An innovative new device which can help reduce the time patients need to spend receiving oxygen therapy is currently being evaluated at University Hospitals of Derby and Burton (UHDB).
The device, named 'O2matic PRO 100', provides automated, safer, and more comfortable oxygen delivery to patients and will be used by colleagues at Queen's Hospital Burton for six months to analyse its benefits and effectiveness in a real-world setting. If the 'real world evaluation' (RWE) is successful, the machines could be rolled out more widely across the NHS.
The machines automatically adjust the levels of oxygen patients receive based on their oxygen saturation levels - a task that has had to be carried out manually by healthcare professionals for more than 100 years. In addition, the device can also set different 'profiles' depending on a patient's clinical condition and the corresponding level of oxygen therapy required. The device is also highly responsive to changes in oxygen saturation levels, being able to adjust or titrate the oxygen flow rapidly with a greater level of accuracy and can provide extremely low levels of oxygen which is not possible on standard oxygen flow meters.
It is hoped these innovations will not only free up time for colleagues to deliver other aspects of care, but will also mean patients are able to more readily reduce their dependence on oxygen therapy, meaning they can recover faster and thus be discharged home or to their next place of care in a shorter time frame.
Sister Joanna Wright, Lead Respiratory Clinical Nurse Specialist at Queen's Hospital Burton, said she was very happy to be taking part in the evaluation, saying that devices have helped "bring oxygen therapy into the digital age".
She continued: "For patients in our care with respiratory conditions, it goes without saying that oxygen flow is an ever-present part of the care we provide. However, standard flow meters, despite their overall effectiveness, can require more care and attention than these brilliant new devices. The devices continuously and automatically monitor the patient and have the additional advantage of freeing up time that we can reinvest into other tasks that support the delivery of patient care."
Joanna continued to explain just how beneficial having O2matic PRO 100 devices in her area has been, saying: "Research shows the device is able to keep a patient's oxygen levels in the correct range for the vast majority of time, which is far more reliable than more traditional methods which is of huge benefit to patients.
"We believe these devices could significantly increase patient safety, provide patients with additional reassurance and bring the additional benefit of more quickly 'weaning' patients off their oxygen flow needs, shortening their length of stay."
Geoffrey Bott has recently been treated using the new device while receiving care on Queen's Hospital Burton's specialist respiratory ward, Ward 3, for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and a collapsed lung. Speaking of his experiences of the device, Geoffrey said:
"I have oxygen at home - which I have had a very positive experience with - yet I felt no real change to my oxygen flow while being treated here. You can hardly tell the difference - which is a very good thing."
Nicola Smith, a Respiratory Clinical Nurse Specialist, helped to fit the new device for Geoffrey when he was admitted to the ward, and said the time the device saves clinical colleagues means they can continue with other important elements of patient care simultaneously and has been a huge benefit to patients as well as staff:
"The data and trends the devices provide helps us to get a clearer overall picture of oxygen saturation levels and whether oxygen therapy will be more long term or whether a patient is able to be 'weaned off' treatment sooner. In doing so, we hope to be able to discharge patients quicker and increase our capacity.
"I hope they are adopted beyond this evaluation period and that we can get more machines across UHDB, and the NHS more widely. We're around three months into a six-month evaluation and they have been a real benefit to patients and staff alike. "
A total of 10 machines have been provided to UHDB after medical gas therapy manufacturer, BPR Medical, alongside Health Innovation East Midlands (formerly EMAHSN), approached the Trust to evaluate their effectiveness. Health Innovation East Midlands, the "innovation arm of the NHS in the East Midlands", have provided guidance and expertise to help the team "mobilise and evaluate" the project, according to their Senior Innovation Lead, Philip Stimpson, who added that this was an "exciting project to be a part of".
Ian Buckle, Market Development Manager for BPR Medical, was "delighted" to hear the initial feedback, with reducing pressure on the system and freeing up time for nursing colleagues as one of the key aims of the "innovative device", alongside their "real benefits for patients" - something which he stated the QHB team taking part had quickly recognised with enthusiasm:
“We have been delighted with the assistance from Health Innovation East Midlands and the enthusiasm from the team at Queen’s Hospital Burton who quickly recognised the potential value of this technology and are looking forward to seeing the data at the end of the evaluation process.”