Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy (PCNL) is a complicated process of removing large or complex kidney stones and typically carried out by senior surgeons. With the Percutaneous Access to Kidney Assist Device (PAKAD), an innovation developed by the team at the Institute of Technical Education (ITE), the surgery is set to become simpler, safer and shorter. The device uses precision engineering mechanisms to align the needle with the target, ensuring higher accuracy and reducing the risk of surgery complications and recovery periods.

ITE first demonstrated the PAKAD prototype at TechInnovation, IPI’s flagship technology-industry brokerage event in 2013. HCMT Holdings Pte Ltd (HCMT) was keen to pursue a joint collaboration to further develop and commercialise the device. Through Invivo Medical Pte Ltd, a start-up funded by HCMT, PAKAD will be commercialised and a licensing agreement was signed between Invivo, ITE, National University Hospital (NUH) and National University of Singapore (NUS) on 29 August 2017. PAKAD is expected to reach the market by Q2 of 2019.

“This is an excellent example of industry-institution partnership to develop innovative and integrated solutions to improve productivity and processes. We are grateful to NUH, NUS and Invivo Medical, to enable ITE to create and patent the PAKAD for safe kidney surgery,” said Ms Low Khah Gek, CEO, ITE.

“The route to commercialising innovation can be a long one. We are delighted that the technology match that stemmed from TechInnovation four years ago has come to fruition and will be available in the market in the near future. The success of this collaboration is underpinned by the unique expertise each partner brings and their shared commitment to bring this innovation to market,” said Dr Sze Tiam Lin, Senior Director, IPI.