Uni graduate's device will help to keep medics safe
AN AWARD-winning inventor has unveiled a new device which will help safeguard medics.
Oliver Blackwell, who studied at Plymouth University, has designed a simple addition to the needles currently used for collecting blood, which would substantially reduce the risks for healthcare professionals.
His design involves using an automatic needle sheath that prevents medical staff having to self-sheathe the needles, which can put themselves at risk of a needle-stick injury.
Plymouth University graduate Oliver says the technology would cost as little as one US cent for each device, meaning it would be inexpensive for manufacturers, making safer technology affordable for health authorities around the world.
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"In a medical environment there are three dominant factors – clinical delivery, functional ergonomics and price," he said.
"Existing manual, low cost, needle covers do exist, however they require the user consciously think about performing the task. Fully automated needle-sheath technologies are available, however these are at a premium price, whereas implementing our device will cost less than 1 US cent. In our eyes, this is a small price to pay to save a life."
Oliver, who graduated from the BA (Hons) 3D Design course in 2005, has earned numerous accolades for his previous designs.
In recent years his main focus has been on products designed to revolutionise the health sector, with his creations including a pain-free needle and urine diagnostic technology.
At the same time as unveiling his new design, Oliver has also launched a company – Limbic – focused on providing innovative solutions for the medical industry.
He said: "At Limbic we believe that the definition of brilliant design is the development of a solution that fits seamlessly into both its social and commercial surroundings.
"Our design process must seek to encompass both our physical practice, as well as our comprehension of human emotional drivers, and this formulaic approach creates a reliable journey that allows our empathic findings to be designed into tangible products and experiences. Innovation and creativity are never actually created, but simply nurtured from the subject environment."