Safe tracheal introducer

From idea assessment through to concept prototype development, Medipex have helped this new tracheal introducer device head towards market.

IntubationThe clinical need

Delivery of anaesthesia via the windpipe (trachea) can be challenging to achieve in some patients. Often some kind of introducer device is used to facilitate insertion of an endotracheal tube in difficult-to-intubate patients. But even the use of these introducers can be challenging, with clinicians reporting that in around 5% of procedures it can be difficult to manipulate the device through the laryngeal inlet and into the trachea. This is often unexpected and can quickly become life-threatening, necessitating medical escalation. This represents a clinical need for a suitable way to aid the visualisation and navigation of this procedure in a timely manner.

The innovation challenge

A Consultant Anaesthetist at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has conceptualised a small, easy to use novel introducer device that would rapidly allow seamless step-up of care by providing improved visibility when required. The inventor and his employing NHS Trust sought support to take this idea through to market.

How did Medipex help?

Medipex performed an initial assessment of the idea to verify the clinical need and assess the potential market. This resulted in a recommendation that the project was progressed to the proof of concept stage. Medipex then assisted the NHS Trust to capture the design and operational mode requirements of the device and introduced suitable collaborators at the University of Leeds to assist with proof of concept prototype development. Initial feedback from clinicians (experienced and junior) has led to iterative refinement of the prototype, which has successfully demonstrated that the concept can work. Further testing in a simulated environment will generate additional data. We are now supporting the team to identify suitable partners to take this project to the next stage.

Impact

Our work to date on this project has contributed to a package of information and intellectual property that will be attractive to a commercial partner; it has been determined that the proposed device meets a real clinical need, has a large potential market and is technically feasible whilst meeting the requirements of anaesthetists. If successfully taken to market, this device would improve patient safety and reduce harm, whilst providing increased confidence to clinical staff, particularly trainees and junior doctors.

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