A Cork company using space technology to help in the fight against Covid-19 has been awarded a contract from the European Space Agency (ESA).
PMD Solutions, in partnership with Beaumont Hospital, Dublin, is undertaking a space-enabled medical solution, 'Corona-RS,' to scale community monitoring of respiratory compromised patients in the community.
The project will use the firm's RespiraSense monitor, a body-worn respiratory rate monitor, that can support a virtual ward where patients in the community can remain under the care of a hospital’s experienced respiratory teams in partnership with community medical teams.
The device was trialled at Beaumont Hospital earlier this year in the treatment of Covid-19 where it demonstrated an ability to identify which patients would experience respiratory failure 12 hours earlier than the standard of care.
The RespiraSense monitor will also be equipped to send critical patient physiological data direct to healthcare providers, including the patient's location, using the European Space Agency’s Galileo Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS).
The device will be the world's first patient wearable using 5G technology to eliminate the need for any unnecessary 'middle ware' that has up to now impeded the scaled adoption of community patient monitoring systems.
Tom Kelly, divisional manager of Enterprise Ireland, said it was encouraging to see client companies "leading the way" in Europe in research, innovation and in adapting space technologies to address "immediate needs".
"Space technology pushes boundaries and the solutions associated with this innovation have application in a variety of settings, including tackling the Covid-19 pandemic."