Next Generation Medical Devices
Today’s current unmet clinical needs require innovative new medical device solutions, that are safe and effective for the patient, and provide a cost benefit to health care providers. Multidisciplinary medical device research at Trinity College Dublin and the affiliated teaching hospitals aims to develop new medical devices from concept to the clinic.
Medical devices include instruments, implants, machines or software and are central to developments in healthcare. This is especially relevant in Ireland, which is experiencing an increased incidence of chronic diseases, an ageing population and challenges to the sustainability of its healthcare system. With its strong research and manufacturing infrastructure, Ireland is well poised to take a leading role in developing next generation medical devices to take on these challenges.
Benefits to Society
Medical devices save lives and make a critical difference to the quality-of-life of millions of people every day, from simple bandages, to the most sophisticated life-saving or life-supporting products. Our requirements for medical devices are strongly correlated with age, and global society is aging. Between the years 2000 and 2050, the world's population over 60 is expected to increase from 600 million to 2 billion (WHO statistics). This presents new challenges for society, and significant opportunities for the medical device sector to address these challenges with innovative solutions.
Moreover, Ireland is a global hub for medical device research and manufacturing, and the Irish economy benefits form this reputation as a centre for medical device excellence. Explicitly, there are currently 250 medical technology companies in Ireland, exporting €7.2BN worth of medical device technologies, and the sector’s direct employment currently stands at 25,000.
Research at Trinity
The next generation medical devices theme provides the foundations for a multidisciplinary medical device research network. This cross faculty network builds upon combined research excellence and clinical expertise. Research excellence within key TCD institutes/centres provides the support structure to conduct the R&D associated with new medical device technologies, while clinical translation activities can occur at the associated teaching hospitals and the Wellcome Trust - HRB Dublin Centre for Clinical Research. Some of the key research centres/institutes included in this theme are: the Trinity Centre for Bioengineering, Trinity Biosciences Institute, CRANN, TCIN, The Irish LongituDinal Study on Ageing (TILDA), and Trinity Academic Gastroenterology Group (TAGG).
The coordinating centre for this activity is the Centre for Medical Device Technology (CMDT) located within the Trinity Biosciences Institute. Recent infrastructural funding for the Trinity Biosciences development has allowed the creation of a Centre for Medical Device Technology with the ambition to realise Ireland and Trinity as a world reference site in this domain. The Centre for Medical Device Technology aims to provide the critical environment for pre-clinical medical device research and development.
The research champion for this theme is Professor Bruce Murphy.