A new portable oxygen dispenser is being used to help fight respiratory illness, helping to alleviate the burden on healthcare workers in remote communities.
A team from the University of Manitoba has been developing the machine, which could potentially be used in remote areas, to help those who cannot access healthcare due to poor health or lack of funds.
“It’s just been an exciting time,” said professor and medical microbiologist Scott Ritchie.
“In our lab, we’ve been able to develop this machine that allows you to have the oxygen that you need in a compact, portable way.”
The machine was developed by a group of graduate students in the university’s department of microbiology and immunology.
“We’re working with the medical community to look at different ways to get oxygen in and we’ve also been able … to look into other applications,” Ritchie said.
“For instance, we could potentially have a medical facility that doesn’t have a ventilator or can’t have the capacity to get it.
We’re using it in a couple of hospitals, we’re in a few countries, and we’re seeing the potential for it being very useful for people who have respiratory problems.”
The project, called Squat Machine, was first announced in September.
It uses an internal pressure sensor that allows the machine to calculate the volume of the breath needed to get enough oxygen in.
The machine has been used to deliver oxygen to patients who are unable to breathe through their mouths.
“The thing that’s really exciting is that this can be deployed anywhere in the world,” Riker said.
The device could potentially make life easier for those who live in remote and inaccessible locations.
“If you’re in rural Manitoba and you can’t get a doctor to come to your house, this is a great way to do it,” he said.
A prototype has been deployed in the remote community of Mowatup, Manitoba.
The team is also working with researchers at the University and the University Medical Centre in Saskatoon to explore the use of the device in other parts of the world.