Tilburg/Turnhout – Tilburg/Turnhout, 20 nov 2019 – Neurosurgeon Paul Depauw received the “Best Tech Idea 2019” award for his invention to use compressed air to tilt and position patients for prone surgery. His method is making the medical procedure faster, easier, more ergonomic, more hygienic and safer. The invention was launched by Ergotrics in June this year and in the meantime more than 50 patients have been operated on these air cushions.
Every year, the Dutch search and reward the best tech idea. In September, the editors of the science magazine KIJK selected the Ergotrics innovation along with twenty other ideas. Anyone could score the ideas and Ergotrics became a strong public favorite with 655 out of 3500 votes. The expert jury also gave the second highest score because of the simplicity of the invention with a very high added value for the user.
“A very nice recognition,” says Dr. Paul Depauw, neurosurgeon and driving force behind Ergotrics. “Every day, an operating team is confronted with the difficulties of positioning patients properly for back surgery. Optimal positioning is very important in order to avoid bleeding and complications. It takes time and heavy lifting power by nurses. It is no surprise that back problems of the staff in the operating theatre are higher than average.” That’s why he came up with the solution of tilting and lifting patients with compressed air and inflatable cushions. His idea was patented and won today the public prize “Best Tech Idea 2019”.
Ergotrics employees and a delegation of nurses and colleagues from the operating theatre of the Elisabeth Twee Steden Hospital were present at the award ceremony. “An invention is always teamwork,” explains Paul Depauw. “My colleagues gave feedback on the idea and tested the concept. The Ergotrics team took care of the quality certification and production.” Inge Bruynooghe, CEO of Ergotrics, is honored with this award: “We innovate with compressed air to improve the working conditions and efficiency of healthcare workers. The fact that we received most public votes shows that we have a simple solution for a known problem of ergonomics in the operating room.” Meanwhile, more than 50 patients have been operated on the inflatable prone supports in 4 different European countries and the sixth employee recently joined Ergotrics.