Reflections on the RSM Innovation in Urology meeting

Tom McNicholasInnovation, regulation, excitement, even inspiration! New ideas, how to protect and develop them, and a revolutionary proposal to give them away free!! All these proposals were on show recently at the Innovation in Urology day at the RSM in London.

Sponsored by the RSM Section of Urology and The Urology Foundation (TUF), and put together by Tom McNicholas and Rik Bryan, the meeting on 26 February 2016 covered: drug development (what’s coming and how can we streamline and improve novel drug development so they don’t cost billions); new genetic advances coming but some already in a regional lab near you (such as VHL and BRCA); device development – and how that process can be learned and taught!

Lastly, the future is a different country (as LP Hartley almost said) so Mark Speakman and Tim O’Brien grabbed their passports and explored that place to finish the meeting. Mark wondered, are we and our junior colleagues clear what we want from our professional bodies and how should we be training and preparing for a future career in urology? Tim outlined more technological possibilities.

Reflections? There were a few:

  • With population and cost increasing we must innovate but must do it better, cutting delays and needless expense from development and regulation – and even NICE agree!
  • Protecting ideas may stimulate the potential device inventor, but how about giving novel molecules away for free as Chas Bountra suggests? His generosity might still end up with a developer selling the ‘free’ new molecule as a drug at a higher price than the NHS can pay!

View the following materials associated with this meeting:
Meeting report by Tom McNicholas
Video highlight: What’s new in renal cancer therapy? by Rob Jones
Video highlight: A new approach to drug discovery by Chas Bountra

What has been your experience of innovation in healthcare? Should we and can we do it better? Please leave a comment below – we would love to know what you think.

Comments (4) Add yours ↓
  1. Roger Kirby

    Thanks Tom
    This was a really special meeting. Urologists have always been innovators as well as early introducers of new technologies, including robots and lasers. I’m not sure that the NHS really promotes and supports innovation as much as it could. There are so many things in healthcare that we could do better in the future. I will be interested in other clinicians comments. Do add them to this blog.

    March 17, 2016 Reply
  2. Mike Kirby

    Sounds like this was a meeting not to be missed
    Gutted that I did so due to a prior arrangement, well done Tom for creating what sounds like a really great programme

    March 17, 2016 Reply
  3. Rik Bryan

    Thanks Tom – a great summary of an excellent meeting.

    With all of the “fire-fighting” in the NHS at the moment, it is sometimes difficult to peek out of one’s bunker to “horizon scan”. But that is what we must do in order to prepare for tomorrow’s challenges, and that is what we achieved in this meeting.

    March 17, 2016 Reply
  4. Matthew Bultitude

    I agree. I very much enjoyed the day and certainly not the topics you get from just attending mainstream meetings such as BAUS and EAU. Urology has always been a very innovative speciality and it looks like that will continue although certainly there are challenges to this with increasing regulation and less financial support available for novel ideas.

    March 22, 2016 Reply

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