Remote Diagnostic Technologies (RDT) is committed to transforming the delivery of pre-hospital care and improving patient outcomes through the use of advanced monitoring and resuscitation technology. Harnessing 20 years of innovation in military and commercial critical care, CEO Graham Murphy has seen his company experience exceptional growth to become the international operation it is today. RDT has most recently entered the competitive emergency services market with state-of-the-art solutions for the NHS emergency frontline to alleviate pressures faced by an already overburdened workforce. We talked to Graham about how RDT’s continuous innovation and focus on empowering decision makers through data-sharing has driven his company’s success and growth in challenging markets.
GM I’ve always been passionate about engineering and what it can do for end users. The medtech field is a fascinating and complex one whereby innovative engineering and technology has the potential to improve patient outcomes, as well as the opportunity to develop some fantastic products along the way. At the core of RDT, we’ve always developed products that focus on helping healthcare professionals to do their job better, in turn helping them to focus on their patients.
I see innovation from two perspectives. It’s bidirectional. We as an organisation continue to innovate by listening to our customers’ needs, but innovation is also driven through a technology led approach from our expertise, in-depth market understanding and, crucially, our ideas. Customers don’t always know what can be achieved through technology. The British military didn’t realise they could replace seven pieces of care monitoring equipment with one, smaller, lighter and more robust device until we demonstrated it was achievable.
On the flip side, the MOD challenged us to think if an anaesthetic gas module could be added to the monitor. Eighteen months later we’re launching it. This is an example of when innovation is prompted by the customer. RDT listens and delivers. The Tempus Pro monitor is now the vital signs monitor of choice for the MOD and many other NATO forces due to its superior usability, broad capabilities and data collection and sharing features.
We’re now innovating in a similar way in the civilian pre-hospital space. Ambulance services want to share patient data from the scene and ambulance to the hospital and to the rest of the care continuum, but no one is providing them with the right tools to integrate data in a user-friendly and secure way. This year will see the launch of our latest innovation, Corsium Suite, an advanced digital ecosystem which sits around our current Tempus monitoring technology to connect care, mine data and lead to more efficient resource allocation in the pre-hospital environment.
Paramedics and other frontline HCPs often find themselves alone in remote locations, without hospital infrastructure and additional medical help. It’s a tough and valuable job. Saving lives while making complicated treatment and patient transport decisions is challenging. It’s these front-line health workers who inspire us to develop technology that helps alleviate the pressure on them as much as possible so they can provide the best patient care possible.
Away from the pre-hospital environment, we are working with the European Space agency to enable real-time vital signs monitoring of astronauts landing from space in the most remote parts of the world. In another area we’ve also just been involved in helping Mark Beaumont achieve his world-record breaking round-the-world cycle in 80 days. Mark found himself in some of the most remote locations in the world and RDT’s vital signs monitor, the Tempus Pro, was pushing streams of rich medical data to doctors back in Scotland on a daily basis for analysis, giving them the opportunity to feedback to the performance team on the road and give peace of mind that Mark was healthy.
Fundamental to RDT’s success has been the ability to refine the product proposition to meet the users’ needs. To translate that into success you have to develop and invest in the business internationally. When RDT was starting out we set up a US subsidiary and invested in local sales resource. Although it seemed daunting at the time, I would say that’s been a major factor in driving our success.
Another factor is that RDT has never designed a product without first thinking about how to collect and share data, and how to make it as easy as possible to present insight from it. It’s in the DNA of the business. Our offering for ambulance services and the NHS isn’t about providing just another monitor and defibrillator, we’re looking to provide a solution that does the basics better than any other device whilst enabling paramedics and ambulance organisations to easily collect, share and mine encounter data to improve outcomes and resource utilisation. This will also have a positive impact on A&E services and enable commissioners to improve patient outcomes through better service planning.
When developing new products, companies must recognise that customers need to have a commercial path to procuring new technology. We are in the fortunate position that budget already exists for monitoring defibrillation. Tempus ALS combined with Corsium suite presents an opportunity for ambulance trusts to leverage this budget into significant operational and clinical benefits.
With growing patient populations requiring more healthcare support and treatment, the only way western economies can sustain that growth is through smarter use of medical technology. I think there’s no better sector to be in at the moment. As regards Brexit we’ve seen international sales increase this year. The future is looking very bright.
I would say the core of any business has to be about identifying customer needs, and developing, commercialising and implementing technology to meet those needs. Identifying and nurturing external champions in your field is essential, along with building a strong internal team to implement the innovation.
The shortfall in adult social care funding is predicted to be £5,000,000,000 by 2024/5. Mere money and staff (both of which are in increasingly short supply) ca fix the problem. But technology might be able to. Look out for our upcoming article on tech in social care by Helen Dempster of Karantis360.
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