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Enabling Healthy Ageing

9 May 2013

A major health conference in Derry~Londonderry has focussed on the importance of collaboration, connectivity and communication between multi-disciplinary teams involved in ‘bench to bed’ healthcare.

Almost 200 leading academics, clinicians, researchers and business innovators attended C-TRIC's 5th Annual Translational Medicine Conference(TMED5)to explore novel approaches to health sciences research and innovation.

C-TRIC (Clinical Translational Research and Innovation Centre) is an award winning purpose built clinical research facilityatAltnagelvinHospital. It was developed as a joint partnership between the University of Ulster at Magee, Western Health and Social Care Trust (Western Trust) and Derry City Council, with fundingfrom Ilex (urban regeneration company) and Invest Northern Ireland.

Professor Tony Bjourson, C-TRIC Board Member and Chair of the TMED5 organising committee explained: "Translational medicine is a term used to describe for ‘bench-to-bedside’ approach to reduce the time for research to be converted into real advances that actually benefit patients and society.”

Professor Bjourson, who is also Director of the Biomedical Sciences Research Institute at the University’s Colerainecampus said the conference theme ‘Enabling Healthy Ageing’ was very timely in light of the growing challenges of delivering healthcare to an ageing population.

“The programmeincludedpresentations by experts in nursing, psychology, computing, biomedical science and bioengineering so it was an ideal forum to discuss the novel approaches in disease prevention and disease management and to explore new diagnosis and therapy interventions.

"Healthcare is a multi-million pound industry with tremendous potential for growth. Translational medicine requires a multi-disciplinary approach. For this to work effectively, there needs to be greater collaboration, connectivity and communication between stakeholders to make best use of innovative health technologies for improved medical devices which will ensure better patient care,” Professor Bjourson said.

International delegates attending the conference were impressed by the success of collaborative partnerships already in place in the north west.

Internationally renowned healthcare innovator, Dr Anne Snowdon, Chair of International Centre for Health Innovation in Canada who was one of the keynote speakers at TMED5, said that other countries could learn from the C-TRIC model.

“The C-Tric centre is building an impressive innovation ecosystem to support and drive health system innovation in Ireland that other countries can learn from. The International Centre for Health Innovation at Western University in Canada looks forward to collaborating with them to influence health system innovation globally."

Dr Maurice O'Kane, Chief Executive of C-TRIC and Head of Research and Development, Western Trust said: “TMED5 demonstrated how partnership between the multidisciplinary teams involved in healthcare plays a vital role in translating medical advances from the laboratory bench to the patient's bedside. This is essential to improve the care we offer patients and the public."
Caption (Left to right) Barry Henderson, Business Development Manager, C-TRIC, Professor Tony Bjourson, Director, Biomedical Sciences Research Institute,Mayor of Derry Councillor Kevin Campbell, Dr Anne Snowdon, Academic Chair of the International Centre for Health Innovation, Richard Ivey School of Business, Boston and Dr Maurice O’Kane, Chief Executive, C-TRIC.