A medical technology firm from Perth has launched a funding appeal to finance its innovative infrared R&D project.
Alba Medical Sciences is looking to raise £120,000 to fund the various stages of research and development and deliver a final product by December 2021.
Working in collaboration with NHS Ninewells and with support from Dundee, St Andrews and Abertay Universities, the Alba Vital Scan project is scheduled to run through 2021 starting in January.
The company’s GoFundMe appeal began on Tuesday (8th December) and hopes to hit its target by the start of next year.
Alba Vital Scan, the first project of its kind, combines new optical technologies and computer algorithms to diagnosis conditions remotely.
The project will research and apply a mix of optical sensor technologies to measure an individual’s vital signs without physical contact. Alba will also develop software to analyse the data and produce a predictive medical diagnosis. The main hardware is contained within a mobile robotic device, with remote communication between clinician and patient.
Currently, one in five of Covid-19 patients are healthcare workers. The hope is that the tech will help to protect NHS staff who assess patients for Covid-19 or other illnesses.
Discussing the importance of the technology in more detail, Grant Rooney, founder of Alba Medical Sciences said: “Whenever someone arrives at a hospital, they must have a “vital signs” health assessment which in the case of a highly contagious virus, exposes the NHS staff to a high risk of infection because there needs to be direct physical contact between them and the patient in order to attach various monitoring devices.
“Our project aims to develop The Alba Vital Scan technology, which will be capable of capturing all of a person’s vital signs remotely (using non-contact optical sensors) and to determine (via algorithms) that persons state of health.
“This means that both the patient and healthcare workers can be kept in separate safe spaces while a doctor holds a consultation (via an iPad or similar) and determines if isolation is essential and how best to manage that persons care.”
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Rooney continued: “Demonstrating the successful and effective use of this technology to deliver a clinical diagnosis would allow it to be used in a variety of medical settings, such as hospital A&E, to deliver quick, safe assessments of patients.
“The more we can do to protect NHS staff from exposure to contagious illnesses, the more we are supporting the NHS to deliver safe, effective care at a time when it is under unprecedented pressure.”
Also commenting on the technology, Jean Ngoie, Head of Instrumentation & Clinical Engineering at NHS Tayside said: “We have a unique opportunity to speed up diagnosis, pinpoint areas of interest and allow our clinical team to customize therapy based on information that will be made available as a result of this project.
“As a result, we will be able to provide better and enhanced clinical services to the population that we serve.”