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2011 Market Research Project Abstracts

Technikos LLP - Mr Stephen Brindle

The Market Potential for Personal Health Monitoring

Is there a commercial opportunity for a company to offer customers a complete personal health and environmental monitoring service, which can be controlled via the internet and/or a mobile phone?  The monitoring could, for example, take the form of vital signs (heart rate, blood pressure etc) or gas or smoke detection in the home.

The student will examine existing and possible future business models, including the use of existing open source software. Several markets will be explored, including public (such as the NHS), private (such as many US institutions), or hybrid models such as in developing countries.

GSMA - Mr Richard Cockle

The Global Potential for mHealth

This project seeks to explore the global potential for wellness monitoring through mobile phone technology and the associated hardware that might couple to mobile phones. The student will explore the changing patterns of mHealth monitoring and personal health records (PHRs), including the commercial, patent and regulatory landscape. Privacy and standards for inter-operability will also be explored together with potential metrics for evaluating impact of mHealth.

Lein Applied Diagnostics Ltd - Dr Dan Daly

Scanning Confocal Meter for Biomedical Metrology

The purpose of this market research project is to perform a critical analysis of Lein’s scanning confocal technology and the patents protecting it, review the possible applications for the technology and then map where the most feasible markets are and how they fit together in terms of time to market, size of market, risk etc.

At the moment the primary application of the technology is the non-invasive measurement of glucose for people with diabetes. The goal for this market is a handheld meter with the look and feel of a mobile phone that the user simply looks into to get a reading of their glucose level. Although most of Lein’s effort is concentrated on this market other opportunities such as the non-invasive measurement of drugs in the body (pharmacokinetics) and the early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease have also been highlighted as attractive possibilities.

The overall goal would be to recommend new market opportunities and highlight the technical and patent filing steps necessary to enable Lein to address those markets.

Stowood Medical - Dr Lyn Davies

Sleep Diagnosis on the Mobile Phone

Up to 3-5% of the world may have undiagnosed sleep apnoea, with many more having other sleep complaints. Diagnosis can be time consuming and many people are reluctant to take the time. Several iPhone applications for measuring and 'treating' sleep have appeared on the market, but with little to no evidence for their scientific validity. This project seeks to explore the market for  sleep quality evaluation using a smart phone, including existing systems, patents and possible regulatory issues. An analysis of the prevalence and effect of snoring and insomnia may also be useful.

Oxford Immunotec - Dr Ian Durrant

Immune Assays in Vaccine Research

The status of the immunoassays market in support of the development of new vaccines.

Radius Diagnostics - Mr Mark Evans

Patent Review for Novel Planar X-ray Source

Oxford University is helping innovative UK start-up Radius Diagnostics Ltd to develop its Intellectual Property (‘IP’) Strategy.  The original IP emanates from the University of California Los Angeles and is being developed under a Collaboration Agreement with a major Medical Solutions Manufacturer.

X-rays used in medical and security applications are still produced using 100 year old vacuum tube technology, and Radius believe that a planar ‘solid-state-like’ source will be as transformational in X-ray as such devices have been in visual displays.

Oxford University is always keen to support UK business in exploiting transformational technology, and is applying its insight gained from a range of similar emerging segments to assist this UK start-up.

Adherence Science - Mr Mark Evans

Patent Strategy Development for mHealth

Oxford University is helping innovative UK start-up Adherence Science Ltd to develop its IP Strategy.  mHealth is an interesting area for IP development due to a combination of leveraging existing infrastructure owned and operated by third parties; the aggregation of multiple existing technologies; the emergence of Open Standards; and the new business models developing in this emerging segment.

Oxford University is applying its insight gained from a range of similar emerging segments to assist this UK start-up.

Medtronic Inc - Dr Ursula Gebherdt and Mr David Landman

Market Assessment for Home/portable Dialysis in the UK – Opportunities and Challenges

This market research project should focus on a novel approach to out of hospital dialysis to improve clinical outcome and patient’s quality of life. Currently there are over 700/mill population patients in the UK with ESRD (End Stage Renal Disease) and only 80% are treated in the home environment, mainly with Peritoneal Dialysis. The opportunity lies in portable/ wearable easy to use dialysis systems, enabling more continuous dialysis to achieve better outcome and Quality of life. Even when technical challenges in miniaturization and simplification for patient operation remain, the anticipation to achieve the goal is high in the mind of physicians. The project should include evaluating the current patient care path, the barriers for home adoption and the reimbursement landscape in the UK.

Mirada Medical - Dr Mark Gooding

Image Processing in the Cloud

Currently two technologies are buzzwords in healthcare: "the cloud" and "the iPad". While there are many applications for both entering the market, the majority of these are developed for company marketing purposes rather than in response to genuine medical need. Mirada have existing image processing products and technologies which could be ported to be cloud-based applications. However, doing so may not be the best solution to the clinical problem. The project will research existing cloud-based products in healthcare, and seek to evaluate whether there is a true market for such products or whether the current trend is purely superficial.

Intelligent Ultrasound - Mr Andy Hill

Opportunities for improving obstetrics ultrasound and healthcare management during pregnancy

To undertake research (desk-based, via telephone interview and face-to-face interviews where appropriate) to estimate the risk of missed diagnoses and mis-diagnoses associated with routine ultrasound screening in the obstetric setting.

Phasecapture Ltd - Dr Brian Holcroft

Healthcare and Biomedical Imaging Opportunities for Low Cost, High Performance, Integrated, Multi-parallel Phase Sensitive Digital Imager

Identification of potential healthcare markets and opportunities for a innovative digital optical imager in the scientific and clinical research community. Having developed methodology to rank potential applications against instrument performance and attributes, perform detailed assessment of top candidate markets and identify possible strategies for promotion to appropriate customer base.

Coller IP Management Ltd - Dr Jackie Maguire

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Registering IP Offshore

Research is required to investigate the tax efficiencies of registering IP in different jurisdictions.  Each tax regime has different advantages and disadvantages.  Each regime is governed by different rules and audit which determines the manner in which decisions on IP must be made.  The student will examine each of these regimes and summarise their requirements.  A decision matrix will be developed suitable for use by a senior manager of a business.  A summary, suitable for display on Coller IP’s website (with due recognition to the author) will be produced recognising the sensitivities that may be required in communicating tax liabilities. The research will conclude by examining the preferred location to site IP in a biomedical engineering company.

Vicon Motion Systems Ltd - Ms Imogen Moorhouse

Vicon Revue – One Year On

Vicon Revue is a tool aimed at researchers and people with memory impairment.  Revue has been commercially available since April 2010.  Having up to date information on customers is vital both in terms of contact details and applications they’re using Revue for.  The objective of the research project is to generate potential marketing material and update the CRM database.

Novarix Ltd - Mr John Scott

The Precise Device

To carry out competitor analysis and identify routes to markets and potential distribution partners.

Corin Group - Dr David Simpson and Dr Simon Collins


Metal ion debris from Metal on Metal hip resurfacing causes a serious inflammatory response in some patients. The project involves researching into alternative technologies for resurfacing devices, and to produce an exploitation and business plan for the novel technology.

Corin Group - Dr David Simpson and Dr Simon Collins

RTKR – Revision Total Knee Replacement

Revision of total knee replacement is challenging for the surgeon and the engineer. This project will involve researching into revision knee systems, providing an IP search and generating a business plan for the commercialisation of a novel knee.