University of warwick science park blog

Cool idea to help patients

Pictured: Katharine Stein, Callum Stein, Tony Ley (all Hilotherapy UK) with Karen Aston (of the University of Warwick Science Park)

Business is hotting up for a Midlands-based medical company as its technology helps to keep hospital patients’ injuries cool.

Hilotherapy UK moved into the Venture Centre at the University of Warwick Science Park in March as it sets about increasing sales of its Hilotherm precision-controlled thermal healing technology.

The firm is the UK distributor for a German company, which developed the technology to lower the temperature of damaged tissue by sending cool water from a standalone device to a ‘cuff’ which is placed on the affected area of the body.

The temperature of the cuff remains constant and means it is much more effective than simply placing ice on the patient. It is proven to cut recovery times from both elective and urgent surgery, and reduces the level of painkilling drugs, such as morphine.

The German manufacturer holds 23 international patents on the technology and Hilotherapy UK is the only company licensed to sell the product in the UK and Ireland.

University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire is among the first NHS hospitals to buy the technology along with Chelsea & Westminster, Gloucester, Sheffield, York, Leeds and Bradford.

A host of private hospitals have also invested in the product and it is also attracting interest from sports clubs around the country too.

The firm moved to the University of Warwick Science Park to make use of its flexible space and also to work more closely with the University itself on developing further products.

Tony Ley, of HilotherapyUK, said: “The technology was first developed eight years ago but, because of the nature of the product, it has had to undergo strenuous clinical trials.

“The concept is simple but is very, very effective. A cuff is placed over the affected area of the body – that can be anything from someone arriving at A&E with a cheek fracture to someone who has just had a knee replacement.

“The Hilotherm device pumps cooled water to the cuff and the temperature remains constant for as long as is required.

“The clinical trials show that it cuts down on the recovery time of a patient and also the painkilling drugs required. In the long run, it can be a big cost-saver for the NHS because every day saved in someone taking a hospital bed, is a major benefit.

“The feedback is excellent and one hospital has been so impressed with the treatment that it is expanding its use of them already.”

He added: “We are delighted to be here at the University of Warwick Science Park. The facilities are excellent and we do see several potential new avenues for the product, which we would like to work on with the university.”

Karen Aston, manager of the Venture Centre, said: “This is another great example of some of the mould-breaking technology associated with the Science Park.

“Hilotherapy UK has a fascinating product which is already making inroads in the medical market and that looks set to continue.”