DanMedical Ltd, a computer-based medical equipment developer based in Inverness, recently signed a licensing agreement with the University of Glasgow's Faculty of Medicine, enabling them to bring a product to market that uses cutting edge diagnostic software developed at Glasgow.

The Business Challenge

The software in question, the University of Glasgow ECG Interpretation Algorithm, was developed by Professor Peter Macfarlane more than 30 years ago. A set of mathematical equations built into a software program, it brings the variables of gender, age, race, medication and clinical history to bear when making an interpretation of a patient’s electrocardiogram (ECG). ECGs display the electrical signals a patient’s heart generates. Interpreting their results is a starting point for detecting many cardiac problems today.

For Ian Drysdale, Managing Director of DanMedical, working with Glasgow offered the vital missing link to getting a product to market. “We knew he had a product that would prove highly valuable to the healthcare market, but there was a final element we had to work on to get it to the stage of development required,” Ian explains. “We simply didn’t have the resources in-house to finish the job. Working with the University really has made all the difference to our business. There is such a wealth of expertise and specialist knowledge available.”

The Solution

DanMedical was referred from HI Links onto Interface - The knowledge connection for business.  The partnership with Glasgow was facilitated through Interface, a free matchmaking service that provides businesses with information about the specialist expertise, skills and research facilities available in all Scottish universities and research institutes.

It’s not the first time Professor of Electrocardiology Peter Macfarlane has seen his research help healthcare professionals. His first commercial partner was a prominent German electronics manufacturer in 1981, while in 2004, US-based company Quinton Cardiology Systems, won the Healthcare Independent Distributors Association Product of the Year award for an ECG recorder that featured software developed by the Professor.

“We’re always pleased to see the fruits of our research used in a practical environment,” Professor Macfarlane says. “The equipment developed by DanMedical is able to capitalise on the diagnostic know-how developed in our hospital lab over many years. We are delighted that a Scottish company has been able to benefit.”

The project is just one example of the many ways in which the University is collaborating with business to bring research into a practical environment. As well as offering access to academic knowledge through the department of Research and Enterprise, Glasgow is proud to be the first Scottish University to offer 'off-the-shelf' licence agreements through the innovative licences website. A specialist service is available for small and medium size enterprises - the Dialogues initiative - which aims to break down barriers and make knowledge more accessible. Meanwhile, Glasgow is also involved in the University Technology website, a service designed to give business easier access to university technology and a partner in the Interface service.