Thursday, September 20, 2007

ABC New Inventors Program 19sep07 - EzyVein by Dr Dane Horsfall

Did anyone happen to see the ABC (Australia) New Inventors Program last night?

There was quite a neat little device, the EzyVein, invented by Dr Dane Horsfall, for improving the success of cannulising veins in difficult patients. Here's a link for anyone interested...

I was pleased to see the panel refer to the process of clinical trialling for establishing appropriate design, efficacy and safety of the device. Discussions like this in open forums help remind the public that there is a process by which new medical devices and treatments come to the market, which involve testing on humans, ie clinical research. That process involves designing research studies with scientific merit, review of those studies by human research ethics committees before they are started (if there is deemed to be anything more than low risk involved in the project), then appropriate conduct, analysis and publication of the research.

We wouldn't have progress in medicine without a process for scientific discovery and translation of those ideas into clinical practice. Understanding that process is important for ensuring continued participation in research at all levels, whether as a research, research participant, or sponsor of research, or as final end user of the outcome of the research. After all, would the EzyVein have become anything more than an idea in Dr Horsfall's head if there wasn't someone willing to let him test the idea on them?

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