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Colin Richman from Rx-info presenting at the ExIST event.

Leading the way in world health innovation

On 13 July, delegates gathered at the Flybe Training Academy for the ExIST (Exeter Initiative for Science and Technology) quarterly event with a theme of Smart Healthcare.

Exeter is home to a host of leading businesses in STEMM industries - at the Science Park, the Innovation Centre and many working with the SETsquared partnership – building the foundations of a Smart Healthcare Cluster in our city; a cluster of businesses that are demonstrating how technology and innovation can enable better informed decisions in healthcare.

Colin Richman, founder and company director of Rx-info, opened the event with a presentation entitled ‘The £7.6 billion drug problem’, looking at the NHS medicines spend which has been increasing year on year. While this can be attributed to the changing demographics and prevalent diseases, Colin explained this doesn’t actually need to be the case.

The problem exists because, until 2013, the NHS did not have a system to provide data on hospital expenditure. Price management mechanisms, patient reviews, sharing care and VAT efficient supply chains will begin to reduce the scale of the problem, bringing significant savings to the NHS.

Rx-info, based at Exeter Science Park, have developed software to standardise data for 1.925 million drug definitions through 14 different data sources, cross-referenced to international standards. Their software transforms data into valuable information that can improve NHS efficiencies and help alleviate the multi-billion-pound drug problem.

Jason Williams, business development director at seedata, explained how their web-based platform, Life Qi, provides quality improvement software for health and social care. The project management system promotes collaboration, enabling effective improvement at any scale.

Used in 500+ organisations across the globe, with 5000+ users and with 2000+ active projects, the software aims to develop an integrated global knowledge base, designed to improve health and social care in communities around the world.

Piers Kotting, Programme Director at the Office of the NIHR National Director for Dementia Research explained how their platform, Join Dementia Research, aims to match the right people to the right research at the right time.

A ‘match-making’ service for dementia research, the platform currently has over 800 trained researchers using the service and over 170 NHS university and commercial sites have used the system. 151 studies have recruited participants and over 7,500 participants have enrolled so far.

Piers and his team are looking at developing the service further in Devon, with an aim to see “Devon leading the way in world health innovation”, which they believe can be achieved considering the demographic in our county.

Professor John Terry and his team from the University of Exeter are looking into a method for providing decisions support for early diagnosis and prognosis of health conditions. Bringing together a world leading team of mathematicians, statisticians and clinicians, the team is developing advanced mathematical models for understanding dynamic chronic health conditions.

A big focus for the team at this time is BioEP, looking specifically at epilepsy. Through using data from an EEG, the team can simulate a representation of the patient’s brain to aid diagnosis of epilepsy. They are developing new methods for managing and treating chronic health conditions using predictive mathematical models.

The event highlighted the outstanding expertise that we have based here in Exeter in the Smart Healthcare Cluster. With the support of incubators and initiatives in the city, including SETsquared and business support through the Innovation Centre and Science Park Centre, each company is looking to revolutionise the industry and, through innovation, development and research, this will have a significant impact on our communities.

For more information about ExIST and to view a video of the event, visit
To find out more about upcoming events at Exeter Science Park and around Exeter, visit

Date: 20 July 2017

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