Foreign Investments Europe Northern companies develop revolutionary patient monitoring sensor (test)
Two recent winners of the Groninger Ondernemingsprijs (Entrepreneur Award for the Province of Groningen) – Lode from the city of Groningen (2009 winner) and Variass Electronics from Veendam (2007 winner) – will be working in partnership on the development of a new sensor that is set to turn the world of patient monitoring on its head.
The project is being given the name ‘Wenckebach’, after a famous cardiologist who was affiliated with the University of Groningen at the beginning of the 20th century. The Northern Netherlands Provinces (Samenwerkingsverband Noord-Nederland, SNN) has granted a subsidy of 2.1 million euros for this project. The project is being set up in partnership with the Investment and Development Company for the Northern Netherlands, the NOM.
Chronic patients are often kept in hospital, with all the expense that involves, owing to the lack of effective monitoring equipment for home use. The current equipment used to monitor the course of heart or lung diseases, for example, is expensive and complicated. Led by Lode and Variass Electronics, the Wenckebach consortium will be developing a disposable sensor that can be placed in a chest belt to register a number of clinical syndromes. This calls for the development and testing of a new chip. Although the new sensor is expected to cost not even 10% of the current equipment, the cost saving for healthcare is found mainly in the fact that the Wenckebach sensor will make it possible for patients to go home much sooner.
As well as Lode and Variass Electronics, the Wenckebach consortium includes Inspiro from Arnhem, which recently opened a new establishment especially for this project in Pesse, aXtion from Emmen, Relitech from Nijkerk and University Medical Centre Groningen, where the clinical trials are being held. During the course of the project the partners will incorporate a new company to market the products worldwide.