BME100 f2017:Group10 W1030 L1

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Patrick Mullane
Sarah Desmond
Leslie Olivares
Adrienne Parkinson
Eddie Aparicio


Health Care Issue

In terms of use, the purpose of a nasal cannula is quite simple. Defined as a medical device used to increase the amount of oxygen intake through a tube with two openings inserted into the nostrils of the patient, this additional feature of the nasal cannula improves upon an already established staple within the medical world that can be used to benefit doctors and patients alike around the globe. In a universe full of variability and unidentifiable illness one thing remains for certain; humans require oxygen and an increase in oxygen to the human body promotes accelerated healing for those with respiratory difficulty. So instead of the standard apparatus where the tubes merely slide over the ears, our team has developed the Cannulometer, a device that comfortably uses the ears as an anchor point, thus alleviating the universal problem of the nasal cannula coming out of place as well as adding the feature of measuring the patient’s temperature. This small device also solves the issue of many people having skin irritations when doctors and nurses place the tape on their faces to secure a nasal cannula.Tape can cause different reactions on a range of skin types; superficial skin damage can occur when adhesive products are used. Skin stripping and tension blisters are the most common problems associated with taping. With our device, we would be able to secure the tubes by having it fastened around the ear by a clip that would hold it in place while also keeping the patient comfortable. In a place where medical complications run rampant, a pesky tube in a patient’s nose should be the least of their worries.

Customer Validation

1. Francois Wolmarans- Projects Engineer for The Linde Group (Largest industrial gas company for health products)

2. Sandra E. Peterson- Group Worldwide Chair for Johnson & Johnson (Bachelors in government studies and MPA in applied economics)

3. Carolyn S. Calfee, M.D- medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. Completed a master's degree in clinical research at UCSF in 2009.

4. Homer Boushey, M.D- USFC.

5. Scott P. Bartlett, M.D - Medical Degree from Washington University of Medicine. Specializes in pediatric plastic surgery

6. Redmond Burke, M.D - Majored in Human Biology at Stanford, and medical degree at Harvard.

7. Dustin Heringer, M.D. - medical degree in his home state at the University of North Dakota. specializes in oculofacial plastic and cosmetic surgery

8. Monica Nania, M.D- Graduated Saint Louis University School of Medicine. Pediatrician in AZ

9. Nicolas Gonzalez, M.D- Medical Degree from UNIversity of Arizona College of Medicine

10. John G. Meara, M.D, D.M.D, - Craniofacial Surgery and Global Health. BS from University of Notre Dame, his MD from the University of Michigan Medical School, his DMD from the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine, and his MBA from the Melbourne Business School at University of Melbourne

11. Mark Urata, D.D.S, M.D.,- University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine; School of Dentistry and received M.D. from Keck School of Medicine of University of Southern California. Specializes in Plastic and Craniofacial Surgery

12. Omar Ishrak- Bachelor of Science degree and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of London, King's College. CEO of Medtronics

13. Richard Le M.D. - Medical School at Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine

14. Donald M. Casey Jr. - Don Casey is the chief executive officer of the Medical segment of Cardinal Health (leading provider of medical products and supply to hospitals, laboratories, physician offices, surgery centers across the healthcare continuum)

15. Marilyn T Miller, M.D.

16. Neil Aaron, M.D- received medical degree from University of Michigan Medical School

17. Kevin A. Lobo - CEO of Striker Corps. Spent eight years at Johnson & Johnson, including CFO of McNeil Consumer Healthcare and Ortho Women’s Health & Urology, President of J&J Medical Products Canada and President of Ethicon Endo Surgery

