Researching the impact of a medical device

Our human sciences researchers are working with a company that develops medical devices for sufferers of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD), on a research project to better understand the science behind their product. 

About the SoeMac medical device

SoeMac® is a CE marked, registered class 1 medical device made by SOE Health. It uses a patent-protected technology to produce and deliver singlet oxygen energy to a person’s body, when placed next to their bedside every night. Through case studies, SOE Health has collected anecdotal evidence that clearly demonstrate improved outcomes for people using their device, indicating improved sleep quality, enhanced physical activity and improved mental health and wellbeing.

The need for the research study

In order to get the device prescribed on the NHS, the company needs more robust scientific evidence about exactly how their product helps people with respiratory problems, particularly COPD. To do this, they enlisted the help of researchers from our University, and benefitted from funding provided by the Productivity through Innovation programme.

Dr Mark Faghy from the Human Science Research Centre at the University of Derby is leading the research, supported by a PhD student recruited for the project, Samuel Grimwood. Mark is an experienced lecturer and researcher, with a PhD in Respiratory Physiology and a keen interest in using non-medicinal interventions to increase the capability of people’s respiratory systems. Samuel has an MSc Foundations in Clinical Psychology and also has experience of working on research projects focused on patients with respiratory conditions such as asthma and COPD. 

Managing Director of SOE Health, Neil Stentiford, explains why they are working with the University on this project: 

“The biggest challenge that we had, was turning all the anecdotal evidence that we have that the SoeMac works, to more formal evidence. And to do that you need to run a study or trial with a respected academic and medic…That was the beauty of meeting Mark and the University of Derby because Mark has done this before and Mark put the project together with us”

Hear from the MD of the company

Hear Neil Stentiford, MD of SOE Health, explain the project.

Neil Stentiford, MD of SOE Health

View Interview with Neil Stentiford, MD of SOE Health video transcript

About the research

The study, which began in October 2019, is focusing on collecting and analysing qualitative and quantitative data from people living with COPD, through a series of randomised community-based trials. This will determine the physiological and psychological outcomes for patients using singlet oxygen energy. Using health economic assessment and cost effective analysis, the study will also quantify the broader potential benefits to the health service, since COPD complications cost the NHS an average of £3,726 per episode (Mclean et al 2016).

If the findings from the first set of trials are promising, the next steps would be to undertake a second trial with a larger number of patients from various locations around the UK. 

It is hoped that the study will provide clinical evidence that can be submitted to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), with a view to getting the SoeMac device prescribed to many of the 1.5 million COPD sufferers registered with the NHS.

Get funding for your own industrial research

We are still offering part-funded research projects like this to local SMEs, through our Productivity through Innovation programme. Do you have an idea but need help and funding to get it off the ground?

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