Boreas - a visual of the system’s mechanical prototype
Presentation of the Boreas system
Presentation of the Boreas system
Boreas - application screens
Breeze – a prototype presented by the team
Breeze - the first prototype of the inner tube
Breeze - the first concept visual of the system
What it does
Breeze solves the problem of insufficient pulmonary physiotherapists in hospitals to provide enough treatment to patients after surgeries or with severe COPD, lung cancer, pneumonia or COVID by serving numerous patients simultaneously with fleets of devices.
Our idea of developing devices for pulmonary rehabilitation arose in 2021 when our leader's father suffered from serious COVID while the leader was attending Medica fairs. The father was told to train by breathing through a straw to a glass of water, which he did not follow due to a misunderstanding on how to exercise and boredom. We got inspired during the fairs by the companies that gamified neurological treatment, and we started to work on a device for gamified home pulmonary rehabilitation. However, the system turned out to be designed not as a medical device for a single user only - that is why it evolved into Boreas for the B2B model.
How it works
Boreas is an advanced mechatronic system for pulmonary rehabilitation. It is based on a microcomputer, which controls the resistance of the treatment, measures its parameters, visualises the desired breathing patterns, and sends the data measured to the physician. The therapy is gamified and can be realised with a virtual trainer or an arcade game. During sessions, a patient must generate enough pressure to open the inner breathing channel and then follow the natural breathing rhythm under changing flow limitations. Flow limitation and pressure threshold settings are adjusted automatically while exercising based on the patient's performance. At the end of the rehabilitation session, the results compared to the historical ones are presented and can be analysed remotely by the medical expert. The next exercising session is generated automatically. The device contains an exchangeable sterile filter and an inlet tube. Hence, it can be used by numerous patients.
The journey started from the concept which arose during Medica 2021. Then the first prototype of Breeze, the device for home pulmonary telerehabilitation, was developed during the 2-day MedTech-Athon 2022. It consisted of a tube with a mechanism affecting the user's breathing by blocking the flow channel in a specific manner and was connected to the smartphone with a mobile game via Bluetooth. The first game created was similar to Flappy Bird and forced anatomical breathing patterns by smart placing obstacles. The Breeze was awarded a special prize in the contest and underwent WUT's Preincubation Programme. Since then, we designed and 3D-printed more than ten prototypes to find the most ergonomic casing and compact inner design. The product was ready for medical certification. However, after validating market demand and pitching to investors, we decided to pivot. This resulted in dividing the Breeze into two separate products: Notos - a system for home treatment, and Boreas - a device for automatic use in hospitals. The Boreas prototype is being developed in the Lean Startup loop. The latest design consists of a device with a touch-screen microcomputer with a game or a virtual trainer and a breathing channel as for Breeze but with a sterile filter and exchangeable inlet tube.
How it is different
Boreas can be compared with three main competitors - simple pulmonary trainers, AiroFit and Breather One. The first, enable resistance treatment but without any automation, progress monitoring, gamification or remote connection with the doctor. The other two automate the therapy and allow health monitoring. However, AiroFit, as a device mainly for athletes, enables resistance treatment but without any gamification. This does not scale for patients, which have to be motivated. On the contrary, Breather One gamifies the therapy but without any resistance applied. Also, none of these allows for remote connection with a physician. The Boreas is the only tool which combines all the most desired factors for automatic therapy. It automates and gamifies the treatment, including the online setting of the resistance, monitors the patient's health, and provides a connection with a medical professional. Hence, the fleets of these can serve numerous patients, even remotely.
Within the awarded grant, we plan to develop a robust design and algorithms to enable therapy for people with different breathing patterns. Moreover, during the 12-month R&D phase, the smart placing obstacles in the game will be improved. Following this, we will investigate the device's long-term impact on patients. After six months of these, we plan to start medical certification of the class-2a device, which we aim to complete in four years since now. Above all, our product will be presented in the Startup section of Medica 2023 fairs, which will help us to validate actual market demand and fulfil our big entrepreneurship dreams.
The forerunner design, the Breeze, was awarded the special prize of MedTech-Athon 2022 and underwent Warsaw University of Technology's preincubation programme. As a result, a spin-off with the WUT's investment is being established.