A spin-out company from Heriot-Watt and Edinburgh Universities with NHS Lothian has been shortlisted in a national engineering award for its prostate cancer screening device.
IntelliPalp Dx, which is based at Heriot-Watt’s Edinburgh campus, says its ProstaPalp device could revolutionise the way men are screened for prostate cancer – by providing more accurate testing at an early stage, leading to reduced patient anxiety and more efficient diagnosis.
The device has been shortlisted in the Healthcare & Medical category of the 2022 Collaborate to Innovate Awards, run by The Engineer, a London-based monthly magazine and website covering engineering and technology news in the UK and internationally.
The potential for ProstaPalp to transform prostate cancer screening and diagnosis is huge.
The Collaborate to Innovate Awards, now in their seventh year, aim to showcase the UK’s depth of engineering talent and the role that engineers play in addressing some of the world’s biggest challenges.
To develop ProstaPalp and get it to market, IntelliPalp has been collaborating with Heriot-Watt University, the University of Edinburgh, The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council – the main funding body for engineering and physical sciences research in the UK – the Medical Research Council, a national funding agency for medical research, the Western General Hospital – a teaching hospital in Edinburgh – and CENSIS, Scotland’s Innovation Centre for sensing, imaging and Internet of Things (IoT) technologies. The IntelliPalp project is supported with funding from Scottish Enterprise, Scotland’s national economic development agency, and the Urology Foundation, a charity that supports urology research and care.
IntelliPalp Dx was set up in 2020 to commercialise the research of Professor Bob Reuben, Professor of Materials Engineering at Heriot-Watt University, and Professor Alan McNeill, a Consultant Urological Surgeon and Honorary Professor at Heriot-Watt University and Edinburgh University.
Professor McNeill said: “The potential for ProstaPalp to transform prostate cancer screening and diagnosis is huge and being shortlisted for an award is recognition of this.
“Collaboration has been key to developing the device – and we look forward to the outcome of the 2022 Collaborate to Innovate Awards.”
According to research by Prostate Cancer UK, 47,500 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year. It is the most common cancer in men across the UK.
The ProstaPalp device combines a probe with a signal processing algorithm that IntelliPalp says delivers “more user-friendly, reproducible and reliable results.”
During initial trials with patients, ProstaPalp has accurately detected areas of the prostate with clinically significant cancer, the IntelliPalp team says. Patients have also reported that they prefer the use of ProstaPalp over existing testing methods.
Winners of The Engineer’s 2022 Collaborate to Innovate Awards will be announced at an awards event on Thursday 23rd February 2023 at One Great George Street, Westminster, London.