Getting intravenous access is always a hot topic, and extremely hard to do. But getting a line in is only half the battle. To move patients you have to lug around a giant rack loaded with bags and beeping, frequently malfunctioning equipment. This both has psychological implications on the patient, and physical as well. Matt Backler, an industrial designer out of New Zealand, is seeking to change this paradigm with his N-One:
Matt Backler, 26, has designed a lightweight device that feeds medication or fluids into the patient through a catheter on the upper arm while performing blood analysis from a second site on the forearm – transmitting the information wirelessly to a medical centre.
Gone is the cumbersome IV bag hanging from a tall pole, wheeled around the wards by the patient.
His design has earned him a place as one of four finalists in the sixth annual Dyson Product Design Awards to be presented tonight in Auckland…
Mr Backler’s device – called N-One, making use of medical jargon for the first nurse involved in a patient’s treatment – is stuck to the arm using medical adhesive, staying in place while the patient performs normal arms functions – even in the shower.
“It removes the whole idea of having a lot of strapping and support for the IV,” says Mr Backler.
“It’s not as expensive as a standard infusion pump – the technology has been cut down. It can be used in hospitals, rehab and elderly care homes.
“This design has the potential to go right round the world.”
In true Star Trek style, N-One pumps in the medication or fluids while transmitting blood analysis data back to a monitoring station every two hours – enabling recovering patients to leave hospital perhaps four days earlier to recuperate in the comfort of their own home.
The module on the upper arm has two storage pods, each capable of delivering the same, or different, medication or fluids.
The process of prepping the patient for an IV feed remains exactly the same. Mr Backler has redesigned the catheter to fit his device.