Product Innovation of the Year
Air Sentry Limited
During the pandemic there arose a huge commercial pressure on NHS clinical teams to consider air purification. Utilising recirculation, this created increasing difficulties for estates and engineering professionals as the concept of air recirculation, outside of ultra clean operating rooms, has been contraindicated for clinical areas. At the same time it was also apparent that a large number of existing systems were not dealing with the removal of aerosols from clinical spaces and that for sars-cov-2 this had created increased risk to both patients and staff.
Air Sentry had already addressed this within their systems and have allowed for the including of fresh air input into their units, as well as for additional positive and negative pressure modules, which utilise fresh or temperature managed air. HTM 03’s publication was delayed due to the pandemic and when released, whilst a ground breaking revision, it could not have foreseen the circumstances that subsequently arose.
Air Sentry decided that the best approach was to try to continue to offer technology that was relatable to the standards whilst also seeking to innovate in ways that engineers could trial with low risk. They felt that this would become increasingly important as the attempt to reach Net Zero progressed. They therefore implemented two approaches, one complex, which will enable acquisition and control of relevant data by the implemented ventilation safety groups. This is intended to be beta released in October.
The second is a simple connection that enables a wall mounted air purification system to be linked directly to ductwork. This will enable engineers to feed either fresh or temperature managed air into the air sentry system. Crucially, due to the design, it does not create the back pressure normally associated with high density filtration. This means that no plant changes are required enabling the utilisation and trial of HEPA or ULPA level filtration for any clinical space.
Potential uses for this technology include working alongside non gaseous regional anaesthesia trials to reduce the carbon footprint of nitrous oxide etc. It may also enable a better connection between energy managers and engineers. With increasing pressure to reduce energy use it may enable consideration of reducing air flows, especially overnight, in a manner AE(V) and IPC teams can be reassured is not impacting upon air quality or increasing risk to staff or patients. Crucially the connection is simple and a relatively low cost addition to the Air Sentry system.
Air Sentry are in discussion currently with both the CEF and several clients around how well established technology can be utilised to both enable carbon reduction and also improve infection control.
Angel Guard Clarence Remote Water Monitoring Box
Angel Guard’s Clarence Remote Water Monitoring Boxes are highly innovative and ground- breaking. Developed in the UK in conjunction with well-known water management experts and many hospital trusts the remote monitoring boxes are revolutionising the way data is collected and risk assessments conducted in healthcare premises, whilst greatly reducing the risks of water-borne pathogens like Legionella and Pseudomonas, associated healthcare-acquired infections and saving lives as a result.
Measuring temperatures, flow events and (a World’s first) biofilm levels 24/7 Angel Guard’s system constantly sends data to its unique cloud system using wireless technology. The system then uses AI to analyse the data, looking at threshold levels and proving a risk score for each and every box. Through an easy to use and secure front end system water management professionals can access and look at the risk levels to identify things such as low used outlets, poor temperature control and actual biofilm levels to ensure that any countermeasures such as fresh water flushing and/or disinfection practices as targeted to the right outlets and other places within the water system. This saves time, money, resources and ensures a much higher levels of compliance and safety. Carbon reductions and water saving are also taken care of as Clarence boxes reduce the need for many separate visits to the hospital to manually take and collect temperature and flow readings, flushing of taps and other potentially unnecessary countermeasures.
Angel Guard estimates that each box will save over 3 tonnes of CO2e per year. David Harper a fellow of IHEEM and recipient of the IHEEM lifetime achievement award said: “I have been aware of Angel Guard’s excellent units for a while now…During my many years working as a Public Health Officer, Hospital Engineer and an IHEEM registered Authorising Engineer (Water) where I have worked and been responsible for water safety and reducing instances of HCAI’s I can honestly say that I have never come across a new product that I have thought will change the face of water management at point of use quite like this one.” Dr.Paul McDermott a fellow of IHEEM said: “I have no doubt that remote sensing technologies will bring enormous benefits to water safety. The ability to identify infrequently used outlets to ensure effective flushing is just one of the hard-to-crack nuts that this type of technology addresses. It’s use as a means of monitoring water temperatures at frequencies far exceeding those advised in national guidance is another benefit that the technology offers. However, Angel Guard’s Clarence system also has in-built technology to monitor the development of biofilms within water systems, setting it apart from other products and introducing the potential for its use in all risk systems including additional areas such as evaporative cooling plant and spa pools.”
