Fresh air will prevent infection and provide better sleep

2021-01-05-Frisk-luft-skal forhindre smitte og give bedre søvn -DAHT1

Getting enough fresh air can be a challenge for bedridden patients. A new project improves the quality of air around the patient’s head – the fresh inhaled air provides better well-being, improves sleep quality, and reduces the risk of infection.

When lying in bed, the air you breathe must be of high quality. Classic ventilation systems and an open window are not always enough. Therefore, the company Vent2U has developed a system that provides high air quality at the headboard of the bed – regardless of how the air quality is in the rest of the room.

Good air quality in the area around the patient’s nose and mouth can be crucial for health. We know that the inhaled air has consequences for the patient’s well-being, sleep, and the risk of virus infection. Therefore, the air at the headboard should not be mixed up with particles and chemistry from the rest of the room, says Lillian Katrine Kofod, director of Vent2U.

In collaboration with the Technical University of Denmark, Vent2U has carried out a project in the Innovation Network Danish Healthtech. The goal has been to further develop and optimize Vent2U’s ventilation principle and prototype.

Further development of the prototype
Lillian Katrine Kofod has developed a special supply method, which means that the clean air from the ventilation system in the ceiling is transported directly down to the patient’s head. The clean air comes from the traditional ventilation system, which has been connected to a newly developed supply luminaire. Using different speeds and pressures, the clean air is protected against mixing with air from the rest of the room – and is released when it has reached the nose height. The system ensures that the exhaled air from the care staff or visitors does not end up in the bedridden patient’s lungs.

Studies show that the ventilation principle reduces the mixing of the inhaled air with the air from the rest of the room by up to 70%, even if a person is standing right next to the bed and talking towards the bedridden person.

Caption: Lillian Katrine Kofod has developed a system that always ensures fresh air for bedridden patients.

Valuable collaboration with the Technical University of Denmark
There are, of course, several challenges in moving the clean air from the ventilation vent in the ceiling and down to the bed. Here, Lillian Katrine Kofod has received help from Professor Arsen K. Melikov from the International Center for Indoor Environment and Energy at the Technical University of Denmark.

Lillian came up with an innovative idea and a really good prototype ensuring that the air currents towards the patient’s head did not feel like drafts. Together, we have optimized the technology and studied air currents to get the best possible air quality around the bed’s headboard, explains Arsen K. Melikov.

The collaboration has focused on:

  • Developing the design so that even more of the clean air emerges
  • Different temperatures on the clean air and the existing air in the room
  • Size of the appliance placed by the headboard of the bed
  • Ease of use so that more staff groups can operate the appliance.

The next task will be to incorporate light and intelligent control into the system.

Seeking funds for testing
Lillian Katrine Kofod is happy that Danish Healthtech has allowed the opportunity to get fresh eyes on her system.

It has been healthy for me to work with the skilled technicians at the Technical University of Denmark I have been working on my prototype for a long time and it is beneficial to get inputs. Researchers are good at seeing new opportunities that may not be commercial in the first place, but which may become, Lillian Katrine Kofod explains.

Arsen K. Melikov and Lillian Katrine Kofod have tested the supply air system in a laboratory; with mannequins lying in beds so they could make measurements around the dolls’ faces. Now they hope to find funding to test the system on patients. The system can be used in hospitals, nursing homes, hotels, and in citizens’ own homes.

Ready for a new pandemic
In the middle of the development phase, COVID-19 emerged, and it gave a new perspective to the need for the supply air system.

Virus spread is just one of the things that the system must limit. The exhaled air has been very much in focus in connection with the spread of coronavirus, and with our system, we are better equipped to prevent infection if a similar pandemic occurs, explains Arsen K. Melikov from DTU.

Lillian Katrine Kofod adds:

The pandemic has shown how important it is to maintain high air quality. With our solution, far more undisturbed air reaches the respiration, which provide better recovery and sleep quality.

Facts about Danish Healthtech
The Innovation Network Danish Healthtech is based on a unique kind of partnership within health technology. The Innovation Network Danish Healthtech consists of a strong partnership with four Danish regions, which ensures access to clinical collaboration in the broader health service. Five universities and two technical institutes are strong knowledge partners, and as a whole, the network is part of a national ecosystem that has been built up over ten years.

It ensures that knowledge-bridge activities are created across the whole healthcare sector, which is an essential element in many of the challenges we face in terms of prevention and urban technology.

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