Tim Craft, the Chief Executive of Bath-based Somnus Scientific, has been appointed a Visiting Professor in the Faculty of Environment and Technology, at the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol).
Professor Craft will be working with the Institute of Bio-Sensing Technology based in the Enterprise Zone at UWE Bristol. Uniquely, the Institute integrates a broad range of expertise to perform collaborative research and development to create novel biosensing technology and acts as a catalyst for the exchange of knowledge between academia and industry.
Professor Richard Luxton, Director of the Institute of Bio-Sensing Technology, explains the benefits for UWE Bristol of this new appointment: “Professor Craft is a highly-respected consultant anaesthetist, who also has significant experience in the business world.
"Through his role as Director for Research and Innovation at the Royal United Hospitals, Bath NHS Foundation Trust, Tim has an in-depth understanding of where innovation is needed in healthcare and how to get new technology adopted by the NHS. This knowledge and experience will be invaluable to the university’s students and researchers who strive to contribute to the development of the NHS and to the support of patients. In addition, the university welcomes a strategic relationship with Somnus Scientific, as a regional business, particularly as this will support the progression of UWE Bristol research to impact in the form of new medical products.”
Somnus is developing a suite of products, using a unique biosensor, to measure blood propofol concentration at the point of care. This can be used in Intensive Care Units or in operating theatres to help clinicians accurately assess how unconscious a patient is. This biosensor has been developed in collaboration with researchers from the Institute of Bio-Sensing Technology.
Professor Craft explained: “There is mounting evidence that patients given sedation are frequently over-sedated. As a result, they take longer to get off breathing machines, stay in ICU longer than they need to, and are less likely to survive. Propofol is the most used sedative in the majority of Intensive Care Units, but there is currently no way of measuring how much is in the patients’ blood stream in real-time.
“Despite increasing evidence of benefits to patients and the environment of using Total Intravenous Anaesthesia (TIVA) rather than volatile or gaseous anaesthesia, adoption of TIVA by clinicians is limited partly by the lack of a real-time blood propofol concentration monitor.
“Somnus Scientific Limited is developing a suite of products to fill these gaps and I look forward to continuing my work with the Institute for Bio-Sensing Technology at UWE to progress the research and deliver products that will benefit patients, clinicians and the environment.
“I am delighted to be appointed as a Visiting Professor as this will strengthen the partnership between Somnus and the University and help to ensure rapid progress of the Somnus products to market thus supporting patients who are given propofol. The appointment will give me an opportunity to utilise my clinical expertise as a consultant anaesthetist, as well as my business experience to educate students and researchers; hopefully inspiring the next generation of health professionals and medical technologists!”