CanSense and IQ Endoscopes have been awarded funding to develop their concepts in the initial phase of the Endoscopy Challenge, run by the Innovation team of Shaping Change at Cardiff & Vale University Health Board (CAV UHB) and supported by the CCR (Cardiff Capital Region) Challenge Fund.
The Endoscopy Challenge seeks innovative approaches to accelerate the delivery of endoscopy procedures in Wales, improve access and reduce waiting times for patients. The waiting list for endoscopies in Wales is currently around 30,000 and continues to grow. Professor Jared Torkington and CAV UHB’s Shaping Change team are leading the Challenge, funded by a £750k grant from the CCR Challenge Fund.
Two applicants received support to develop their projects further and run feasibility studies. Swansea company CanSense is developing a blood based test to help prioritise patients on the endoscopy waiting list and reduce time to diagnosis, while IQ Endoscopes, based in Chepstow, are developing sustainable single use flexible endoscopes that negate the need for time consuming and expensive decontamination processes. This phase of the Challenge is set to conclude after three months.
Professor Jared Torkington, clinical lead for the Challenge, Consultant Colorectal Surgeon and Associate Medical Director for Innovation at CAV UHB, said: “We welcome this opportunity to further strengthen our collaboration with partners as we build the evidence base and capability in Wales to encourage ambitious investment in innovation to drive economic growth and improve health and wellbeing outcomes”.
Zoe Hilton, Innovation Programme Manager for the Innovation Team at CAV UHB, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity arising from a generous grant from the Challenge Fund, for Cardiff and Vale UHB to collaborate with external partners CanSense and IQ endoscopes. We look forward to working with both companies to develop their innovative solutions focused on alleviating current challenges in our Endoscopy departments and improving our patient and staff experience.”
Professor Rick Delbridge, CCR Challenge Fund PI, said: “We’re very pleased with the progress that has been made with this latest challenge in our partnership with the Cardiff Capital Region to design and deliver the Challenge Fund. The CAV UHB Shaping Change team have done an excellent job of convening the process and arranging for expert clinical input into the funding decisions. And it’s great to see two Welsh firms secure support. “
Adam Bryant, CEO of Cansense, said: “ CanSense are delighted to be working with CAV UHB supported by the Challenge Fund on such a vital challenge. Traditional diagnostics services are under huge pressure post Covid. CanSense are offering a simple blood test which helps streamline the pathway for those people in the greatest need to be diagnosed and treated as quickly as possible – for better patient outcomes”.
Matt Ginn, CEO of IQ Endoscopes, said: “ The whole team at IQ Endoscopes is delighted to be working with CAV UHB supported by the Challenge Fund on this critical matter. On a global basis, screening and diagnostic endoscopy programmes are under huge pressure to cope with the enormous patient demand. IQ Endoscopes is committed to delivering a sustainable single use technology that can not only meet the patient needs, but also the environmental requirements and we are proud to be working with CAV to deliver this.”