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Non-invasive ventilation (NIV) mask is runner up at Medipex Innovation Awards

11 Oct 2021

Lab4Living researchers Heath Reed and Matt Willox’s work on Non-invasive ventilation (NIV) masks for young people has been recognised at the Yorkshire and Humber regional healthcare innovation hub awards. Their project was awarded Runner Up prize at the Medipex Innovation Awards ceremony on 22nd September.

Medipex Innovation Awards

The awards celebrate the ways in which NHS colleagues have gone over and above, this year more than ever, to find ways to improve patient care. Entries were submitted into 4 categories and were judged by representatives from Medipex, Medovate and the YHAHSN. This project, also known as the the COMFORT project, was in the category for Innovations that are designed to improve the outcomes for patients and/or service delivery organisations.

The COMFORT Project

The COMFORT project (Custom-made Masks for Overnight Respiratory Therapy) for Children requiring Non-Invasive Ventilation is a collaboration between Lab4Living, NIHR Devices for Dignity, Sheffield children’s NHS Foundation Trust and Sheffield Teaching Hospitals Trust.

Non-invasive ventilation (NIV) is breathing support delivered through a facemask. Well-fitting masks are difficult to find for children. Inadequate ventilation can have significant health and quality of life impacts. 

This project aimed to investigate 3D technology to improve comfort, fit and performance of NIV masks for children.

Co-design events helped the project team to understand the patients’ needs. 3D scanning methods were assessed and the best performing scanner selected. The final design involved a 3D printed frame, covered with silicone. Mask materials and manufacturing processes met the required quality standards. 

73% patients reported comfort and fit that was as good or better than their usual mask. Oxygen levels and sleep quality were improved. Appearance of the mask received positive feedback. Health economics demonstrated that a custom-made mask would be cost effective at a price below £500. Further work on integration of the process into NHS services is planned.

Read more about this project here.