Medtech start-up Ergotrics achieves world scoop in neurosurgery
Turnhout/Tilburg – Today, for the first time in history, patients are tilted with compressed air and operated on inflatable supports. This method is faster, easier, more ergonomic, more hygienic and safer than the existing procedures. It is an innovation of Ergotrics, a medtech start-up with great plans for the healthcare sector.
Successful test phase with compressed air and inflatable supports
A legendary moment for Dr. Paul Depauw, inventor of Ergotrics. Today, for the first time in history, compressed air and inflatable supports were used in the operation room. Two of his innovative inventions. This was done as part of patient testing in the Elisabeth-TweeSteden Hospital (ETZ) in Tilburg. “A revolution in neurosurgery,” says Dr. Depauw.
“As a neurosurgeon, I am confronted every day with the difficulties of positioning patients properly for back surgery. This is very important to avoid bleeding and complications. It takes time and heavy lifting power from nurses. The back complaints of the staff in the operating theatre are higher than average. A big problem”, concludes Dr. Depauw. That’s why he came up with a completely new solution. “Why don’t we use compressed air and inflatable cushions to tilt and lift our patients?” In 2018, the European Patent Office granted the patent. In the meantime, Ergotrics has filed worldwide patent applications.
A revolution for prone surgery
Based on thorough knowledge of anatomy, physiology and physics, his team developed the perfect solution. The cushions are applied to the patient in the supine position and inflated after turning over. Dr Frank van Eijs, principal investigator for the patient tests, has positively assessed the benefits of these products: “This is a revolution for prone surgery. It allows surgical teams to tilt patients safely and easily. Due to the optimal positioning, we also think that there will be less venous congestion, less blood loss and a clearer picture of the operating area. We are currently investigating this in detail.”
A new future for healthcare
The tests in Tilburg will be followed by tests in Leiden and Leuven. The patient tests are the last step before the product launch. Meanwhile, product development does not stand still. “Several doctors and patients have already contacted us for other applications. With Ergotrics’ technology, we can also also improve working conditions and efficiency of healthcare workers in the home care sector.” explains Inge Bruynooghe, CEO of Ergotrics.
Vinya is one of the suppliers. CEO Aristide Melissas is satisfied with the cooperation: “With the experience of our technical staff we can contribute to the Ergotrics innovations and our production set-up in Belgium makes it possible to scale up flexibly when this is launched internationally”.
Ergotrics specialises in positioning and moving patients with compressed air in the healthcare sector. Ergotrics designs and manufactures inflatable positioning cushions that allow patients to be tilted and lifted quickly, easily, ergonomically, hygienically and safely.
ABOUT PAUL DEPAUW
Dr. Paul Depauw is the driving force behind and inventor of the Ergotrics products. In addition to his position as neurosurgeon at the Neurosurgical Science Center in Tilburg since 2004, he is founder and CMO of Ergotrics. Paul Depauw has 16 years of experience as a neurosurgeon and, because of his education and his current work situation, has already worked in more than 15 hospitals throughout Belgium and the Netherlands.
ABOUT INGE BRUYNOOGHE
Inge Bruynooghe has been CEO of Ergotrics since October 2018. She brought the Ergotrics innovations from prototype to production and launch. Before this job, Inge fulfilled successfully several executive management positions within Philips, in an international context in China, the Netherlands and Belgium. In her last position she was Managing Director Philips Lighting Belgium in Turnhout. In that position, Inge was the driving force behind the growth of the Open Manufacturing Campus. This ecosystem of start-ups and growth companies inspired Inge to a career change outside the multinationals.