Diagnostic tool for respiratory diseases

Deep Breeze Medical Diagnosis has developed a diagnostic imaging tool for respiratory diseases including asthma, pleural infusion and emphysema.

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The Vibration Response Imaging (VRI) system claims to be one of the first technologies to enable real-time visualisation of lungs throughout the breathing cycle.

The system uses sensors placed on a patient’s back to record the breathing patterns. The sensors produce vibration energy in response to turbulence created from airflow travelling through the bronchial tree of the patient’s lung. The vibration response is then analysed with VPI’s software and converted into a dynamic image for the physician to examine the functional and structural properties of the lung in real-time.

The technology comes from Deep Breeze Medical Diagnosis that is based in Israel and its product went on sale in the UK in September.


Device that delivers drugs on the go

Caretek Medical has developed an innovative needle-free drug delivery device that is the size of a fountain pen and uses a spring mechanism to deliver drugs through the skin in a solid dosage form.

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The patented ImplaJect device is said to accurately deliver drugs through the skin into the underlying tissue where the drugs dissolve and are released into the patient’s bloodstream. Dr Charles Potter, the founder of Caretek and inventor of the needle-free system, believes that for many drug applications the ImplaJect technology could replace needle and syringe injections, which cannot deliver solid form drugs, cause discomfort and carry an infection risk.

Caretek Medical has already received ‘2.1m funding for its needle-free drug delivery device that was led by Oxford Technology 4 VCT plc and supported by Oxfordshire Investment Opportunity Network (OION).


Patient monitoring: Armband monitors patient activity

The SenseWear Pro2 Armband, a device designed to collect information about an individual’s physical activity and relative energy expenditure, is now being marketed in the UK by APC Cardiovascular.

Weighing only 80 grams, the armband evaluates energy expenditure using proprietary algorithms.

In conjunction with body measurements such as sex, height, age and weight, high precision sensors gather information such as skin temperature, near-body temperature, heat flux, movement and galvanic skin response. The device can store up to two weeks of data, which can then downloaded onto a computer for analysis.

APC Cardiovascular managing director Derrick Ebden says that the Pro2 armband has a wide range of applications, including monitoring activity levels and sleep patterns for diabetes Type 2 patients; pre- and post-surgery monitoring for patients who have undergone gastric banding; monitoring the energy expenditure of intensive care patients on nasal feed; and calculating improvements in movement for those with severe pulmonary problem’s.



Diabetes test: It’s in the eye

Berkshire-based Lein Applied Diagnostics is developing a blood glucose meter which uses optical measurement to track the amount of glucose in the eye, a technology that could transform the way people with diabetes test their blood glucose levels.

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In recent clinical tests, the prototype meter performed well when tested on volunteers of various ages and on those with contact lenses. We are working closely with a range of expert partners including Sira, the University of Manchester and the Institute of Photonics at the University of Strathclyde which provide invaluable ophthalmic and optical support, said director Dr Dan Daly. Our ultimate aim is to produce a small, battery-powered device that can be carried around in a pocket or handbag.

To monitor their levels, people with Type 1 diabetes currently have to take a blood sample from a finger prick test four or five times a day which can be painful, unhygienic and inconvenient.