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BPA Trustee Professor Bryan Williams wins national award for outstanding contribution to innovation and technology
29/11/2011


A revolutionary device for measuring blood pressure developed by the University of Leicester in collaboration with biotech SME HealthStats in Singapore and the NHS has won the Times Higher Education Award.

Professor Bryan Williams, founding Trustee of the Blood Pressure Association, Professor of Medicine at the University of Leicester and consultant at University Hospitals of Leicester worked in academic partnership with Singapore biotechnology company HealthStats to develop a sophisticated wristwatch device which uses a sensor on the wrist to record pulse waves. Computerised mathematical modelling of the pulse waves then enables scientists and doctors to accurately determine the blood pressure close to the heart.

This is a first-of-its-kind device which could revolutionise the way blood pressure is measured and monitored. Patients who have tested the new device found it easy to use and comfortable.

High blood pressure is a major cause of heart attack and stroke in the UK with an estimated 16 million sufferers.

CEO of the Blood Pressure Association, Paul Newman said,

The Blood Pressure Association is delighted for Bryan. He is a founding Trustee of the charity, a valued supporter and a well-respected expert in his field. He should be extremely proud of this achievement which could benefit so many people with high blood pressure.”

Professor Williams said,

“I am thrilled that our work and that of colleagues in Singapore has won this award for outstanding contribution to innovation and technology. This is the kind of academic/industry partnership that is essential to take forward ideas into practice changing innovation.

“I am under no illusion about the magnitude of the change this technique will bring about. It has been a fabulous scientific adventure to get to this point and it will change the way blood pressure has been monitored for more than a century.

“Leicester is one of the UK’s leading centres for cardiovascular research and is founded on the close working relationship between the University and the Hospitals which allows us to translate scientific research into patient care more efficiently. 

The University of Leicester’s contribution to this discovery work was supported by funding from the Department of Health's National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).

Professor Williams continues,

“Key to our contribution to this work has been the support from the NIHR without which we would not have been able to contribute to this tremendous advance.

“The support of the NIHR has been invaluable in backing us to take this project from an idea to the bedside. Critical to the success of this project has been the synergies of combining clinical academic work here with HealthSTATS and their outstanding medical technology platform in Singapore. This has been the game-changer and I really do think this is going to change clinical practice.”

The Award, sponsored by Elsevier, was made at a glittering ceremony at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London.

ENDS

Notes to editors

For further information, please contact Claire McLoughlin at the Blood Pressure Association’s Press Office on 0208 772 4992 or email bpacomms@yahoo.co.uk

  • The Blood Pressure Association is the UK’s leading blood pressure charity, providing information and support to people with high blood pressure and raising awareness about the prevention of the condition. For more information visit www.bpassoc.org.uk or call 020 8772 4994.
  • The University of Leicester’s contribution to this discovery work was supported by funding from the Department of Health's National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). The NIHR has invested £3.4million with a further £2.2million Capital funding from the Department of Health to establish the Biomedical Research Unit at Glenfield Hospital, Leicester, dedicated to translational research in cardiovascular research.
  • The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) provides the framework through which the research staff and research infrastructure of the NHS in England is positioned, maintained and managed as a national research facility. The NIHR provides the NHS with the support and infrastructure it needs to conduct first-class research funded by the Government and its partners alongside high-quality patient care, education and training. Its aim is to support outstanding individuals (both leaders and collaborators) working in world-class facilities (both NHS and university) and conduct leading-edge research focused on the needs of patients. www.nihr.ac.uk


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