Institute of Cellular Medicine

Staff Profile

Dr Andrew Sims

Honorary Senior Lecturer

Background

Andrew is Head of the Northern Medical Physics and Clinical Engineering Department (NMPCE), Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. The Department has 110 NHS staff, and provides services in clinical measurement, clinical engineering,  imaging physics and radiation safety, rehabilitation engineering, medical device QA and health technology assessment. It has strong academic links with Newcastle University.

He is Director of the Newcastle & York External Assessment Centre (EAC) for the NICE Medical Technology Evaluation Programme. One of three such centres nationally, it is a partnership with York Health Economics Consortium. The EAC supports the preparation of national guidance for novel health technologies (devices, diagnostics, procedures) through critical appraisal, systematic review, research facilitation, establishment of clinical registries and technical testing.  

Andrew is a member of the management group of the NIHR Diagnostics Evidence Cooperative, Newcastle.

NMPCE has an established track record of developing novel medical devices and software, for use within the NHS and for wider adoption, in collaboration with industrial partners. Commercial devices include the first mercury-free manual sphygmomanometer, a haemodialyser for premature babies, a uroflowmetry device for home use and a device to achieve safer placement of central lines in small babies. The Unit has substantial expertise in CE marking medical devices; Andrew has experience in CE marking embedded software for medical devices.

Before joining the NHS, Andrew worked in spacecraft technology and in space environment interactions research. Development included embedded flight control software for two technology demonstrator satellites (STRV-1a/b) and radiation and plasma detectors for satellite missions. Research included spacecraft-plasma interactions (leading to a PhD), space radiation dose effects and interactions between cosmic radiation and electronic systems, including being first to measure the effects of cosmic rays on avionics at high magnetic latitudes and altitudes of commercial airliners.

Teaching activities include supervision of PhD students and trainee Clinical Scientists, lecturing (MSc in Clinical Science: Medical Physics, for Newcastle University) and assessor of 8 PhD students.

Qualifications

2015. MSc (Statistics), Distinction, University of Sheffield.

2010. Fellow, Institute of Physics (FInstP).

2000. Member, Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine (MIPEM).

2000. Clinical Scientist, Health Professions Council (HPC).

1991. PhD (Physics), University College London.

1986. BSc (Hons), Physics, 1st class, University of Newcastle upon Tyne.

 

Research

Current research interests include: exploring the use of routine health administrative data to assess clinical outcomes and complications; applying statistical process control techniques to the assessment of medical device training; development and assessment of novel techniques for assessing safety in ventilation; opportunistic detection of atrial fibrillation during blood pressure monitoring and using non-invasive optical techniques to diagnose and assess peripheral arterial disease.

Previous research interests have included medical image analysis (echocardiography and histology) and blood pressure measurement.

Teaching

MPY8001 (MSc Medical Physics), Year 1.

Publications