Innovate UK grant award confirmed

MedaPhor initiates development of new Augmented Reality NeedleGuideTM system

MedaPhor Group plc (AIM: MED), the intelligent ultrasound software and simulation company, announces that it has today initiated the first phase of development of NeedleGuide, its new augmented reality imaging device, following confirmation of the Innovate award funding, conditionally announced in November last year.

The grant of £466,000 was awarded as part of Innovate UK’s Digital Health Technology Catalyst competition and will part-fund the development of MedaPhor’s NeedleGuide product, which the Company believes has the potential to revolutionise interventional ultrasound-guided needling.

Doctors use interventional needling in a variety of medical procedures including tissue biopsy, cannula insertion and administering regional anaesthesia, in a procedure known as peripheral nerve block (PNB).  For many of these procedures, including PNB, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommends that ultrasound guidance should always be used.

NeedleGuide aims to combine existing technology developed by MedaPhor, with expertise brought to the Group through the recent acquisition of Intelligent Ultrasound Ltd. The augmented reality headset projects the ultrasound view over the patient’s anatomy, highlighting the pathway the needle needs to follow to the target and then uses artificial intelligence to automatically track the needle tip to ensure that the operator is always aware of the needle’s position in relation to the key anatomical structures. This minimises the potential for user error and offers the opportunity for considerable savings to the hospital.

Commenting, Nicholas Sleep, Chief Technology Officer of MedaPhor, said:

“We are delighted to have officially started this new phase of product development. NeedleGuide has enormous potential to improve patient outcomes, reducing the time and cost of these difficult procedures. We believe that this technology could reduce the cost of needling to all hospitals and have significant export potential as a new and world-leading digital health technology.”


MedaPhor Group
Stuart Gall, CEO
Nicholas Sleep, CTO
Tel: +44 (0)29 2075 6534
Cenkos SecuritiesTel: +44 (0)20 7397 8900
Camilla Hume/
Bobbie Hilliam
(Nominated Advisor)
Michael Johnson/
Julian Morse
(Corporate Broking)
Walbrook PRTel: +44 (0)20 7933 8780 or
Paul McManus
Anna Dunphy
Mob: +44 (0)7980 541 893
Mob: +44 (0)7876 741 001

About MedaPhor (

MedaPhor (AIM: MED), the intelligent ultrasound software and simulation company, develops advanced hi-fidelity haptic and manikin based training simulators, clinical image analysis software tools, augmented reality based needle guidance software and artificial intelligence based automated scanning software for all medical practitioners.

Based in Cardiff and Oxford in the UK and Atlanta in the US, MedaPhor is split into two divisions:

Ultrasound Simulation and Training

Focuses on hi-fidelity ultrasound education and training through simulation. Its three main products are the ScanTrainerTM OBGYN and General Medical simulator training platform, the HeartWorksTM echocardiography simulator platform and the BodyWorks EveTM Point-of-Care simulator platform (launching January 2018). Over 500 MedaPhor simulators have been sold to over 300 medical institutions in over 30 countries around the world.

Intelligent Ultrasound

Focuses on developing augmented reality and deep-learning based algorithms to make ultrasound machines smarter and more accessible. ScanNavTMuses machine-learning based algorithms to automatically identify and grade ultrasound images to provide scan assessment and audit of obstetric scanning. NeedleGuideTM aims to simplify ultrasound-guided needling by using deep learning and augmented reality to provide the user with pathway guidance and automated tracking for a range of medical procedures.