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Inventor unveils cheap and simple medical device with potential to save 1million lives

30th September 2013


Oliver Blackwell

An award-winning inventor has unveiled a cheap and easy to use medical device, which he believes could save more than 1million lives each year.

Oliver Blackwell has designed a simple addition to the needles used for collecting blood, which would substantially reduce the risks for healthcare professionals.
His design involves using an automatic needle sheath that prevents medical staff having to self-sheathe the needles, which can put themselves at risk of a needle-stick injury.
Plymouth University graduate Oliver says the technology would cost as little as 1 US cent for each device, meaning it would inexpensive for manufacturers, making safer technology affordable for health authorities around the world.

He added: “In a medical environment there are three dominant factors - clinical delivery, functional ergonomics and price. Existing manual, low cost, needle covers do exist, however they require the user consciously think about performing the task. Fully automated needle-sheath technologies are available, however these are at a premium price, whereas implementing our device will cost less than 1 US cent. In our eyes, this is a small price to pay to save a life.”

Oliver, who graduated from the BA (Hons) 3D Design course at Plymouth University  in 2005, has earned numerous accolades for his previous designs. He won the Daily Mail Designer of the Year Award in 2009 and was one of 10 people shortlisted for a British Airways Great Britons award in 2010.
In recent years, his main focus has been on products designed to revolutionise the health sector, with his creations including a pain-free needle and urine diagnostic technology.
At the same time as unveiling his new design, Oliver has also launched a company – Limbic – focused on providing innovative solutions for the medical industry.

He said: “At Limbic we believe that the definition of brilliant design is the development of a solution that fits seamlessly into both its social and commercial surroundings. Our design process must seek to encompass both our physical practice, as well as our comprehension of human emotional drivers, and this formulaic approach creates a reliable journey that allows our empathic findings to be designed into tangible products and experiences. Innovation and creativity are never actually created, but simply nurtured from the subject environment.”





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