Breathing life into accident treatment by hkksew3563rd


Breathing life                                                      ideas
into accident
                                                                    SPOTLIGHT ON A CURRENT PROJECT   #022

   A medical company is
   developing a new device,
   which could save the lives of
   people injured in accidents.
   At present, paramedics have
   to count chest movements
   over a period of time to assess
   the condition of patients
   treated in ambulances. It is
   a difficult and error-prone
   process because often,
   shallow breathing cannot
   be detected through heavy
   clothing such as a thick coat
   or padded anorak.
   Respiratory Rate Counter
   The Respiratory Rate
   Counter, codenamed respiR8
   by its creators Anaxsys
   Technology, automatically
   and continuously monitors
   a patient’s respiratory rate,
   which is the best indicator
   of a worsening medical
                                     in ambulances. respiR8 is
   condition. A sensor is
                                     based on the traditional check
   inserted inside a face mask
                                     to see if someone is still
   that delivers the enriched
                                     breathing after an accident by
   oxygen supply to the patient.
                                     holding a mirror in front of the
   The mask is placed over the
                                     patient’s mouth. If a patient
   patient’s mouth and nose and
                                     is breathing, condensation is
   is fitted in the traditional way
                                     produced. respiR8 works in a
   with an elastic band around
                                     similar way. The moisture from
   the head.
                                     the patient’s breath condenses
   After producing a hospital        on the sensor to produce a
   version of the device, Anaxsys    signal. The mask is connected
   was given another £100,000        via a cable to an electronic
   under the Government’s            monitor, which displays the
   SBRI (Small Business              current respiratory rate as well
   Research Initiative) scheme       as a graph of its movement in
   to develop a device for use       the previous hour.
‘SBRI has been invaluable in helping us to develop
 our technology. The fostering of innovation will
 allow the NHS to do more for less and will result
 in a huge step forward for patient care.’

    respiR8 is accurate to within
    one breath per minute
    compared with a nurse with a
    stopwatch’s accuracy rate of
    plus or minus four breaths per
    minute. The original idea came                                 COMPETITION
    from an anaesthetist who
    suggested fitting a sensor into
    an oxygen mask.                                                Putting patient safety first
    As part of a feasibility
    study for the ambulance                                        The Strategic Health Authority in                          years. Effective respiratory rate
    respiR8, the hospital device                                   the East of England, together with                         monitoring means that healthcare
    was shown to paramedics                                        the East of England Development                            professionals can intervene early
    then modified. The initial                                      Authority and the Technology                               and according to Robert Winter,
    ambulance respiR8 prototype                                    Strategy Board, ran a competition                          clinical director for the East of
    works on batteries rather than                                 to find ways of improving patient                           England NHS, it will: ‘save lives
    mains electricity and is more                                  care and to eradicate errors. The                          and save the NHS money.’
    robust so it will bounce when                                  particular focus was on patient                            Under this SBRI programme,
    dropped. It is also smaller so                                 safety.                                                    Anaxsys Technology, was one
    it can be attached to a patient                                According to NHS statistics,                               of 11 companies working on
    or an ambulance cart.                                          ambulances attended 6.15 million                           devices, products and services to
    The hospital device should                                     emergency calls in England in                              meet healthcare priorities, to be
    come to market in October                                      2008-09, an increase of 4.4% over                          awarded development grants of
    2010 with Anaxsys aiming                                       the previous year. The volume of                           up to £100,000.
    to develop the ambulance                                       emergency and urgent calls to
    version into a production                                      ambulances has been increasing
    model by 2013.                                                 at around 5% per year over recent

     SBRI is a pan-government process,                             KEY FEATURES
     supported by the Technology Strategy                          • Competition is demand-driven by                          • Fast-track, simplified process

     Board, to drive innovation. SBRI                                 a defined challenge                                      • Particularly suitable for small and
     competitions use the power                                    • Stimulates the creation of innovative                       medium-sized businesses
     of government procurement to:                                                                                            • Government department acts as
                                                                      new products or services
     • provide innovative solutions to                                                                                           the lead customer
                                                                   • Operates under EU pre-commercial
        public sector challenges                                                                                              • Intellectual property is retained
                                                                      procurement guidelines
     • and business opportunities for                                                                                            by the company
                                                                   • Fully-funded development contract
        technology companies.
                                                                      – not a grant

The Technology Strategy Board is a business-led executive non-departmental public body, established by the Government. Its role is to promote and support research into, and
development and exploitation of, technology and innovation for the benefit of UK business, in order to increase economic growth and improve the quality of life. It is sponsored by
the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS). T: 01793 442700

T10/047 September 2010

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