Projects

Healthcare Community: Prof. Derek O’Keeffe.

Ideas from the front line:

Derek O’Keeffe, Professor of Medical Device Technology at NUI Galway and a Consultant Physician at University Hospital Galway, and his team have identified a novel and innovative solution to determine if a nasogastric (NG) tube has been correctly placed in a patient’s stomach. There are many risks and complications associated with incorrectly positioned NG tubes.

Often inadvertently placed in the lung leading to asphyxiation, infection, and emergency intervention at worst and discomfort and a delay in feeding at best. Currently, once an NG tube is inserted an x-ray is performed to verify it is in the stomach – a drain on hospital resources and delays patients receiving nutrition.

Idea: Product

Prof O Keefe’s invention is product based. A point of care device dramatically reduces the resources required to verify the NG tube’s positioning. It is simple, cost effective, and will require minimum training to use.

How HIHI helped:

Health Innervation Hub Ireland ran a mini-accelerator course in Galway as a partner of Spark Ignite 2018 competition. Our team of experts delivered a scheduled course on “Design Thinking”,” Needs based Innovation”, Business Model Canvas, and Pitching, to the Spark Ignite cohort of which Prof O Keefe was part of. These learnings provided the tools his team to validate the clinical need for their solution within the healthcare system. (Incidentally Prof O Keefe, won Spark Ignite 2018)

What next?

HIHI facilitated a connection/collaboration with a technical team of engineers based in NUI Galway’s Translational Medical Device (TMD) Lab Galway to develop the solution. Prof O Keefe and the technical team are developing a prototype and with the NUI Galway Technology Transfer Office at to potentially patent a device. HIHI will now support the preparation of funding applications through Enterprise Ireland’s Commercialisation Fund to bring this product to market.