05/04/2021, Press release

Measure ventilation air flow and pressure at the patient’s side

Take proximal measurements of respiratory gas flow rates and of associated ventilation pressure with one product – it is the result of a collaboration between Sensirion AG and Nicolay GmbH (GPE Group).

The product will be available to ventilator manufacturers from May 2021 as an evaluation kit. Manufacturers will be able to integrate the various standardized options into their devices with no development or equipment costs. For medium to large orders, Nicolay can configure and produce custom designs.The two companies have already demonstrated how successfully they work together. Their last joint product is widely used for proximal measurements of inspiratory and expiratory respiratory gas flow rates in order to improve ventilation and adapt to the individual patient’s values at any given time. Sensirion produces the flow sensors, which are located proximally in the system using the specially designed connector and cable from Nicolay. This solution has been available as an evaluation kit through Sensirion’s distribution network for more than two years. “Having received many inquiries from ventilator manufacturers about whether we could expand our existing solution to include a pressure sensor, we decided to work on this with our partner Nicolay,” explains Dr. Andreas Alt, Sales Director Medical at Sensirion. “Nicolay immediately took up the idea and implemented it – and can now offer all versions of our proximal products with an additional pressure sensor.” For this purpose, Nicolay's cable specialists have integrated the pressure sensor physically into the connector cap and on the software side in the evaluation electronics. Ventilator manufacturers can receive an evaluation kit as a sample. They can use it to test the combined solution or even start developing prototypes with it. The first manufacturers to purchase the new solution are already working to incorporate it into their devices.

When it comes to the number of connections, less is more

Constant monitoring of respiratory pressure is crucial to both volume-controlled and pressure-controlled ventilation. With the new solution from Sensirion and Nicolay, pressure measurements are taken and converted into an electrical signal directly at the patient’s side; the pressure signal is then sent to the ventilator electronically. Until now, it has been common practice to tap pressure using a patient-side port, convey it via a tube to the device and measure it inside the ventilator. By comparison, the new product from Nicolay provides improved signal quality and faster signal transit time. It also offers exceptionally reliable measurement values, which can be processed with minimum delay. Furthermore, the signal is transmitted through an existing cable used to measure respiratory gas flow values. The tube for tapping pressure can now be only a few centimeters long and run from the WYE straight to the cap on the flow sensor, where the pressure signal is converted into an electrical signal. This eliminates the need for a long pressure tube running from the patient back to the device. As a result, the solution is easier for care givers to handle because there is a lower risk of getting the wrong tube or getting caught on it when treating the patient. “Tubes that convey air, delay measurement when compared to direct, patient-side proximal pressure measurement,” says Benjamin Fessele, Product Development at Nicolay. “By measuring pressure and converting the signal within the Nicolay sensor cap, measurement values can be evaluated and processed more quickly, ultimately improving the safety and quality of ventilation. This also leaves space in the ventilator for manufacturers to either add other features or design a more compact device.”

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