NeedleSmart is helping to reduce clinical waste in the UK | Loop Cayman Islands

The content originally appeared on: Cayman Compass

According to a statement, British smart MedTech company, NeedleSmart, is at the forefront of helping the British National Health Service (NHS) radically reduce CO2 emissions in its clinical waste disposal by a staggering 95 per cent as part of its Carbon Reduction Strategy, saving GBP10s of millions in clinical waste destruction.

Reducing CO2 emissions

To illustrate the possible impact of the use of NeedleSmart technology in the reduction of CO2 emissions, it was reported that if it had been used in the global COVID-19 vaccinations programme to deliver the 134 million vaccinations in the United Kingdom, the NeedleSmart technology would have saved the NHS 15,132 tonnes of CO2 annually, purely in relation to the vaccination programme.

This is equivalent to:

15,000 flights from London to New York66 million miles in a family car45,000 square metres of polar ice caps melting 39,600 trees storing atmospheric CO2 each year

Destruction of hypodermic needles

According to the press release, NeedleSmart’s award-winning NeedleSmart PRO (NS Pro) needle destruction device has achieved FDA approval as a Class II medical device, being the first UK company to achieve FDA 510(k) approval (Class II for Sharps Needle Destruction Device (NDD)).

The NeedleSmart device heats the needles inserted into a chamber to 1,300 degrees celsius, which will kill potential harmful pathogens, viruses and bacteria adhering to the needle. The contaminated hypodermic needle is destroyed in the sealed chamber in just six seconds.

Reduction in clinical waste

NeedleSmart’s innovative technology also offers the opportunity to move hypodermic needles, syringes and consumables associated with the injection/vaccination process, away from conventional sharps bins to a solution that allows recycling to become a possibility.

For example, by using the NeedleSmart device to compress needles , there could be a significant reduction in the needle footprint leading to a minimum of 50% increase in needle count per sharps bin.

Recycling

The use of the NeedleSmart technology also offers opportunities for recycling. This is because, previously, the entire needle would have had to be disposed into a plastic sharps box, but now, the clinical waste can be split into two parts, with the molten metal ball part of the clinical waste recycled as safe waste and the plastics recycled into the system. This represents a huge advancement for the NHS — which is one of the UK’s biggest producers of carbon – in reducing its carbon emissions and recycling its clinical waste.

Cutting costs

Commenting on the NeedleSmart technology, CEO and smart MedTech disruptor, Cliff Kirby said that “by adopting the NS PRO device, the NHS will enjoy a whole host of efficiencies in cost-savings and reduction in carbon emissions, in addition to crucial safety aspects.”

Regarding this, the NS PRO device can help the NHS save money and cut costs in a number of ways, including helping to reduce and eradicate the 100,000 needlestick injuries that occur every year that cost each NHS trust GBP500,000 each year and an estimated GBP127 million across England.

NeedleSmart also aims to offer the use of a 96 per cent recycled cardboard clinical waste box (when NS PRO is used) as a viable alternative to the current single-use sharps bins.

Lastly, the UK government plans to add a plastic tax of 20 per cent per tonne on single-use plastic packaging as of April this year, meaning the NS PRO and its clinical waste box presents a real reduction opportunity in this tax levy to the NHS.

As a UK SME, it is fantastic to work and collaborate with the NHS directly to drive forward innovations that will have a real and meaningful impact on climate change.

Kirby added.

Claire Liddy, Managing Director of Innovation at Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust said:

At Alder Hey, we have been innovating for the past 100 years. We want to ensure that we are always standing at the leading edge of clinical innovation, sustainability and the green tech space.

The technology presents lots of opportunities for us to also reduce waste and carbon ,which is a huge agenda for the NHS and Alder Hey as part of the NHS Carbon Reduction programme. We really want to be a hospital that is pioneering in the space of green tech. We think the NHS has a long way to go in the clean, green agenda, but we see the relationship between Alder Hey and NeedleSmart as being a great platform to achieve this as we work towards carbon net zero.

The partnership between Alder Hey Innovation Centre and NeedleSmart has a common purpose to innovate and disrupt. One of the biggest safety concerns for us across the NHS is needlestick injuries. So, we are excited to see how the technology can not only reduce those injuries, but also eliminate them all together.