PMD Solutions, an SME based in Cork, will receive €4.2 million in funding from the latest round of Horizon 2020 SME Instrument (Phase 2) to develop a new respiratory monitoring device to improve patient outcomes.
PMD Solutions is one of 38 innovative SMEs across Europe selected under this round for funding. The funding will be used to finance innovation activities like demonstration, testing, piloting, scaling up and miniaturisation, in addition to developing a mature business plan for their product. The companies will also benefit from 12 days of business coaching.
‘RespiraSense’ the world’s first continuous and accurate discrete sensor, measures the ‘mechanics of respiration’ (i.e. the way the chest and gut moves during breathing) to give medical staff the earliest signs of possible patient deterioration from conditions such as respiratory compromise, increasing severity of sepsis, worsening pneumonia, and oncoming heart attacks. The device, a discrete wireless sensor, is placed on the patient’s chest at admission and worn continuously until discharge to deliver highly accurate measurements, which is ideally designed for general ward patients who are alert and active.
Mr Myles Murray PMD Solutions founder explained that at the moment nurses visually count how many times a patient breathes per minute as there is no accurate technology available to do otherwise. These methods are highly subjective and as a result medical teams cannot rely on historical data to accurately predict patient outcomes, which can lead to delayed interventions and increased length of stay for the patient, which in turn reduces the amount of beds available for new patients.
“Respiratory rate is a key indicator of a patients general well-being so changes in this vital sign can be indications of respiratory compromise, increasing severity of sepsis, worsening pneumonia, and predict oncoming heart attacks – some of hospitals most frequently occurring adverse events. ‘RespiraSense’ is designed to continuously measure this vital sign, which if detected to be abnormal can help medical staff prevent these from happening with patients on the general ward. This can produce better patient outcomes and overall reduce length of stay for patients in hospitals and to free up beds – a current need for Emergency Departments nationwide.”
RespiraSense is currently being used in hospitals in Ireland (Galway University Hospital and Cork University Hospital as of December 1st), Germany, and Hong Kong. By the end of 2015 PMD plans to be actively used in 5-10 hospitals around the world. PMD plans to extend the application of its technology to monitoring Chronic Patients at home and also to support home screening of patients at risk of sleep apnoea – a sleeping disorder that can advance into other conditions if left untreated.
PMD, currently employing 10 exceptional individuals, plans to increase its team by 11 people over the next 18 months to grow its core functions – marketing and innovation.
“The entire team was thrilled with the news of this EU funding having previously applied to the SME Instrument twice before. With each submission we saw our ranking increase, and that process alone helped us to prepare for the future. This funding enables that future to become a reality much sooner. We are all looking forward to revolutionising respiratory monitoring and improving patient care.” Mr. Murray.