AN Ennis company’s work on improving the effectiveness of inhalers in partnership with academics from Queen’s University Belfast and a graduate has resulted in an award.
Vitalograph have been presented with an InterTradeIreland FUSION programme Project Exemplar award. The Project Exemplar award recognises exceptionally high levels of innovation and collaboration between a firm, graduate and an academic as part of the FUSION programme.
InterTradeIreland’s all-island technology transfer and innovation programme, FUSION, partners companies north and south with a third-level institution, providing them with the specialist expertise of a high calibre graduate working directly in the organisation to deliver a new product or process improvement project.
Through the programme, Vitalograph has benefitted from the services of graduate Terence Taylor and academic expertise from Queen’s University Belfast.
Terence worked with Vitalograph on a medical device that used acoustics to monitor the method used by patients while using inhalers.
The device will identify whether a patient is using the inhaler correctly or incorrectly, thereby improving the effectiveness of medication and ultimately resulting in cost savings to the health sector through reduced wastage of medication.
Enda Kelly, Research and Development Manager, Vitalograph, said, “Through InterTradeIreland’s FUSION programme we were able to fast track our project and make it a reality. Terence worked on a project that utilised speech recognition software, complex algorithms and electronic design to create a medical device that measures a patient’s breathing and inhalation technique.
“For us having Terence in situ for the duration of the programme was an important part to the success of the project. Having Terence on site meant that we could apply design changes rapidly and he became a part of the team and integral to the success of the project. The additional expertise and mentoring assistance from Queen’s University Belfast through Professor Ming ensured that he was always on hand to help and advise Terence and ourselves throughout the FUSION project.
“I would recommend the Fusion project to SMEs because it enabled our company to hire a highly qualified graduate who was the driving force for this project, coupled with the expertise of an academic expert in our chosen field that really added value and insight to our final product design and production.”