‘Brainchild' of British Inventor

The unique and portable British MMS Cerebral and Cochlear Fluid Pressure Analyser has been granted Millennium Products status by the Design Council. The news was announced by the Secretary for Trade and Industry, Stephen Byers, in London on Monday 19 April, after Prime Minister Tony Blair challenged businesses to show that Britain is the creative powerhouse of the world.

Marchbanks Measurement Systems (MMS) Ltd, based in Lymington Hampshire, is the first and only company to develop revolutionary non surgical equipment to measure both cerebral and cochlear fluid pressures – that is fluid pressures around the brain and within the innermost parts of the ear.

The company is pioneering non invasive methods of diagnosing diseases of the ear and brain that will allow routine measurements in the doctor’s surgery without risk and discomfort to the patient. This, in turn, will provide significant cost savings by shortening in-patient stays and the need for unnecessary surgery. Research is also taking place with NASA, Johnson Space Center, Houston, USA.

Vivienne Michael, Chief Executive of Defeating Deafness, the UK charity which supported the development of the Analyser says 'this British invention is providing a new insight into the workings of the ear and this promises to provide significant benefits for the many thousands of people suffering from tinnitus and other hearing problems.'

Inventor and managing director, Dr Robert Marchbanks, is now hoping the Analyser will be selected for inclusion in the Millennium Dome.


Deafness affects 1 in 7 people, and 1 in every 1000 babies. Defeating Deafness, the Hearing Research Trust has made grants worth more than £3 million to support research into the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and cure of deafness.