18. Margery Shoptaugh M.D.- Medical Degree from University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine

19. James Guzek M.D. - medical degree from Drexel University College of Medicine

20. Muhammad Malik M.D. - received medical degree from Nishtar Medical College


Current Solution Advantages Disadvantages Marketability
Many hospitals use tape to hold nasal cannula tubes in place. It is a very cost efficient method because they only require a small piece of tape to hold it in place. The adhesive from the tape irritates the skin of the patients, but especially infants and small children. It will not irritate the skin of the patient and will also take their temperature in a very non intrusive manner
Headbands with clips to hold the NC tubes in place Holds the clips in place without causing irritation to the skin. More difficult to clean/wash than Cannulometer because they are not able to simply put in cleaning solution. Easy to clean and also improves design by being able to take the patient’s temperature from behind the ear.
Strap to hold around the face Keeps the NC tube in place May ride up depending on how much the patient is moving, especially for small children who do not like foreign, bulky objects touching their faces. Cannulometer will be able to hold the tubes in place without being too bulky or riding up while also taking patient’s temperature.

IP Position

1. Nasal cannula apparatus

a. US4808160A

b. Assignee: Timmons, John W. and Timmons, Gloria A.

c. Filing date: 11/05/1986

d. Legal status: expired

e. A headband-like apparatus for securing the tubular ends of a nasal cannula above the eyes that has a junction on the forehead to direct the tubes around the head and nasal extensions which lead to the wearer’s nostrils. Designed to minimize discomfort of nasal cannulas while adult patients sleep, this invention keeps oxygen tubes away from the patient’s ears.

f. See figure 1 below.

2. Premature baby headband for supporting nasal cannulas and oxygen feed tubes

a. US5188101-3

b. Assignee: Tumolo, Jean S.

c. Filing date: 11/15/1991

d. Legal status: expired

e. An adjustable, strip-like, elastic headband with loop-like attachments meant to secure the tubes of a nasal cannula for oxygen delivery or a feed tube to above the ears of a premature baby’s head. This invention intends to minimize the need to reposition prongs of the nasal cannula into the nares of the nostrils, allowing premature babies to have a more consistent flow of oxygen needed to survive and to rest undisturbed.

f. See figure 2 below.

3. Oxygen tube support apparatus and associated method

a. US5704916A

b. Assignee: Byrd, Timothy N.

c. Filing date: 11/30/1995

d. Legal status: expired

e. A sizeable apparatus which allows nasal cannula tubes to be held by branches of a head-piece with loops to hold the ends above the adult patient’s ears. This method serves to diminish discomfort and irritation caused by draping oxygen tubes around the ears of a patient.

f. See figure 3 below.

4. Head positioning aids for premature infants

a. US20140373278A1

b. Assignee: Tortle Products LLC

c. Filing date: 06/23/2014

d. Legal status: pending

e. A positioning aid for premature infants that includes a cap placed over the baby’s head with Velcro straps to secure nasal cannula tubes on the side of the baby’s head over the ears. While this invention is primarily used for maintaining the optimal position of an infants head in order to maximize airflow, it includes the capability of securing oxygen tubes comfortably.

f. See figure 4 below.

Fundability Worksheet Scores


Customer Validation

IP Position



Byrd, Timothy N. (Timothy N. Byrd). Oxygen Tube Support Apparatus and Associated Method. US Patent 565,759, November 30, 1995.

Mathew, N. What is Nasal Cannula? Full guide; asal-cannula/ (accessed Sep 5, 2017).

Oxygen-delivery devices; content/oxygen-therapy/equipment/delivery-devices.html (accessed Sep 5, 2017).

Reducing The Risk Of Superficial Skin Damage Related To Adhesive Use; (accessed Sep 5, 2017).

Scott, Jane; Fitch, Brendan; Fitch, Cameron. (Tortle Products LLC). Head Positioning Aids for Premature Infants. US Patent 14/312,594, June 23, 2014.

Timmons, Gloria A.; Timmons, John W. (Gloria A. Timmons and John W. Timmons). Nasal Cannula Apparatus. US Patent 927,525, November 5,1986.

Tumolo, Jean S. (Jean S. Tumolo). Premature Baby Headband for Supporting Nasal Cannulas and Oxygen Feed Tubes. US Patent 792,609, November 15, 1991.

"US News and World Report News." US News, Doximity, Accessed 6 Sept. 2017.