SHJ Medical Gas Specialists would like to nominate Empower3 for IHEEM’s Product Innovation of the Year Award. Founded in 1967, SHJ is a leading supplier of medical gas pipeline systems and services, and is a market leader in remote AI (Artificial Intelligence) monitoring and energy-saving technologies. Trusted by NHS and private sector healthcare providers across the UK for over 50 years, we help our customers deliver a high-quality, reliable medical gas supply to their patients and meet their commitments to prove compliance with statutory requirements.
Empower is our intelligent plant control system providing fully automated control, ensuring medical gas plant is safe, reliable, and working at maximum efficiency. It is designed and implemented to optimally control medical air plant by building IoT (Internet of Things)* networks to remotely collect data and develop deep wavelet neural networks (DWNNs)**. During the Covid Pandemic, the oxygen usage at many hospitals increased and a more resilient and energy saving system was required.
Empower3 was developed at the request of the Royal Victoria Infirmary (RVI), Newcastle. The project spanned from their initial requirement in November 2021, through research, design, installation, and final implementation in March 2022. The technology was developed in-house by our R&D team comprising our Chief Scientist, Professor Gaoyong Luo, our R&D Manager and our newly promoted Plant Manager, whose combined industry experience spans over 40 years.
The system harnesses the power of 21st century communication technologies to implement AI-driven techniques of medical gas plant control. Real-time diagnostics using big data*** analysis allow for ever-smarter predictive maintenance and energy saving measures – vastly increasing a system’s productivity and efficiency. Ian Clayton, Senior Engineering Officer at RVI, where Empower3 was first implemented, is finding the upgraded system a significant improvement. “In common with all areas of the NHS, we, in Estates are under constant pressure to improve productivity, reduce costs and reduce carbon emissions.
We must achieve all these things whilst maintaining the high level of service expected by our patients. By monitoring numerous parameters, Empower3 will recognise if all is not well and will adjust the plant operation to alleviate the problem, let us know what has happened and what needs to be done. This then gives us time to implement the required remedial action and ensure continuity of service. It can often allow us to rectify minor issues ensuring they do not develop into a major, costly breakdown.” Professor Gaoyong Luo said “Empower3 is dramatically changing the landscape of the healthcare sector.
Data collected over the last 3 months shows that up to 30% of energy consumption can be saved, compared to conventional, fixed-speed compressors start-stop control mode.” SHJ plan to integrate Empower3 into sites across the UK and the upgraded technology will provide Estate Managers with enhanced medical air plant resilience and reliability, improving energy efficiency and carbon emission reduction.
Empower3 is a first in the market and will help to digitise the NHS and provide continuous innovations to better serve the healthcare industry. It is for these reasons that we believe Empower3 to be a worthy contender for Product Innovation of the Year.
NHS Open Space
Many healthcare services are being moved closer to communities and are delivered by a range of providers that do not require exclusive use of space. Therefore, the ability to book rooms on a flexible basis offers a cost-effective solution to their property needs.
NHS Property Services (NHSPS) is actively working to transform the NHS Estate, in line with the Long-Term Plan, to help the NHS in delivering excellent patient care. The challenge Optimising the NHS estate is an everchanging challenge that we will continue to face beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. That is why it is vital to continue to anticipate patient need and provide innovative solutions so that NHS staff and their patients can get the most out of the estate.
Over the past few years, NHSPS identified that some of our spaces were not fully and consistently occupied, and an increasing number of NHS organisations were seeking flexible access to space instead of leases and licenses. We came up with a simple solution that if our spaces were not being used to full capacity by existing NHS occupiers, we should aim to make them available for other NHS bodies and wider health and wellbeing services.
