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University of Ulster Develops Seating System That Could Reduce NHS Costs

16 April 2013

An exclusive licence to manufacture and market a revolutionary new seating system that could save the NHShundreds of thousands of pounds, has been granted to LifeScienceHub by the University of Ulster.

The Easi Seating System offers a new level ofadjustability, comfort and utility for both patients and purchasers.

The licence follows eight years of research and development work by leading University of Ulster rehabilitationscientists, Dr Alison Porter-Armstrong and Dr May Stinson from the Institute of Nursing and Health Research (INHR).

"Health care providers spend hundreds of thousands of pounds on bespoke seating every year," said Dr Porter-Armstrong. "Buteach chair is fitted to a single user.

“It is very rare that a specially-tailored chair can be re-used once theoriginal patient no longer requires it - and that means a very expensive piece of equipment becomes redundant.

"The new modular system we have designed will enable every aspect of the chair to be individually adjusted to theuser - and can be readjusted for other users.

“That flexibility will mean a much longer useful life for theproduct, giving greater value to users and to purchasers."

LifeScienceHub is an organisation which is dedicated to bringingnew research- driven healthcare products to market.

Declan Service of LifeScienceHub said: “Working with the Open Innovation initiative of the University of Ulster has been a very positive experience.

“The Easi Seating System is great example of the type of project that can be designed, manufactured and commercialised in Northern Ireland.

“We hope this will be the start of a successful partnership taking projects with global potential to market.”

The seating system is the first product from the University's School of Health Sciences to reach the market, andDrs Porter-Armstrong and Stinson paid tribute to help they had had from the University's Office of Innovation insteering the idea from the Jordanstown research labs to the healthcare marketplace.

Professor Brendan McCormack, Director of the Institute of Nursing and Health Research said: “This is an excitingdevelopment and serves to endorse the high quality of the research undertaken at the INHR and Centre for Health and Rehabilitation Technologies (CHaRT).

“TheUniversity of Ulster is leading the way in Connected Health and this contract is a clear demonstration of thatactivity and our commitment to transforming our research into meaningful and innovative practices.”

"This is the first commercial licence that we in the School of Health Sciences have signed, and we arelooking forward to sharing what we have learned with colleagues, in order to encourage them along the way,” addedDr Stinson.