Thursday, December 8, 2011

A patient centered approach to the Depuy hip recall? What?...only in England.

Just thought you might want to review this link below.  Tom Joyce's group, the leading engineering experts in the depuy hip joint controversy in England, are undertaking a really interesting project. their premise is that while the the New England Jrnl of Medicine has branded the ASR recall a "public health nightmare, the needs and concerns of the patients and their families are often not hear or taken into account.

Taking a patient-centered approach, they will document and report their experiences, expectations and concerns in order to expand the discourse.  They will seek to open up the underlying narratives that accompany the medical devices and the uncertainty of patient and practitioners about understanding and dealing with nanoparticles in the human body. 

Yikes!  How exciting is this?  Were I Depuy, I would fund a project like this in 2 shakes of a lambs tail in the US.  They should spread some additional good will out there.  It would buy them a lot from the patients as would putting a fund together to fund the long term systemic issues surrounding this mishap. (just my digression.)

They just had a project funded to do the following:
  • record and document patinets' experiences with failed hip replacements and and in vivo nanoparticle release
  • support the patients in the North East of England in developing links with other stakeholders om  the UK, Europe and the world.
  • Bring together engineers and industry representatives with patients to discuss the 'lessons learned' from ASR.
The principles in the project will inform this patient centered project supported by a range of public dialogue opportunities:
  • website and twitter
  • public talks and Q and A events
  • a dedicated patient centered workshop
Outcomes will be available publicly on the web site as film clips, DVDs and mini posters.

Now Why can't the researchers in the US do this?  Why are England and Australia always the lead in innovative projects like this?

Here is the link to the Newcastle University announcement of this initiative:

Boy, wouldn't you love to have the opportunity to directly question experts in this field?  I would have a million questions as would most of you.  I will monitor the progress of this effort and advise.

Who is Tom Joyce? 


Tom Joyce is a biomedical engineer specialising in the design, testing, analysis and evaluation of artificial joints including hips, knees, shoulders and fingers. He works extensively with industry and clinicians in order to inform and improve future designs of artificial joints. As a professional engineer he takes an interest in patient experiences with joint replacements, particularly where these fail in-vivo.
He takes a holistic approach to engineering, feeding his research into teaching and supervision of students. He undertakes and oversees research into engineering pedagogy and has published in this area.


PhD Biomedical Engineering, University of Durham, UK
MSc (Eng) Tribology in Machine Design, University of Leeds, UK
BEng (Hons) Mechanical Engineering, University of Leeds, UK

Previous Positions

Lecturer in Biomedical Engineering, Department of Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering, National University of Ireland Galway (NUIG), Galway, Ireland. 2004-2005
Senior Research Associate, School of Engineering, University of Durham. 1997-2004
Action Research Training Fellow, School of Engineering, University of Durham. 1993-1996


Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and Chartered Engineer
Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
Member of the British Orthopaedic Research Society
Member of the UK Society for Biomaterials

Honours and Awards

2011: National Teaching Fellowship
2010: Vice-Chancellor's Distinguished Teacher Award.
2009: “Serum Cobalt Concentrations Post Hip Resurfacing Arthroplasty: Analysis of 585 Results” by D J Langton, S S Jameson, T J Joyce, K de Smet, and A V N Nargol. Prize awarded for this paper at the London Hip Meeting.
2009: BORS/ORS Travelling Fellowship allowed Tom to attend the ORS and AAOS meetings in Las Vegas before visiting five leading US orthopaedic research centres and showcase his research at these venues.
2008-09: ExxonMobil Excellence in Teaching award.
2008: Pulvertaft Prize awarded by the British Society for Surgery of the Hand.

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