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UCT engineers design life-changing device for kids and elderly asthma sufferers

1 May 2018 4:17 PM
Tags:
UCT
Asthma
New technology

Masters student Giancarlo Beukes says the device makes it easier for children and the elderly to use their standard asthma pump.

Today is Workers Day but it is also World Asthma Day. In South Africa there are nearly 4 million people who live with asthma and South Africa also has the fourth highest asthma related death toll in the world, with the disease claiming the lives of nearly 60 000 people a year.

Asthma can be treated, but one of the things that can hamper treatment is that many patients particularly the elderly and children are unable to activate their asthma pumps due to the force required to release the medicine. And those that are designed for easy use are often not affordable.

UCT engineers design device to improve the quality of life of asthma sufferers.

Speaking to Sara-Jayne King, Giancarlo Beukes said their technology for the device that makes it easier for children as well elderly patients to use their standard asthma pump.

Children and elderly patients find it difficult to activate standard inhalers, as they do not have enough force to do so. And that is what makes this model so special.

It effectively reduces the activation of your asthma pump. So typically only those 12 years and older can activate their standard asthma pump. Whereas with our device children five years and older do it.

Giancarlo Beukes, Biomedical engineering master's student

Listen below to the full interview:

Photograph: Robyn Walker


1 May 2018 4:17 PM
Tags:
UCT
Asthma
New technology

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