The solution NHS Open Space – the subsequent solution – enables flexible booking of a range of both clinical and non-clinical rooms – ranging from examination rooms to offices – as and when they need it. This provides greater flexibility and choice, and for health and wellbeing providers, this means access to affordable and flexible space, helping them to deliver excellent patient care.
The service was launched in May 2019 – following a successful two-year pilot – and since then we have significantly expanded the programme, bringing the portfolio from 20 to 200 properties, and now spanning 1,100 rooms nationwide. With the continuous growth of the service, patients and communities using our flexible booking system can access a wide range of health, wellbeing and community services from their local NHS hubs – helping those who are looking to expand their service, work across multiple locations, or tackle patient backlog.
The impact Since May 2019, we have grown the NHS Open Space community, welcoming over 4,290 users spanning NHS, private and community services, and reached over 228,086 bookings, accounting for over 1,470,482 hours of vital service delivery to patients and communities.
We have also supported the NHS in providing free spaces for COVID-19 services, including supporting the vaccination programme. Planning for the future The overarching ambition of NHS Open Space is maximising use of NHS buildings, supporting the NHS Long-Term Plan ambitions of using innovative solutions to improve patient care, future-proof the NHS, and offering more services in local community settings. With future expansions we hope to further grow our community of over 4,290 users, using our flexible booking system to make better use of NHS spaces and offer communities a wider range of services from their local NHS hubs, enabling excellent patient care, offering more flexibility and transparency for the NHS estate.
Real-time O2 Metering for Hospitals during & since the Covid Pandemic
Flowmeters assist in the secure delivery of oxygen supplies in hospitals When Corona reached Europe in 2020, hospital estate managers of the National Health Service (NHS) quickly realised that their conventional way of measuring and securing oxygen supply was inadequate for the dramatically increased demand due to the pandemic.
Therefore, they sought an appropriate measuring solution for real-time online monitoring of oxygen consumption. FLEXIM’s solution convinced through its double advantage: It delivers exact consumption data and is installed without any supply interruption. Since March 2020, FLEXIM installed hundreds of oxygen flowmeters across hospitals throughout the UK and Ireland. In 2022 meters are still be installed without any interruption to supply, for greater granularity, visibility and management of O2 to individual critical care wards.
FLEXIM’s flowmeters work with ultrasonic transducers which are mounted on the outside of the pipe. The acoustic signal propagated in the direction of the flow runs faster than the return signal propagated against the flow. The transit time difference is proportional to the flow velocity of the oxygen or medical gas within the pipe. On the basis of the given pipe geometry and physical parameters, the transmitter than calculates the volumetric flow (standardized or mass flow is also possible if provided with temperature and pressure inputs for compensation).
The easily retrofitted measurement now delivers real-time data about actual oxygen consumption and safe-guards critical remaining supply. This contrasts with conventional oxygen supply data based on daily (hourly at best) VIE pressure measurements, a system suited to scheduled liquid O2 replenishment deliveries but insufficient for real-time pandemic demand management.
Being one of the largest global flooring manufacturers and a world leader in vinyl flooring, Tarkett takes their responsibility for the environmental impact they make seriously and believe that a sustainable circular transition is needed to cope with the current climate challenges. In a bid to take another step to reduce their impact on the planet, Tarkett developed the ground-breaking iQ Naturals collection.
The first incarnation of iQ Naturals was introduced in 2009 – a phthalate-free homogeneous vinyl using non-fossil, bio-based plasticisers derived from castor oil. This created a foundation for an iteration which takes the industry to a new level of sustainable practices.
The next generation of iQ Natural which Tarkett has launched is the world’s first floor with bio-attributed vinyl – BIOVYN™ – it substitutes 100% of fossil feedstock with renewable biomass, made under the principles of mass-balance. This biomass comes from wood residue not competing with food production and is certified by third-party auditors: The Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB).
