Medical experts turn out in force for Diagnostics North East 2019

Innovation, collaboration and early conversations are key to progressing new diagnostic tests and devices for patient benefit, an audience of healthcare experts heard.

Diagnostics North East, which launched last year to create a joined-up diagnostics infrastructure for industry, academia and healthcare in the region, hosted its second annual conference in Newcastle with this year’s theme focusing on ‘Diagnostic Development in Practice’.

A sell-out audience including researchers, clinicians, patients and representatives from industry, heard from speakers representing different areas of the diagnostics sector who shared industry insights, challenges and success stories of innovative diagnostic technologies that have improved patient care.

Supported by the Academic Health Science Network for the North East and North Cumbria (AHSN NENC), Newcastle University and Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, the annual Diagnostics North East conference showcases the world-class diagnostic resources and expertise available to support innovators in the robust development, evaluation and adoption of new diagnostic technologies into healthcare systems.

Chair of the Diagnostics North East Steering Group, Dr Michael Wright, who is Consultant Clinical Geneticist and Deputy Medical Director at Newcastle Hospitals and Associate Clinical Lecturer at Newcastle University’s Faculty of Medical Sciences, said:

“We’re thrilled with the turn out and response to our second Diagnostics North East conference. It provides a rare opportunity for representatives from across the sector to meet with peers, share ideas and learning and to spark new, meaningful relationships that could lead to future collaborations.

“It’s crucial that the NHS, industry and academia work together to push through innovations. The NHS is a complex landscape, but we have a shared collective aim to make sure that what we do is safe and delivers the healthcare outcomes that our patients need.

“The key to accelerating adoption of new technologies within the NHS is early conversations, and that’s what Diagnostics North East is trying to drive. If we talk to each other in a meaningful way from the outset, we can make sure the products that are developed are the ones that can be effectively evaluated and reach adoption stage. And, more importantly, that they will be sustained which will benefit everyone including industry, the NHS, academia, the local economy and our patients.”

Speakers at the conference, which was held at the International Centre for Life in Newcastle on April 11, included: Dr Michael Dalrymple, LifeArc; Doris-Ann Williams MBE, BIVDA; Professor Amar Rangan, South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust; Dr Malcolm Brodlie, Newcastle University and Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust; Professor Neil Watson, Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust; Dr Séamus O’Neill, AHSN NENC; and Dr Vicky McFarlane Reid, Leica Biosystems.

Russ Watkins, Commercial Director at the AHSN NENC, said:

“This year’s Diagnostics North East conference once again highlighted the extensive diagnostic infrastructure we have in the region. The support and resources available to industry partners in the North East spans keys areas from development to research, evaluation to adoption and diffusion, and patient cohorts to tissue repositories.

“We have all the vital ingredients to foster innovative collaborations that will help bring new diagnostics tests to the NHS, ultimately, improving outcomes for patients.

“It was fantastic to see our friends and colleagues from across the diagnostics pathway come together to collaborate, learn from each other and to inspire the continued growth of our collaborative work through Diagnostics North East.”

More information about Diagnostics North East and its ability to offer integrated design, development, evaluation, adoption and horizon scanning on can be found at:


Notes to Editors

 Diagnostics North East is a unique, joined-up diagnostics infrastructure to help industry partners develop, evaluate and encourage adoption of new diagnostic tests. It is delivered in partnership between the Academic Health Science Network for the North East and North Cumbria, Newcastle University and Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

More information on Diagnostics North East can be found at:

 For further information, please contact:

Ruth Lawson, Communications Consultant at the AHSN NENC at [email protected] or call 07952 980 545, AHSN NENC, Room 2.13, Biomedical Research Building, The Campus for Ageing and Vitality, Nuns’ Moor Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE4 5PL.