An
spin-off
Medisign Graduation Project for IDE master student:
Development and design of a single use medical patch
containing EEG electrodes.
The patch is a key component in Prolira’s innovative Delirium Monitor, that will be
commercialized worldwide to hospital departments (Intensive Care Units, cardiac surgery
wards, orthopedic surgery wards, and more) and is to be used by nurses.
Delirium Monitor with disposable electrode patch on the patient’s head (artist impression)
Company
Prolira BV is a medtech start-up raised by Dr ir Rutger van Merkerk and ir Annemarie Willems. Prolira
is based on de Utrecht Science park, in the incubator UtrechtInc.
Prolira offers the world’s first medical device for early detection of delirium.
Delirium is an acute state of confusion, caused by underlying physical disorders. People with delirium
lose grip on reality, which is frightening for themselves, their families and caregivers. Many suffer
from horrifying hallucinations. Delirious patients may harm themselves or others. Caring for delirium
patients costs valuable extra time.
Delirium is a very common complication and the problem is growing
Delirium is a major healthcare problem. Currently, over 40% of the patients admitted to hospitals are
65 years or older. 10 to 40% of elderly surgical patients becomes delirious. Delirium affects 50 to 80%
of patients in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), irrespective of the patient’s age.
For the Netherlands alone, this means that more than hundred thousand patients, thousands of
caregivers and numerous budget holders are confronted with this problem, every year.
A delirium slows down recovery, and patient outcome is significantly impaired. Delirium weighs
heavily on healthcare budgets because of increased length of hospital stay, higher admission rate to
nursing homes, and permanent effects like long-term cognitive impairment (dementia). As advanced
age is one of the major risk factors of delirium, the impact is growing with aging of the population.
Delirium is currently underdiagnosed
Early detection of delirium is difficult in routine clinical settings: With today’s available assessment
tools (subjective checklists), it is detected in merely 30-50% of the cases.
Early detection of delirium is an unmet clinical need.
Prolira offers the world’s first EEG-based delirium monitor for routine use
Prolira BV and UMC Utrecht develop the first proprietary and validated biomarker-based medical
device to detect the onset of delirium. It uses slowing of brain activity (electroencephalography or
EEG) as a biomarker.
Graduation Project Challenge: the medical patch, a most challenging part of the device
The device consists of a reusable monitor and a single use (disposable) patch. For every
measurement with the Delirium Monitor a new patch is required. The patch must a.o. be
extremely easy to use for the nursing staff at the bedside, easy to manufacture in hundreds
of thousands to millions of pieces/annum, and difficult to copy.
Who are we looking for: an enthusiastic, innovative, technical and precise Master student
Industrial Design Engineering – specialization Medisign with good computer (drafting) skills,
with OV-jaarkaart and own laptop/PC, who is looking for a challenging medical project.
We offer the student the chance to:
- gain insight in the dealings of a medical start up with strong international ambitions,
- work in a very entrepreneurial environment, in a small, highly motivated team,
- develop a patch with impact; the system will make a difference,
- work with the company owners and clinical experts in the University Medical Center
Utrecht and potentially other clinical partners in the Netherlands and abroad,
- work with international EEG electrode experts and industrial manufacturing partners .
Start project: as soon as possible (2015)
Contact:
Annemarie Willems, [email protected], tel 06 2297 8972
or Rutger van Merkerk, [email protected], tel 06 4776 2936
Prolira improves patient recovery
by early detection of a common and costly hospital complication called delirium,
with a reliable medical device
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An spin-off Medisign Graduation Project for IDE master student