Accelerate unlocks radiotherapy treatment potential

Accelerate Associates is delighted to report on the progress of Medibord Limited, designer and custom manufacturer of medical imaging table tops and accessories.

Jonathan Richards, Medibord CEO, said: “We approached Accelerate Associates in 2009 to carry out market research for us in the field of medical imaging. We manufacture composite panels for a number of different industries and were approached by the engineering department at Nottingham City Hospital to develop an imaging table top for their MR scanner. We wanted to gain an in depth understanding of the medical imaging market to determine whether the table top project had wider application in the global market.”

A course of radiotherapy requires a patient to be placed in exactly the same position for repeated treatments. The patient is scanned using a CT machine to locate the tumour and plan the treatment. However, MR scanners can often provide images with superior tissue definition – showing the exact location of the tumour. Typically MR table tops are curved and radiotherapy treatment couches flat so a flat table top must be retro-fitted to the MR scanner.

Accelerate identified a significant demand from medical physics departments wishing to overlay CT and MR scans to improve the planning process for radiotherapy of cancers. The research demonstrated Medibord’s unique properties render the material a realistic alternative to carbon fibre, the material commonly used to produce imaging table tops.

In addition to identifying a potential global market for the Medibord material, Accelerate made recommendations to execute a clinical review at Nottingham City Hospital and to exhibit the Medibord material at Medica to attract interest from CT and MRI scanner manufacturers.

Jonathan commented: “Following the research, we exhibited at Medica and received a fantastic reaction from the scanner manufacturers. Since the completion of the project, we have worked closely with the team at Nottingham City Hospital to review and compare images using Medibord table tops versus carbon fibre table tops. We have also been able to attract development funding to the business and have won a number of innovation awards in recent months.”

Accelerate Associates specialises in providing bespoke market research solutions to support new product development and commercial decision making in medical and technology markets.

“The Medibord project is an excellent example of an Accelerate innovation market assessment. Radiotherapy is a very precise treatment and results in the cure of about 40% cancer cases in the UK – any means to improve the accuracy of the treatment can make a significant improvement to patient treatment” commented Philippa Bevan, Partner at Accelerate Associates.


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