Innovation Award entrant – PFE Medical
A Stoke-on-Trent company has a developed and patented a piece of medical kit that could save lives around the globe.
PFE Medical, based in Fenton, has been working on the world’s first automated endoscope cleaner, called The Khamsin.
The first Khamsin is set to go into use in a hospital in Birmingham in spring to summer of this year.
PFE Medical is now working on a manufacture under licence agreement and aims to roll the kit out worldwide later this year.
Rob Hartley, Director and Founder of PFE Medical, says there are 450 endoscope units in the UK and approximately ten times that number in both Europe and the US. The Khamsin has the potential to revolutionise working practices in all of those.
He said: “It’s fairly well acknowledged that endoscopes are very difficult to clean and disinfect. People have been trying to find a way to clean them automatically for 40 years. We have patented that.”
Rob, who originally trained as an accountant, set up his company in 1990 and now has more than 40 staff and a multi-million-pound turnover.
He explained: “The Khamsin utilises nano-particles and ultrasonics to create oxygen bubbles on all of the surfaces of the endoscope. The implosion of these is 100% effective in removing both protein and pre-existing biofilms. The Khamsin would replace the manual cleaning of endoscopes thus benefiting the three million patients that have endoscopies each year in the UK.
“At least 32 multi-drug resistant organisms were found in 400 patients between January 2000 and January 2017 with 20 deaths; between October 31, 2018 and March 31, 2019 there were three deaths, 45 infections and 159 device contaminations due to inadequate reprocessing of duodenoscopes in the USA.
“The Khamsin is the only automated endoscope cleaner currently on the market, which eliminates human error as currently endoscopes are cleaned manually. The whole decontamination process is fully validated and is environmentally friendly.
“The cleaning efficacy is 100% effective on every endoscope for every patient, multiple successful tests have been completed on numerous bacteria and fungi, including Pseudomonas Aeruginosa and Escherichia Coli.”
PFE developed the Khamsin during a three-year knowledge transfer partnership with Aston University.
The company is also now working with both Staffordshire and Keele Universities including placements for two Staffordshire University students to work on R&D and marketing for the Khamsin.
Rob has now entered his company into the Innovation Award category of the Staffordshire University Business Awards.