Undergraduate students from the Technion Institute of Technology have invented a novel, non-invasive device “to detect respiratory problems at an early stage in premature babies, children and adults in intensive care units (ICU)”, according to the Jerusalem Post. The students created the device as part of an undergraduate project suggested by Professor Amir Landesberg and Dr. Dan Waisman of the Technion who founded Pneumedicare, the start-up making the device, just five months ago.
The device is currently in clinical trials in Israel and is due to start selling in mid-2009. Dr. Carmit Levy, the CEO of Pneumedicare explains how it works: “We place sensors on the sides of the chest and the upper part of the stomach of a premature baby who is attached to a respirator. By doing so, we can monitor lack of symmetry between the two lungs and the development of mechanical disturbances in lung ventilation.”
Unlike conventional devices, Pneumedicare claims that their device can immediately “detect deterioration in lung ventilation and partial blockage of air passages, ventilation from only one lung and other common problems” and also “less-common but still life-threatening complications such as the accumulation of air between the lungs and chest cavity walls. Early detection of such problems reduces the risks of complications, damage to vital organs and irreversible brain damage.”
With 245,000 American babies put on respirators every year, over $35 billion in annual costs for ICU care for both babies and adults, potentially huge savings for hospitals from a reduction in prolonged hopital stays and the prevention of life-long respiratory disabilities by early detection all point to a giant market opportunity.
For more check out the full story in the Jerusalem Post.
By Dani Dechter