Powerfree Education and Technology
Powerfree Education and Technology’s pulse oximeter is used non-invasively to measure blood oxygen levels. The device works by shining light of different wavelengths through the skin and reports the percentage of oxygen. It can be used to monitor oxygen administration to newborn infants with respiratory complications and to injured or ill children and adults. The pulse oximeter is also adequate for oxygen monitoring in surgeries involving general anesthesia. PET’s pulse oximeter will be manufactured by EMCO and the digital OEM module manufactured by Nonin. It is not yet available on the market but more information can be found on the PET website.
Laerdal's NeoNatalie Suction device is a silicone therapy product that is used for nasal or oral suction on newborns to clear blockages. The NeoNatalie Suction is a part of the NeoNatalie tool that was developed to train birth attendants in developing countries in neonatal resuscitation. The NeoNatalie Suction can be bought as part of the NeoNatalie complete model, which includes an infant doll, the NeoNatalie Resuscitator, standard accessories, and a training stethoscope to allow simulation of after-birth care. The suction can also be bought separately. The silicone suction is penguin shaped and can be boiled or autoclaved to be cleaned. The head can be tilted aside for cleaning and emptying after use.
Fisher & Paykel Healthcare have designed a manually operated, gas-powered resuscitator for infants called the Neopuff Infant T-Piece Resuscitator. One can adjust the amount of oxygen the infant receives from 21% to 100%. The Neopuff contains a variable Positive End Expiratory Pressure valve (PPEP), Peak Inspiratory Pressure (PIP) control and a manometer. It provides more consistent and reliable PIP and PEEP to infants than self-inflating devices and flow inflating bags. The Neopuff allows maintenance of an adequate airway seal while sustaining predetermined levels of PIP and PEEP. The advantage of the Neopuff can maintain pressure for longer period, requires only one hand, and allows the operator to focus on the infant instead of the resuscitation device.
There are many drugs available on the market to prevent bleeding after giving birth (postpartum haemorrhage). However, current products are poorly suited to transportation, storage or administration in resource-poor countries. The drug of choice for treatment of postpartum haemorrhage is oxytocin, which is given via injection. This presents complications in developing countries, where it is often not possible to provide sterile equipment, clean water or trained medical personnel during childbirth. Also, the current injectable formulation needs electricity for refrigerated (cold-chain storage) conditions to prevent drug degradation and hence maintain drug efficacy.
Blood transfusions in the countries of sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia are critically important. The low standard of living and malnutrition in these countries leads to high frequency of anemia, particularly in children and women. According to World Health Organization (WHO) 30 to 40% of women in sub-Saharan Africa have anemia and about 25% of postpartum deaths in women are related to obstetrical hemorrhages. While blood transfusions are essential, blood safety remains a major problem in the developing world. One way to make an immediate impact in improving safety of blood transfusions is to develop assays for rapid and inexpensive screening of donated blood.
Hemorrhage is the cause of more than one-third of maternal deaths. A lack of transfusable blood compounds and exacerbates this problem. Hemacon, an early-stage high technology medical devices company, has developed new innovative technology based on hollow micro fibers that allows for the immediate separation of blood, in even the most remote of locations and without the need for electricity. The system works purely with gravity in the company's ProBlood unit. This makes it possible to establish mini Blood Banks in even the most remote of maternity clinics and impact dramatically on the maternal mortality statistics at these locations.
Pneumonia is a major killer of infants and children in lower income settings. Antibiotics are often the only treatment because oxygen therapy is simply out of reach for the majority of the population. With an extremely affordable oxygen therapy device, the Inspire team is looking to change this. (Inspire Medical) [http://inspiremedical.org], a team at Stanford University, has created a low-cost breathing assistant for the treatment of pneumonia and other forms of respiratory distress. The team has spun out its own organization called Inspire Medical . The usual treatment, Bubble CPAP, relies on pressurized oxygen and is expensive and dangerous to use in rural areas.
Dr. Ashish Jain, of Hindu Rau Hospital in Delhi, India, has developed an improvised bubble CPAP device that relies solely on an oxygen source, water, and parts commonly found in neonatal intensive care units across India. CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) devices are tools that treat respiratory distress syndrome resulting from lung immaturity in preterm infants. It is simpler and less invasive than mechanical ventilation, which places a tube in the trachea, potentially causing damage to infants' airways. In the developing world, CPAP is a resource currently largely untapped because they are expensive, require many resources (oxygen, electricity), and consist of individual parts that are difficult to acquire.
The West Wireless Health Institute has developed Sense4Baby, an electronic system that can measure fetal heart rate and uterine contractions. In contrast to traditional means of fetal monitoring which involve frequent trips to the doctor or being tethered to a hospital bed, the prototype enables users to monitor maternal and fetal wellbeing anytime and anywhere. The tool is also significantly more cost effective. Sense4Baby is easy to use and portable, and users can view the data anywhere cellular or internet service exists.
West Wireless is working on a complete kit for monitoring eclampsia and pre-eclampsia. The kit is intended to address the needs of women with high risk pregnancies particularly in low income countries and remote populations.
Global Healing has developed a validation instrument for tube-based phototherapy lights. Phototherapy, the primary means of treating bilirubimena, requires a means of measuring irradiance, and commercial units cost more than $2,000, a cost that is unreasonable for hospitals in low-resource settings.
Global Healing is giving away 1,000 meters to hospitals in the developing world who have phototherapy lights. For more details and information, and to apply, click here.
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