damaged biological structure, or enhance an existing biological structure within the body that requires the control of bodily fluids. When used as a treatment or management intervention, most implantable devices are often considered as a ‘one-off’ option for patients. Therefore, there is a growing need for such devices to be long- lasting and remotely controlled ex-vivo so that the patient doesn’t have to endure multiple invasive procedures. With many chronic conditions, a one-off, durable and effective implantable device is undoubtedly important for a patient’s quality of life and for cost-effectiveness of the healthcare system. Further still, the technology is suitable for use in battery powered operations, which is often the case for implantable devices. This is because, further to the energy-recycling ability of BAT during the switching of the valve from open to closed, no energy is required to hold the valve in either of the open or closed positions – further saving energy.

Some implantable devices are bioactive, such as internal drug delivery devices in the form of implantable pills. As this technology is scalable and precise, implantable devices and accurate drug dosing could therefore go hand- in-hand. In medicine, there is a growing need for ‘smart pills’ which target particular organs in the body. This need is more noticeable in conditions which affect different parts of the gastrointestinal tract, where targeted drug release has proved challenging. Unlocking the potential of binary actuation technology in this field could help revolutionise implantable devices within the body, so that they can be ‘triggered’ remotely to release the drug dosage within a particular part of the body. The correct dosing of drugs and other liquids in a clinical or laboratory environment is also an area which it could certainly have an impact on. Its accuracy, when measuring drugs or testing body fluids in a laboratory, could lead to better patient outcomes and also improve clinical efficiency by reducing wastage. While the technology is being applied in highly regulated industries, such as oil and gas, it will also need to demonstrate reliability and effectiveness in the healthcare and life sciences industries for each potential application. Implantable devices, while fascinating and rapidly evolving, are an area of medicine that requires lengthy clinical trials and there are stringent regulatory approval processes before a product can be brought to market. Therefore, to assess BAT’s viability, ex vivo applications will be an initial focus. Identifying unmet clinical needs in

ex vivo applications that require accurate fluid control will include Class II medical devices as well as mechanical aids, in the form of prosthetics. However, as with the invention of the technology itself, the first ex vivo application of BAT stemmed from a request by the NHS Air Ambulance Service. The enquiry asked whether the technology could be used to extend the time-of-usage

of their onboard helicopter oxygen supply for patients. Surprisingly, it is the oxygen supply for patients that is one of the main limiting factors for the length of time the aircraft can remain in the air and, therefore, directly impacting the distance and regions they can cover. This initial request has paved the way for Camcon Medical and its first medical device venture into oxygen delivery, in a bid to provide benefits for patients who require either long-term or short-term oxygen supply.

Respiratory care

Oxygen therapy is required for a broad range of respiratory and non-respiratory diseases such as anaemia, lung cancer, anaphylaxis, post-surgery while the patient is recovering from anaesthesia and, most notably, emergency medicine. With 4.3 million patients worldwide using long-term oxygen therapy in the home and 15,000 hospital

patients receiving oxygen therapy per day in the UK, there is enormous potential for BAT to address the unmet needs in oxygen delivery. Intelligent Medical Oxygen Delivery

(IMOD), is one of the first commercial medical applications, which will aim to improve clinical practice and patient quality of life, as it utilises BAT’s gas precision control and energy-saving capabilities, reducing the need for larger oxygen cylinders and batteries. It is the first device that can be used with both a nasal cannula and a face mask. The valve technology has been further modified so that the device will function silently. These attributes will directly improve the quality of life for a substantial number of patients who require an oxygen supply in hospital or at home, while also creating efficiencies for the healthcare system. Despite incorrect dosing of oxygen therapy potentially leading to an increased risk of patient harm, only 69% of patients using emergency oxygen maintain a saturation within the intended prescribed range.2

Intelligent medical oxygen delivery (IMOD) device


Further still, in the UK, 3000 patients per day receive the incorrect dose of oxygen and 2100 patients per day are over-dosed.2 By utilising valve technology, the IMOD device (currently at prototype stage), has a built in pulse oximeter which changes the flow of oxygen to suit the breathing rate of the patient to maintain a prescribed blood oxygen saturation, directly addressing this unmet clinical and patient need. In principle, the device has three key components: recognition and monitoring

MAY 2019

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