Sunderland-based Design Right Solutions (DRS) has developed new breathing apparatus that could make life easier for people with cystic fibrosis.
DRS assisted marine engineer Chris Ball to develop PremiAir, a monitor which aims to replace the equipment currently used in Positive Expiratory Pressure (PEP) treatment, a technique which helps clear users’ airways and prevent infections.
Ball said: ‘At the moment PEP treatment is carried out using a pressure gauge and the user must count in their head. I became aware that the process was potentially problematic for young children who are easily distracted. I began thinking that, by using modern technology, I could perhaps find a way to improve the delivery of the treatment.’
Ball began developing a device to automatically assess times, measure pressure and ensure that users would complete their treatment fully. He then approached DRS electronic engineer Peter Warriner to help create a commercial product.
Warriner said: ‘The primary aim in its production was to ensure that the device delivered the treatment effectively. However, as the older equipment is somewhat cumbersome and many users are young people, we also concentrated on aesthetic elements, creating a sleek and simple device which is pleasing on the eye as well as easy to use.’
Now commercially available, the PremiAir records users’ treatments, replacing manual methods and traditional percussion physiotherapy. In November the device was nominated in the innovation category of the CELS Healthcare Network Business for Life Awards.