“Without oxygen, we die. This may seem obvious, but in many health facilities around the world, access to lifesaving medical oxygen is often unavailable and underfunded.” – Philippe Duneton, Takeshi Akahori and Patrick Amoth.
Oxygen is an essential medicine for the treatment of many life-threatening conditions prevalent in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), yet it remains out of reach for the vast majority of those who need it. For the population that lives outside of cities, access to oxygen is even more scarce, exacerbated by fragile transport, power, and healthcare infrastructure.
The lack of reliable oxygen sources in LMICs can be attributed to, on the one hand, poor supply chain and high costs that make provision of compressed air cylinders impracticable and, on the other, technical issues that defeat traditional oxygen delivery equipment. The oxygen concentrators that are the main source of oxygen in LMICs have a high failure rate because they:
An innovative oxygen concentrator with extremely reduced power consumption, resilient to power cuts, and humidity-resistant sieve beds, integrated into a comprehensive fee-for-service model integrating equipment, training and maintenance.
On the tech side, our latest achievements are the following:
The next phase of research and development will focus on the remote monitoring of the device and on mainstreaming the manufacturing process of the humidity-resistant material. This will then enable the transfer of this technology to an industrial partner.
Our supporters and partners are indispensable to this project’s success. Working with partners including those of the local environment and end users, enables critical interdisciplinary skills and various perspectives.
Laboratory for Functional Inorganic Materials (LFIM), Prof. Wendy Queen
EPFL Power Electronics Lab (PEL), Prof. Mario Paolone
EssentialMed Foundation, Mr. Matthieu Gani
Center for Public Health and Development (CPHD), Dr. Bernard Olayo
Image copyrights: Adobe, Sylvain Liechti, ICRC, EssentialTech