A platform bringing together world-leading diagnostic resources and expertise to develop new and innovative technologies to improve patient health and wellbeing has been launched.
Diagnostics North East will support researchers, clinicians and industry to position the region at the forefront of technology and innovation in medical diagnostics.
The platform aims to support both industry and academia and addresses the need for robust research, development, evaluation and adoption when it comes to the introduction of new patient diagnostic tests and devices.
More than 200 industry representatives and healthcare professionals attended the platform's launch to hear of the exciting new initiative, which is unique in providing concentrated expertise across all key elements of the diagnostics pathway – discovery, development, evaluation, adoption into the NHS, and advanced horizon scanning for future opportunities.
The partnership is built upon strong collaborations and access to the outstanding clinical facilities in the North East and will result in better diagnostic tests being more rapidly available to patients.
Diagnostics North East is a collaboration between the Academic Health Science Network for the North East and North Cumbria (AHSN NENC), Newcastle University, and The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
Professor John Simpson, Dean of Translational Research and Professor of Respiratory Medicine at Newcastle University, said: "The unique diagnostics infrastructure in the region allows us to address every requirement in bringing better diagnostic tests to patients more rapidly. Our joined up approach in a single region provides industry and academia with unrivalled access to diagnostics expertise tailored to their individual needs.
"Our strong collaboration, allied to first class clinical facilities and a strong culture of clinical research, is ideally placed to accelerate the pathway from innovation through to patient benefit."
The launch provided industry representatives and healthcare professionals with opportunities to meet key experts and to discuss how they can support the development, evaluation and adoption of technologies into healthcare systems. Delegates left with information about how they can partner with and access the world-class resources available.
Dr Michael Wright, Deputy Medical Director of Newcastle Hospitals, said: "We welcome this very exciting initiative which will help us to provide even better services for patients in the North East and across the whole of the NHS. This will help us to develop even stronger collaborations with colleagues in Newcastle University, the AHSN NENC and industry."
Professor Julia Newton, Medical Director at the Academic Health Science Network for the North East and North Cumbria (AHSN NENC), said: "Diagnostics North East represents the effective partnership between NHS, academia and the Academic Health Science Network for the North East and North Cumbria.
"I am delighted that our enthusiasm for this collaborative work was recognised at the launch of Diagnostics North East."
The launch included guest speakers from a variety of renowned organisations including: Newcastle University, National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, NIHR, MHRA, NorthStar Ventures, Innovate UK and NHS Improvement.
For more information on Diagnostics North East visit: http://diagnosticsnortheast.org.uk/
For more information on AHSN NENC visit: http://www.ahsn-nenc.org.uk