PROBLEM AND SOLUTION
When patients are admitted to hospital it is of the utmost importance to monitor their vital signs with accuracy. The current solutions require multiple systems and it is not possible to monitor all hospitalized patients. Currently 10% of patients in the UK are harmed during their hospital visit and this represents an extra cost to cover the additional length of stay. Sensium Healthcare develops and sells a low cost wearable patch to monitor the vital signs which will enable early detection of sepsis, cardiac arrest and respiratory depression. However, realiable data requires a good interface between the body and the monitoring system, and therefore careful skin preparation is the key to acquiring quality data. Despite this, in many situations such as emergency admissions, the skin preparation guidelines are not adequately followed because it is time consuming and adds a burden to the clinical flow. Moreover, the silicone gel becomes progressively hard over time and the reliability of the electrode-skin interface deteriorates during long term monitoring.
The Tyndall National Institute in Cork has developed a strong knowledge in the manufacturing of microneedles which has progressively evolved towards a proprietary process using a biocompatible polymer and metal coating. Those patches are painlessly applied without skin preparation and have already proven their potential to deliver accurate electrocardiography (ECG) measurements. The combination of TYNDALL’s technology with SENSIUM’s wearable patch was a perfect match between a problem and a potential solution.
HOW DID GATEONE HELP ?
At this stage of the respective technologies of both partners, it was important to move to a clinical proof of concept demonstrator. It was necessary to test these patches on real patients to record data under controlled conditions. The gateone-project was the perfect Open Innovation tool for this cross border experiment. The European funding was used by TYNDALL to pass the ethical clearances and deliver the probes in sufficient quantity and quality. SENSIUM invested resources and money to tailor their patch to accomodate the use of microneedles and recruited 12 patients on whom to perform the tests.