SHIL has a strong record in producing spin-out companies on behalf of NHS Scotland. Each company has been set up to market healthcare innovations that originated from NHS Scotland employees.

Working with a variety of healthcare professionals, ideas can range from simple innovations to highly technical research products. Our support spans project management, market research, funding, intellectual property protection, spin out set up, sourcing partners and general advice on commercialisation. 

  • Touch Bionics

    Touch Bionics began as an idea from NHS Lothian and became the first SHIL spin-out company.

    An initial SMART award from Scottish Enterprise got the company started, and it has now received investment funding from existing and new investors, including Archangel Informal Investments, TriCAP, Clydesdale Bank and the Scottish Co-investment Fund.The company was initially called Touch EMAS, EMAS standing for Edinburgh Modular Arm System. In 2005 it was re-branded Touch Bionics to communicate the dynamism of the company's products and the future focus of its prosthesis technology. In medicine, bionics means the replacement or enhancement of organs or other body parts by mechanical means.


    The i-limb is the first powered prosthetic hand to incorporate articulating fingers. The i-limb hand has helped amputees across the world to improve their everyday lives. 

    In April 2016 Touch Bionics was acquired by Ossur and continues to lead the world in development of upper limb prosthetic technologies.

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  • Cardioprecision

    Cardioprecision Ltd is an award-winning company, developing high quality medical devices for minimally invasive cardiovascular surgery. Currently its primary focus is on medical instrumentation dedicated to minimal access aortic valve replacement (AVR).

    Open heart AVR is the gold standard surgical treatment for advanced aortic calve disease. However, it requires splitting the breastbone (sternotomy). This inflicts significant patient trauma, requires extensive recuperation and may result in life-threatening complications. Therefore, there is a pressing need for innovation that allows surgical AVR to be performed minimally invasively.

    CadrioPrecision Ltd is developing a medical device to allow the surgeon to perform AVR through a small incision without sternotomy. This minimally invasive technology will cause less pain and lead to earlier mobilisation and recovery from surgery. It will not only improve the patient’s quality of life but also provide substantial economic savings to health service providers. This will be achieved through value-creating reductions in operating time, blood loss, transfusion requirements, infection rates, intensive care utilisation and hospital stay.

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  • Ambicare Health

    Ambicare Health is a spin-out company from NHS Scotland via Scottish Health Innovations Ltd (SHIL) and St Andrew's University.

    Ambicare's light-emitting source, which will revolutionise the treatment of skin cancer, was created at Ninewells Hospital, Dundee and has been further developed into products for the treatment of acne and for wrinkle reduction. These new developments open up wider markets for the company and further enhance future success of Ambicare. Ambicare Health Ltd (previously known as Lumicure Ltd) has developed a portfolio of wearable light sources for medical and consumer healthcare applications.

    The company's products build upon patented technologies in ambulatory lighting for skin treatment and are sold under the brand name Ambulight. The company's first medical product, Ambulight PDT, is a light-emitting sticking plaster for the treatment of non melanoma skin cancer (NMSC).

    This CE marked medical device launched in Europe in October 2009. Ambulight PDT is a simple and easily applied, light emitting plaster, used in photodynamic therapy treatment (PDT). PDT is a well established alternative to surgery for many forms of skin cancer.

    In addition to medical devices, Ambicare develop consumer healthcare phototherapy products. For example, Lustre Pure Light delivers clinically proven portable blue light therapy to fight spots and acne.

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  • Clear Surgical

    Clear Surgical was set up in 2013 as a spin-out from SHIL. The medical device company aims to improve and develop innovative solutions to surgical problems. 

    Products include the only disposable self-retaining illuminated retractor for improving the field of light in surgical cavities and also the cannulated reduction forceps that act as a universal guidance system for use in treating fractures for orthopaedic patients. The Cannulated Reduction Forceps facilitate the placement of equipment and implants such as surgical screws, suture systems and K-wires with considerable accuracy and ease.

    The Oplight is designed for use by medical professionals carrying out open cavity surgery and will provide retraction for surgical incision while using small, in-built LED technology to illuminate the part of the body being operated upon.

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  • Aurum Biosciences

    Aurum Biosciences Ltd is a spin-out company of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and the University of Glasgow.

    Aurum’s strategy is to build a pipeline of innovative products that addresses targeted unmet medical needs, thus improving treatment options for patients and physicians alike while simultaneously adding value to shareholders’ investment.

    The first target is Acute Ischaemic Stroke (AIS). The pre-clinical studies are in the final stages of completion, allowing entry into a Phase 2a trial in stroke patients in the near future. A full clinical programme will follow. In parallel, Aurum is developing its pipeline products for other therapeutic areas of high unmet medical need

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