Made in Quebec innovation demonstrates invaluable added value in the current context of the pandemic
Quebec City, February 2, 2021 – Today, OxyNov is delighted to present its FreeO2 device, a revolutionary oxygen therapy device, which allows automated oxygen titration and weaning. The project was developed in partnership with the Quebec Heart and Lung Institute (the Institute), the IUCPQ Foundation, and the City of Quebec. The FreeO2 technology showcase will help position the Province of Quebec on the world stage and reaffirm its leadership in the sector.
This new Made in Quebec device will improve the safety of millions of hospitalized people receiving oxygen. The instrument automatically and continuously adapts the oxygen flow delivered to the patient according to a clinician-defined oxygenation objective and the user’s instantaneous needs. FreeO2‘s working principles are to titrate the O2 flow every second to maintain targeted SpO2 and to provide optimal patient support. Knowing that the major issue for COVID-19 patients is oxygenation, FreeO2 becomes an optimal and essential treatment. Used to treat patients in the intensive care unit of the Institute, the device has not only demonstrated benefits for the patient, but also allows for a 29% reduction in the length of hospitalization for patients requiring oxygen therapy and a significant reduction of more than 20% in costs for our health care system.
Since the very beginning, OxyNov has invested more than $5M in research and development. This is in addition to many hours of clinical research, allowing it to revolutionize oxygen therapy treatment, which had remained stagnant for nearly a century. It is also thanks to the contribution of valuable partners that the company has been able to commercialize the device.
“The City of Quebec is pleased to support the development of the FreeO2 device with a contribution of $229,000 through its Technology Showcase Program. We are proud to work alongside an innovative company such as OxyNov, which is making a concrete contribution to improving patient care. “said Mr. Régis Labeaume, Mayor of Quebec City.
“Today’s announcement is a significant example of the positive impact and leverage effect of the IUCPQ Foundation in projects that directly target the improvement of care for users, particularly in the COVID-19 context. We are therefore very proud that the Foundation is taking part in this technological revolution, that is helping to position the Institute among the best specialized hospital centers in the world,” said Josée Giguère, Executive Director of the Foundation IUCPQ.
Increased support for patients with COVID-19
FreeO2 is currently found to be a beneficial tool in the treatment of acute respiratory failure (such as COVID-19) and for patients with chronic respiratory disease. In today’s environment, FreeO2 automated oxygen therapy not only reduces the number of procedures that staff must perform on a patient, but it also ensures better caregiver and patient safety while saving oxygen.
“In the current context of COVID-19 and its variants, FreeO2 technology will make a major contribution to several fundamental aspects of hospital operations: by reducing the number of patient contacts, staff workload will be significantly reduced and the risk of contamination for both patients and caregivers will be decreased. Currently many countries are rationing their oxygen inventory due to the pandemic; by precisely tailoring oxygen consumption to patient needs, FreeO2 avoids such a significant waste of oxygen that it is currently the only device in the world that guarantees a return on investment.”, said Mr. Patrice Allibert, CEO of OxyNov.
“Since 1910, oxygen has been administered through a ball flowmeter that required manual adjustment. This system made it difficult to adjust oxygen delivery according to the physiological parameters of the user. In the context of COVID-19, improving the safety and health of users requiring oxygen, in addition to reducing the length of stay in hospital and generating significant benefits for the user’s health, this new technological device is an important step forward. Our specialists have made a concrete contribution to the advancement of science and technology, and now people around the world can benefit from it,” said Denis Bouchard, President and CEO of the Quebec Heart and Lung Institute.
OxyNov has recently signed a contract with a Canadian partner for the commercialization of FreeO2. The device is now available everywhere thanks to the distributor Novus Medical Inc. Based in Ontario, the company already provides Canadian healthcare with devices and products for pulmonary diagnosis, respiratory therapy, neonatal care, mechanical ventilation, continuous positive airway pressure ventilation and temperature management. With more than 30 years of experience in the sale and support of medical equipment in Canada, Novus Medical is a partner of choice that offers solid clinical and technical expertise to serve customers across Canada.
“On behalf Myrray Beaton, Founder and President, Novus Medical is proud to have been chosen to represent FreeO2 in Canada. We have been following the evolution of this product for several years now and we were delighted to be able to launch this product for sale in Canada just a few weeks ago. Novus Medical specializes in the sale of respiratory devices and products and we are recognized in the industry for our high level of personalized customer service and clinical knowledge. With its unique features, we believe that FreeO2 will save lives, save time for healthcare professionals and save hospitals costs. “said Mr. Dan Pinard, Vice President at Novus Medical.
What’s next for FreeO2
We expect a home version of FreeO2 as early as 2023. “FreeDom” would allow an early return home for the patient, saving resources for our health care system in addition to providing patient benefits such as fewer complications. Quebecers increasingly want to stay at home, surrounded by their loved ones. The Quebec Government is committed to increasing and improving home care and its services, and OxyNov will help it achieve these goals.
“This is an initially university-based project, born at the Quebec Heart and Lung Institute and Laval University. With my colleague and friend Pr Erwan L’Her, and students from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Laval University, we were able to achieve the first research prototypes. We conducted research on more than 1,000 patients in Quebec City and France, first on those with chronic respiratory failure and then in many indications, pediatrics, and emergency rooms. We also conducted research on post-operative and current patients with COVID-19. With the support of pneumologists from the beginning, the Institute and now the IUCPQ Foundation and Quebec City, 12 years after its birth in Quebec City, we can finally offer support to patients hospitalized here.” concluded Dr. François Lellouche of the Quebec Heart and Lung Institute.
OxyNov is a young Canadian company focused on clinical innovation and specialized in the design and commercialization of innovative medical devices in the field of oxygen therapy and respiratory assistance.
OxyNov was founded in 2009 by two physician-researchers, Pr Erwan L’Her (head of the medical intensive care unit and INSERM researcher at the CHU de Brest) and François Lellouche (intensive care unit physician and researcher at the Institute), following a clinical research project aimed at developing a device to automate the administration of oxygen therapy (FreeO2) and to improve the implementation of this treatment on a daily basis.
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