Sentinel is a patient breathing monitor device we originally made for the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) but is also being used in the Sleep Clinic and Paediatric High Dependency Unit (PHDU).
Intensive Care Unit specialist Geoff Shaw recognised the need for some sort of alarm while working with patients using CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machines in ICU. With these systems, if the mask becomes loose, isn’t fitting properly, or the connecting airway hose falls off while a patient is asleep, there is no obvious sign of a problem until the patient is distressed.
Geoff noticed that there was a real gap in the market because the ventilator masks which do have alarms are for people who are not spontaneously breathing on their own and cost more than $40,000 each. Geoff saw a need for a low cost device connected to the CPAP machine itself and all the parts, like the mask, that are connected to it.
He got together with Medical Physics & Bioengineering and the Sentinel monitor and alarm device was created. The device uses an electronic pressure sensor, graphical touch-screen display and embedded software, all in a compact box. By working closely with Geoff and the ICU team we tailored the functionality and user interface to their exact requirements. Clinical trials followed in ICU and PHDU with patient and family approval.
The devices and software are made completely in-house using a combination of off-the-shelf components and custom made electrical circuits and mechanical fittings.
Paul Kelly from the Sleep Unit heard about the Sentinel device and immediately found a use with his power-dependent patients who use a non-invasive
ventilator in their own homes.
In the event of a power failure, it is not only essential to have a backup power source, but also a smart alarm to notify the caregiver of a critical situation. The Sentinel device helps reduce risk in the event of an emergency. Again, we were able to work closely with Paul to tailor the user interface to meet the different requirements of a home user instead of a clinical user.