Voting Closes:

November 21, 2022 11:59 pm

About this idea
Premature infants are screened for an eye disease called retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) with dilated eye exams. The problem is that up to 80% of each dilating eyedrop escapes from the eye, flows into the tear duct into the nose. While crossing the nasal mucosa, the eyedrops are absorbed into the bloodstream, causing cause side effects in the infant’s body. After eye exams, preemies often experience problems with breathing, abdominal distention and difficulty feeding. These symptoms can last as long as 1-2 days and may require changes in oxygen requirements, and alterations in feeding regimens. We, at PREEMIEr, are about to change this. Our technology uses magnetic force to gently occlude the tear duct. This is an easy way to prevent the side effects. We will also have an adult size device to prevent side effects from glaucoma medicines (such as depression, impotence and bronchospasm) in adult patients.
Almost all types of eyedrops can cause side effects. We will help prevent these side effects. In the U.S., 120 million people use eyedrops. That is over a billion people around the world. Major market segments for my device include 1.5 million newborns requiring eye exams and 118 million glaucoma patients worldwide. We expect our manufacturing costs to be low at $2-3 per device. Thus, we expect large margins at a retail price of $25-$30. This is affordable even if not covered by insurance. We will first target the infant population because of the urgent need for technology such as ours and then expand to the other markets, such as the adult market.
What I'll do with $5,000
This $5000 prize will enable us to begin by performing research and investigation into the following areas: (a) magnet size and strength (b) general materials research (c) spring/mechanical stop research and (d) initial materials research and recommendations (All materials will need to be medical grade). We will also be ablet to attain some initial sketches of our intended product, followed by some initial CAD (computer aided design) modeling. We will also perform an initial FDA regulatory assessment to help us determine FDA requirements for a medical class I device such as ours. This will allow us to complete enough preliminary work to have a competitive application for an NIH SBIR grant to complete the development of the product.

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