Friday, 24 January 2020

Telford's Protolabs’ manufacturing award helps develop life saving monitoring system for hospital patients

A potentially life-saving system which monitors the vital signs of patients through a disposable wearable device is being developed for use in hospitals thanks to Protolabs’ European Cool Idea Award.

The Evo System, from Moon Labs, is an unobtrusive, wireless and affordable system that provides doctors and nurses on the wards with regular updates on patients’ vital signs. The system was developed to monitor general hospital patients’ vital signs over time and calculate early warning scores to highlight if their health is deteriorating and requires intervention.

Experts from Protolabs, which has its European headquarters in Telford, helped develop the system for manufacture, including checking suitability for injection moulding through its Design for Manufacture software and advising on medical grade plastic.

Nils Kristian Skjærvold, Medical Director for the Norwegian-based company and Senior Consultant at St Olav’s hospital, said: “While patients in intensive care are monitored regularly, we must not forget that those people in general care in the hospital are also very ill people. “Our challenge was to find a cost-effective way of monitoring patients in general wards or rooms, so if their health deteriorates we can take corrective action immediately. It will help prevent people moving into intensive care or worse, losing their life.” The Evo System has three elements: The Evo Sensor is a small disposable bio sensor which fits comfortably behind a patient’s ear, measuring heart and respiration rate and oxygen saturation continuously for up to five days; the Evo Gateway transmits this data to a patient’s electronic journal; and finally the Evo Central software enables doctors and nurses to track multiple patients’ vital signs over time and calculates early warning scores to highlight any health concerns. Moon Labs had already prototyped the system using its own 3D printing technology, but needed to produce larger numbers for pilot testing and clinical trials.

Peter Richards, Director of Marketing and Communications at Protolabs, said the company was delighted to support Moon Labs in their product development process. “With the medical sector being one of the key industries supported by Protolabs, we have a wealth of knowledge and experience to bring to the table. And the Evo System project is what the Cool Idea Award is all about: helping applicants across Europe get great ideas off the ground.” Product lead and co-founder of the company Tord Åsnes said: “I uploaded our CAD designs into Protolabs’ Design for Manufacturability analysis software to check its suitability for injection moulding. Working closely with their team, the company helped us develop the system for manufacturing, advised us on the best medical grade plastics to use and then produced an initial production run which will be used for our pilot testing and clinical trials. “Developing new medical devices takes time and is heavily regulated.

Without the support of the European Cool Idea Award, the cost of funding this next stage of development could have proven prohibitive for us.” After an initial production run of 500 Evo Sensors and 100 Evo Gateways, the system will be trialed in three hospitals in Norway. Moon Labs then hopes to gain CE marking and be able to manufacture the system by early 2021. Protolabs’ European Cool Idea Award grants up to £100,000 in Protolabs manufacturing services, split over four quarterly award programmes, so innovative thinkers can use their grant towards building prototypes and even an initial production run.

Yet another great reason why Telford is THE place to do business #TotallyTelford 

Source : Shropshire Live 

Image : Product lead and co-founder of the company Tord Åsnes wearing the Evo device



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