Watercress, Nappies and GP Trainees

Dr Kyle Stewart

Dr Kyle Stewart - TDMS Award Winner 2017

On Thursday 19th April, Kyle Stewart, GP trainee, NHS England Clinical Entrepreneur Fellow and Peninsula Leadership Scholar, opened our eyes to the world of innovation, quality improvement and research in modern medicine.
Kyle took us on his journey as a trainee doctor who paused to ask "Why?" and "Could we do this better?"
From the medicinal properties of watercress, to improved hygiene of bedpans, and the application of advanced 3D modeling and printing technology, we were led through a whirlwind of innovation.
His fascinating and enthusiastic presentation marked Kyle out as a worthy winner of the inaugural Torquay and District Medical Society bursary.

When is a drug a drug?

Never before had I considered that the watercress in my summer salad was a drug.
Kyle opened our eyes, sharing his current research into the health benefits of watercress.
He moved us seamlessly from the lab with its mass spectrometer to the field, literally, spraying crops and collecting samples. He shared his hope that this work may allow the development of new products.
Bandages that reduce fungal infections. Nappies that prevent nappy rash.
This is probably only the start for Kyle.
His creative mind is already leaping ahead considering other applications, ideas and projects.

Can a bedpan prevent infection?

While there are hospitals there will always be bedpans.
Unlike the average medical trainee, Kyle didn’t simply accept this. He asked whether there was a better design?
Something more dignified and more sanitary.
This was the start of a journey into the world of innovation, design and patents.
Now his bedpan with a lid is about to be launched in 3 NHS Trusts.
Not stopping there, Kyle tried to answer the question of how we identify patients with infectious diarrhoea, early in their visit to hospital, to minimise the risk of spread.
Coming full circle, it seems that it may be possible to test the gas from a bedpan and use that to gauge risk of infection.
All thanks to the bedpan lid!

When Art meets Medicine

Most of us browse BBC news online as mere observers.
Kyle spots ideas and opportunities.
It was on the BBC website that he first read of the Glasgow School of Arts technology. Technology that allowed them to create a 3D map of Mount Rushmore, and other monuments worldwide.
With some creative thinking and a few sideways steps they used this technology to map the human body in the Definitive Human Project.
We were enthralled by images of the human head viewed in layers that allowed us to see the musculature, the bones, blood vessels or nerves.
The image is 3-D and is able to be rotated or viewed from any angle.
The surgeons in the room looked on in envy!
Kyle shared ideas of how this technology could be matched with an individual patient’s anatomy with significant clinical benefits.
From advance planning of hip prosthesis size to 3-D printing of replacement body parts.
Kyle has secured a licence to use the Glasgow School of Arts software so it is exciting to think how this could benefit patients in Torbay and support our students of the future.

Could innovation save the NHS?

Most of us are acutely aware of the current pressures experienced by staff in the NHS.
The need to focus on recruitment and retention is vital to maintain a high quality workforce.
Our audience was left in no doubt that we must foster the next generation of doctors to let them grow their interests and skills beyond clinical medicine and listen to their ideas.
If we provide the right environment for these innovators, we will retain our bright, enthusiastic doctors and enable them to make a real difference.

Review by Helen Waters