This collection provides architects, designers and property owners with a flooring solution offering a greenhouse gas emission reduction of 60%, making iQ Natural one of the lowest carbon footprint resilient flooring options on the market and stands proud in Tarkett’s Circular Selection of products. Like all of Tarkett’s vinyl’s, the next generation iQ Natural is phthalate free, biocide free (and still meets ISO 8690 Bacteria resistance and ISO Class 3 Clean Room Test), releases VOC’s that are below quantifiable levels, is 100% recyclable both post-installation and post-use and contains 25% recycled content.
At just 2mm thick, it carries the lifelong performance of iQ homogeneous vinyl, its able to withstand decades of constant use without diminishing in appearance. One of the most celebrated attributes of the entire iQ collection is its ability to be renovated back to its original form through dry buffing. This ensures a continuously smooth, resistant and hard-wearing surface which not only saves on cleaning and maintenance costs and associated carbon emissions but enables the floor to still look like new 30 years after installation.
Tarkett was inspired by nature for the iQ Naturals collection. Opting for a palette of soft, subtle hues, combining tone-on-tone shades that gently caress the user’s senses. The new Natural Flake pattern has been designed to accentuate and highlight architectural sections within a space but also to smooth out transitions between colourway combinations. Each colourway can be combined within its colour group or other iQ Natural groups, making it a versatile carrier for design.
The collection is one that excels throughout its lifetime and is the ‘go-to’ product for healthcare settings – staggeringly 1 in every 2 hospital worldwide is fitted with Tarkett flooring. Easy installation, long-lasting performance, hygienic qualities and outstanding maintenance properties bound harmoniously into one solution. iQ Natural next generation is paving the way for eco-designed vinyl floors, protecting both people and the planet.
Ocura Healthcare Furniture – Mauro Relax Chair
When a chair has NASA research and technology within the DNA of design, you know it is something special. When this same chair is used in busy hospitals to reduce wait times and save money, you know that chair is outstanding.
Ocura is a group of exceptional people, who bring outstanding products to healthcare with one simple objective: to improve the experience and lives of patients, visitors, and staff across healthcare. The Mauro chair is designed to meet this objective. Before a chair is commissioned, we apply our 6E design principals, all our products must deliver these 6 points: Efficient, Ergonomic, Easy, Economic, Equality and Environmental. When Frimley Health NHS Trust says, “Mauro made an enormous difference to the recovery process”, “Mauro makes transferring a patient easy” and “Mauro supports ‘Kangaroo’ care, allowing mums to bond with their new born”, you realise the product is making a real difference. We have seen for ourselves the difference Mauro makes in A&E, TACU, Maternity, Day Surgery and ICU units across the country.
The options within the range allow for height adjustment so clinician and patient can discuss on eye level, preventing the need to bend all day, reducing the chance of back pain or injury to staff. The easy roll castor system means patients can move from ward to treatment without needing to be moved, increasing efficiency. Removable seats for easy cleaning, and a triple density zoned ergonomic back ensure comfort for the patient. The easy to adjust back and seat can be set in the NASA accredited zero gravity position reducing single pressure points and extending time patients can use the product for.
These zero gravities can also be enhanced with pressure relief materials in the seat to help further reduce risk to patients relating to pressure sores. Getting patients out of bed and into a chair can speed recovery as well as be more space efficient. Our own MD Chris found that during his stem cell recovery, getting out of bed made a huge difference. Our GM Paul also reported how seating and furniture made a difference to his journey through chemotherapy.
These personal experiences within our team help shape the future and drive our passion to improve the experience for patient, visitor, and staff alike. We all know the current pressures that face our NHS and private healthcare providers, and the backlog of cases from Covid 19. Anything we can do that helps support the caring staff across the country, while reducing the costs and allowing investment, we feel we should do.
Therefore, the feedback we are getting about how Mauro is being used in TACU to speed up certain, otherwise timely and costly A&E work, drove us to put this product forward for innovation.