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Gas air flow monitor for anaesthetics

May 14, 2014

gill-rd-application-story-spirocell.jpgNorth American Drager, a leading manufacturer of healthcare equipment required a sensing solution which monitors gas flow in their next generation of anaesthesia machines. The machines monitor the anaesthesia delivery system and provide ventilation to healthcare patients.

The Challenge

A new sensor assembly was required to measure respiratory flow rate using by means of ultrasonic transducers. The assembly is required to process flow rate information to provide a pulse train output compatible with the existing Drager Spiromed electronics.

The Results

Gill R&D developed a Sensor Assembly consisting of a flow sensor housing which mounts in the patient circuit, two sensor assemblies which mount on the flow housing, and an electronics assembly to control the transducers, process the data, and provide output.

An examination of the current Narkomed 'Monitoring system was undertaken with the view to designing a fully integrating PCB sub assembly. This PCB would not only contain all the original functionality, but also all the other functions implemented by the monitor and any additional control required to reduce system complexity.

The meter was designed so that the flow head and ultrasonic transducers could be connected via a short cable to the top of the absorber and fully integrated with the O2 and pressure sensors.

Project results and benefits

  • A sustainable and cost effective air flow product which would reduce costs of equipment due to fewer PCB sub-assemblies and external modules being required
  • Centralised processing which removes unnecessary processing power and communications
  • Utilisation of current technologies using Flash memory, and modem interface to ensure best data collection
  • Reliable air flow monitoring and confidence that the accuracy is maintained
  • A highly accurate and easy to install sensor product, built to requirements within restricted timescales

Phases of working with the customer

  • Customer brief and requirements capture
  • Concept Definition
  • Detailed design of the new sensor, PCB and firmware
  • Prototype manufacture
  • Design verification and application testing
  • Production pilot build and product launch


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