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EarSwitch’s in-ear oximeter accepted onto the Innovative Devices Access Pathway (IDAP) Pilot Programme

EarMetrics-Oximetry aims to be the world’s first racially inclusive core oxygen monitor that takes readings from inside the ear, transforming how the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) delivers healthcare to millions of patients. 


Bristol, UK – February 16, 2024 EarSwitch Ltd today announced that EarMetrics-Oximetry is one of eight devices to be accepted onto the UK’s Innovative Devices Access Pathway (IDAP) pilot, a pilot scheme which will accelerate how life-saving medical devices are developed and rolled out to NHS patients. 


The Covid-19 pandemic increased concerns that many common pulse oximeters used to measure blood oxygen levels are less reliable for people with black or brown skin. EarSwitch aims to provide the first oximeter that records oxygen levels from the inner ear canal, a core site which is not pigmented irrespective of skin colour. EarMetrics-Oximetry could therefore detect dangerously low levels of oxygen in the blood more quickly and reliably than some current methods, without introducing racial bias.  


The device’s in-ear placement means that the accuracy of its readings may be less vulnerable to external temperature, movement, and blood circulation than currently used finger and ear-lobe monitors. EarSwitch believes that its novel in-ear sensor will provide the new standard of care for people with acute respiratory conditions, including asthma, COVID, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).   

 

Being accepted onto the IDAP pilot programme presents EarSwitch with an opportunity to accelerate EarMetrics-Oximetry – which has been developed with funding from the UKRI Biomedical Catalyst and UKRI Healthy Ageing Challenge – and transform health outcomes for patients across the UK.  

 

As Dr. Nick Gompertz, former NHS General Practitioner and founder of EarSwitch, says: 

 

“We’re dedicated to developing an oximeter that empowers healthcare professionals to deliver equitable healthcare and ultimately save more lives. We couldn’t be prouder that EarMetrics-Oximetry will be part of the groundbreaking IDAP scheme, which we see as recognition of its potential for the NHS and its millions of patients.” 


About IDAP 


IDAP aims to improve patient access to innovative medical devices by helping developers to navigate key regulatory and access requirements throughout the design and development stages. The programme is a partnership between the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), Health Technology Wales (HTW), Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), National Health Service England (NHSE), National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), Office of Life Sciences (OLS), and Scottish Health Technologies Group (SHTG). It launched its pilot scheme to test and refine tools that will be used in the pathway in September 2023 with funding from DHSC. 

 

About EarSwitch  


EarSwitch is a UK-based startup that is reimagining the future of healthcare. Its vision is to become the leading IP supplier of inclusive, in-ear control and sensor technology, enabling access to credible, real-world health data and augmenting human-to-environment interaction.  


Incorporated in 2019, EarSwitch’s initial aim was to develop an in-ear control and communication device that could help people with neurological impairments (such as motor neurone disease/ALS) choose how to live their lives, funded by the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR).


Today, EarSwitch is expanding its suite of products with an in-ear biometric sensor, and accelerating applications of both medical and interactive technology across the globe.  


About EarMetrics-Oximetry 


EarMetrics-Oximetry is a non-invasive biometric sensor that aims to record medical-grade, real-world, and racially inclusive health metrics from the inner ear canal. 


In addition to oxygen levels, it records heart rate, heart rate variability, respiration rate and pattern, and is adding temperature, novel indicators of blood pressure, and alarm functions to alert patients and practitioners to readings outside of determined “normal” ranges.  


EarMetrics-Oximetry can be integrated into a variety of in-ear devices, from earbuds to hearing aids to multi-diagnostic medical devices, to transform medical and personal health outcomes for all. 

 

 

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