A UK healthcare manufacturer who specialises in scalp cooling has been awarded the prestigious ‘Partnership with Academia Award’ following an innovative two-year project with the University of Huddersfield.
Paxman, who help patients retain their hair during chemotherapy, was presented the award at the Medilink Yorkshire and Humber Healthcare Business Awards in recognition of the work carried out to help improve patient care.
The partnership with academics in the Department of Biological Sciences aims to identify the mechanisms that determine the patients’ responses to scalp cooling in order to further improve the efficacy of cooling in preventing chemotherapy-induced hair loss. Ultimately this has enabled the company to reduce scalp cooling treatment times, therefore cutting down the amount of time patients have to remain in clinic following their chemotherapy. This has helped to free up chair space within clinics, increasing the numbers of patients that can be treated each day.
The research project also allowed the company to interpret data from clinical trials in order to improve the efficacy of scalp cooling. This has been responsible for enhancing the credibility of scalp cooling among the medical community, helping to alleviate any fears clinicians had about the treatment. Publications from these studies have been presented at several cancer conferences throughout the world.
The project has also led to the design and development of a 21st century cooling cap system which offers a much better fit to all head shapes including ethnic varieties. The latest model of the cap uses 3D printed tooling technologies and will pave the way for mass manufacture using silicone sheet technology.
The new cap design has transformed Paxman’s manufacturing output from 200 to 2000 a month whilst reducing cap cost. The increased production capability, lower unit cost and an improved performance cap design accelerates the accessibility of scalp cooling as a universal treatment, to contribute to the prevention of 3.7 million patients each year losing their hair unnecessarily through chemotherapy-induced alopecia (CIA).
Hair loss is a well-known side effect of many chemotherapy regimens, with many patients claiming it is the most traumatic aspect of their treatment. Scalp cooling
provides the only real alternative to hair loss resulting in a high level of retention or complete hair preservation, improving patients’ self-confidence and creating positive attitudes towards treatment.
The Paxman Scalp Cooling System is the world-leading hair loss prevention system for chemotherapy patients. It has been used by over 100,000 patients in 32 countries and is responsible for helping patients to reduce chemotherapy-induced alopecia and retain normality whilst undergoing their treatment.
Made from lightweight, silicone tubing, the scalp cooling cap is soft and flexible - providing a snug yet comfortable cap during treatment. Moulding to all head shapes and sizes, liquid coolant passes through the cap extracting heat from the patient's scalp, ensuring the scalp remains at an even, constant temperature to minimise hair loss.
Richard Paxman, CEO of Paxman, said:
During the past two years our collaborative work with the University of Huddersfield has had a significant impact on our business and ultimately, the patients benefitting from scalp cooling treatment to alleviate chemotherapy induced alopecia. We are delighted to have received this prestigious award with such worthy shortlisted companies in this category. We’d like to thank not only the University of Huddersfield but also Medilink for their support over the years.
Dr Ertu Unver, Principal Enterprise Fellow in Product Design at the University of Huddersfield’s School of Art, Design and Architecture, said:
The aim of the project was to redesign the cooling cap so it fits patients better, something which is vital if the device is to be effective. It also had to be mass-manufactured. We are delighted that the new cap fits the head of patients more efficiently, despite a reduction in the range of sizes. It has also improved the flow pattern of the coolant that cools the head.
The Medilink Awards 2016 was held at the Royal Armouries Hall in Leeds. The awards celebrated the achievements of healthcare organisations from across the Yorkshire and Humber region and recognised outstanding achievement in elements including innovation, export, skills and partnering with both academia and the NHS.
Winners of the awards are automatically put forward as nominations for the Medilink UK Awards where they will compete with other organisations from across the UK for the national title. The Medilink UK Awards take place on 20th April 2016 at the MedTech Innovation Expo, held at the Ricoh Arena, Coventry.