Scientists, designers, engineers and manufacturers working in the medical-devices sector are taking part in a three-day cardiovascular device design programme that kicked off in Galway this morning with the aim of helping such professionals apply principles of cardiovascular anatomy and physiology to the design of cardiovascular devices.
Consultants at the National University Hospital Galway have developed the programme along with the Irish Medical Devices Association (IMDA). On the last day of the programme, participants will also be exposed to a live heart surgery using medical technology via an audio-visual link from the cardiology department in Galway Regional Hospital.
Dr Faisal Sharif, a consultant cardiologist at University Hospital Galway and Principal Investigator at REMEDI, will be directing the programme to give med-tech professionals insight into how medical devices work with the human cardiovascular system. He will also be covering where future innovations and therapies are most likely to come from.
Speaking this morning, Sharif described the programme as a forum for industry-clinician-led interaction to discuss the most cutting-edge advancements, trends and therapies.
"This type of programme will ensure new and more effective medical products can make it to market quickly for the benefit of patients worldwide," he said.
Those attending the event include R&D engineers and technology and development managers from companies such as Medtronic, Cambus Medical, Shannon MicroCoil, Merit Medical, Boston Scientific and Creganna-Tactx Medical.
According to the IMDA's director Sharon Higgins, clinical and industry collaboration is opening up a major area of opportunity in Ireland for the development of new medical devices.
She said the success of the sector is being underpinned by the number of global and indigenous companies that are innovating in Ireland – more than 200 companies are currently based in the country. In addition, industry, academia and clinical institutions are also researching and developing leading-edge technology.
"Initiatives such as this specialist device design programme, combined with growing spend in R&D, will help to further build Ireland's reputation as a global med-tech innovation hub," said Higgins.
In the med-tech field, she said there are career opportunities across R&D, engineering, quality, sales and marketing disciplines.
"Nearly 1,700 jobs and €200m in investments have been publically announced across the sector over the past two years," said Higgins, adding that circa 42pc of all med-tech companies surveyed expect to recruit additional employees during the second quarter of 2013.