Belfast-based ProAxsis has been awarded an Innovate UK grant to support a project to develop a remote respiratory monitoring tool.

Alongside social enterprise partner the Centre for Public Innovation (CPI), ProAxsis aims to enhance the sample processing required for its previously developed NEATstik point-of-care test, a tool that allows levels of active neutrophil elastase (NE) – an enzyme associated with respiratory diseases, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) – to be measured within ten minutes.

The plan is to integrate NEATstik and other respiratory health measures into a remote patient monitoring tool, so patients can conduct the test at home, and healthcare professionals can observe the results alongside other health data.

As project lead, ProAxsis has been allocated £333,520 of the £491,154 grant while CPI has received £157,633.

ProAxsis chairperson Alan Markey commented: “Securing this grant highlights the pioneering work being conducted at ProAxsis.

“We are excited about collaborating with CPI to advance remote patient monitoring in respiratory disease, with the support of Innovate UK, the UK’s leading innovation agency.

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Tom Harvey, chief technologist of HealthTech at CPI, said: “CPI is committed to creating a lasting impact through close collaboration with our partners.

“That’s why we are delighted to be working with ProAxsis on this new project which seeks to transition an existing diagnostic test out of the clinic and closer to the point of care.’’

According to GlobalData’s medical device pipeline, 22 remote patient monitoring devices are in various stages of development globally. Meanwhile, 41 respiratory assist devices are in development globally, of which 17 are in active development. The company’s data also shows that ProAxsis and its subsidiaries are currently working on the development of ten products that fall under the in vitro diagnostics markets.