Glasgow's Wideblue accelerating production of new device to help tackle Covid-19

Glasgow-based product design and development company Wideblue is accelerating production of a “groundbreaking” new medical device it says could help the NHS quickly discover which Covid-19 patients are deteriorating and need a ventilator.

The device is used to measure CO2 in exhaled breath during normal relaxed breathing. Picture: contributed.

It is hoped the CE-marked N-Tidal device will start trials in NHS and US hospitals in two or three weeks, opening the door for a rollout across the UK and potentially globally.

The product, developed for Wideblue client Cambridge Respiratory Innovations (CRI), is described as a simple-to-use, fully automated, small battery-powered personal capnometer used to measure CO2 in exhaled breath during normal relaxed breathing. The changes in CO2 concentration as a patient breathes in and out through the device are measured and can be used to assess the health of a patient’s lungs.

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“Amid a shortage of ventilators, the device could enable clinicians to prioritise their use based on firm data,” said Wideblue, adding the device may also be useful to track progress of patients as they recover after ventilator use.

'We are proud to be manufacturing and doing our bit in the fight against coronavirus,' says MD Russell Overend. Picture: contributed.

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“Normally, a device called a spirometer is used to assess lung function, but this requires the patient to blow long and hard into a tube; Covid-19 patients do not have the energy to do this. Moreover, blowing hard into the spirometer can disperse coronavirus particles and create an aerosol of the virus the air. The N-Tidal device can hopefully be used to assess patients’ lungs without generating dangerous aerosols,” the firm also said.

MD Russell Overend said: “Wideblue has made 200 devices already and has a purchase order for another 1,000 units, which will be manufactured over the next few weeks. These devices were destined for clinical trials with [chronic obstructive pulmonary disease] and asthma patients but these devices are now being reconfigured and reallocated to Covid-19 patients.

“We are very hopeful these N-Tidal devices can be deployed in hospitals within the next couple of weeks.

“Wideblue are gearing up to rapidly increase production of this new N-Tidal device, the replaceable breath tubes and the mouthpieces. It is quite an exciting time in the development of this new product and one we are proud to be manufacturing and doing our bit in the fight against coronavirus”

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