Product Area: Low-cost medical devices
Big Idea: An affordable, one-size-fits-all nasal interface for pediatric pneumonia patients
Project Launched: February 2011
Team: David Janka, Neil Mehta, Alejandro Palandjoglou, and Elizabeth Zambricki
Surprising to many outside of the global public health sphere, pneumonia is the leading killer of children under 5 years old. At over 2 million deaths per year, pneumonia is responsible for greater annual childhood mortality than diarrheal diseases (1.7 million) and, furthermore, exceeds the combined mortality from malaria (800,000), measles (400,000), and AIDS (300,000). Pneumonia has the potential to be a fatal illness because, in severe forms, accumulation of fluid in the lungs compromises a child’s ability to breathe. The delivery of continuously pressurized oxygen is crucial for survival of children with severe pneumonia in order to keep their lungs open.
Even though a therapy known as Bubble CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) is an affordable and effective means to deliver respiratory support for children with severe pneumonia in resource-limited settings, the nasal interface responsible for delivering pressurized oxygen does not fit well in most cases. The customized interface options available in industrialized nations are prohibitively expensive, meaning intensive care providers are unable to provide necessary life-sustaining therapy in developing countries.
AdaptAir is the missing link in effective respiratory care for dying children in the developing world. Based on the concept of a ‘one size fits all’ adapter, AdaptAir converts commonly used, generic nasal prongs into securely fitting, customized nasal interfaces that maintain effective pressure in the delivery of Bubble CPAP.
What’s Happening Now?
The AdaptAir team received funding through the Social E Lab program in Summer 2011 to refine prototypes and return to Bangladesh for feedback from physicians at their partner institution, ICDDR,B, as well as other urban and rural healthcare providers in Bangladesh and India. In October 2011 the project received $25,000 in funding support from the Stanford Biodesign Global Exchange Program to continue product development through 2011-2012. This project has been supported, in part, by a global health innovation grant from the NIH, known as C-IDEA.