Preterm birth and its direct consequences are the leading cause of death worldwide for children under five years of age. There are around 15 million infants born prematurely every year and about 1 million deaths associated with prematurity. Globally operating organizations such as UNICEF, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Save the Children, and many more are currently tackling this problem.
OxyPrem is the first medical device that reliably monitors the oxygen levels of preterm infants’ brains in real time. Using harmless, noninvasive near-infrared light, it continuously measures local oxygenation. Clinicians can set a target level and receive immediate notification if values move above or below that level. Several simple measures can then be taken to increase or decrease the oxygenation level, for example via the incubator atmosphere or through CPAP breathing support, a commonly used method.
OxyPrem is reusable and sturdy, and its use requires only a PC or tablet. It is therefore a feasible solution even for difficult environments. It will also be compatible with frequently used standard hospital monitors in the near future.
At Wyss Zurich, the next steps are being taken so that OxyPrem can be used in the hospital setting. The first goals are to manufacture an initial batch of OxyPrem systems and obtain CE certification. The systems are to be introduced to hospitals throughout Europe in a large-scale, pan-European study running from 2019 to 2021. At the same time, efforts are being made to gain CE mark certification under the new MDR regime. Market entry is envisioned for 2022.
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Co-Project Leader – R&D
Stefan Kleiser joined Wyss Zurich in December 2018 as OxyPrem Product Engineer. Stefan holds a master’s degree in microsystems engineering from the University of Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany, and a PhD in biomedical engineering from ETH Zurich in Switzerland. Since high school, he has enjoyed working with soldering and electrical equipment, and he continued to pursue that passion during his PhD studies. He is the driving force behind the various prototypes that have evolved over the years, and thanks to his extraordinary efforts and commitment, OxyPrem has become a viable medical device. His extensive knowledge and expertise in the field have made him a sought-after advisor, both domestically and internationally, on the application of near-infrared technology.
Co-Project Leader – Business Development
Alexander Nitsch joined Wyss Zurich in December 2018 as Project Leader of OxyPrem. Alex holds an MBA in international business administration from the University of Tübingen, Germany. Over the past ten years, he has acquired considerable experience working in startup projects and companies of various kinds. Whether the topic is hedge funds, travel e-commerce or financial IT, Alex immerses himself in the subject matter and dedicates himself to the advancement of the project. He is currently focusing on the project development side, finding new ways for OxyPrem to move into the outside world.
Maximillian Murphy joined Wyss Zurich in February 2019 as a Software Engineer for OxyPrem. Max is focusing on creating a superb experience for medical staff who use OxyPrem sensors. He has a PhD in mathematics and has worked for 15 years as a cryptographer in infrastructure engineering, fraud detection, penetration testing, AI and forensics. He loves making machines do things that he is “too lazy” to do himself, as he explains, and in this context he has programmed - or reverse engineered - everything from microcontrollers and FPGAs to supercomputers.
Daniel Ostojic joined Wyss Zurich in March 2019 as a Product Engineer for the OxyPrem project. Daniel advises the physicians who are using the OxyPrem device in clinical studies. His other responsibilities include the technical implementation of and support for clinical experiments, usability engineering, and hard- and software development. Daniel holds degrees in Electrical Engineering (Bachelor of Science), Computer Science (Master of Science) and Medical Physics (Master of Advanced Studies). He has been involved in the hard- and software design of OxyPrem devices since 2010. Daniel has also provided support in the use of OxyPrem devices in clinical studies conducted at the University Hospital of Zurich.