Commercialisation Fund”.

 Dr Murphy will receive a grant of €15,000 and the opportunity to work with Cleveland Clinic and Enterprise Ireland to further develop the commercial potential of this innovative technology.

 The announcement was made at the Medical Technology Industry Excellence awards in Limerick. This event, sponsored by the Irish Medical Devices Association, Enterprise Ireland and IDA Ireland, celebrates excellence from both companies and academic institutions across the Medical Technology sector in Ireland.

 Dr Murphy and her collaborators have identified an inexpensive and simple solution to the problems associated with access during certain vascular surgical procedures.  This device can be used with a number of different procedures that are used to restore proper heart function such as aortic repair and aortic valve replacement. Approximately 150,000 such procedures take place per year worldwide and this solution has the potential to reduce associated complication rates. The device is designed to facilitate the use of a less invasive approach of needle puncture instead of incision, and to improve access for surgeons during the procedure, which can lead to better outcomes.

 Announcing the winner, Gary Fingerhut, Executive Director, at Cleveland Clinic Innovations, said:  ‘A simple, low cost device with the potential to improve patient outcomes from complex vascular procedures would be an exciting development in the field. Cleveland Clinic has consistently ranked top in the US for cardiology and heart surgery, providing excellent opportunities for Cliona to engage with world leading clinicians to validate the commercial potential of this innovation. We look forward to working with Cliona and her collaborators”


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