An oxygen tank-independent ventilatory assist device for combating pediatric pneumonia. Our insight was realizing that a critical therapeutic aspect of CPAP is the air pressure generated by the device, rather than simply the oxygen itself.
Project Launched: January 2011
Team: Andrew Chang, Pamela Pavkov, Carey Lee, and Karen Lum
Pneumonia is the number one killer of children under the age of 5 worldwide, yet recieves only a fraction of the attention given to HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis. Named “The Forgotten Killer of Children” by the WHO, severe pneumonia remains difficult to treat in low-resource settings due to the lack of intensive care technologies.
Resourceful doctors in the developing world have developed an effective therapy known as Bubble CPAP to deliver respiratory support to children with severe pneumonia. Existing methods, however, are hampered by a reliance on oxygen tanks, which are expensive, dangerous, and notoriously difficult to transport. Our insight was realizing that a critical therapeutic aspect of CPAP is the air pressure generated by the device, rather than simply the oxygen itself.
Inspire utilizes pumps to pressurize the ambient air, which is then delivered to the patient to keep their lungs open. The device is capable of running off a car battery for many hours at a time and does not require oxygen tanks to deliver therapeutic continuous positive airway pressure.
What’s Happening Now?
Inspire was selected as a Social E Lab awardee in Summer 2011, and returned to Bangladesh, India, and Vietnam to user-test the interface of the device in its practice setting. This project has been supported, in part, by a global health innovation grant from the NIH, known as C-IDEA. The project is currently a member of the XSEED laboratories and is working towards obtaining CE mark approval of the device.