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Man with cystic fibrosis invents lung therapy device

Shared by Katie Patient on 2017-07-18 10:57

About the solution

When Marten was two months old, he was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis and spent a large portion of his life trying different treatments and methods of therapy. However, after years of testing different products on the market, he realized the best treatment he had received was chest percussion therapy, which is simply manual pounding, that he had received from his mother as a child. When he couldn’t find any devices that worked as effectively in moving the mucous upward and outward, he decided to invent his own. Now, the Monarch Airway Clearance System is regarded as a revolutionary device that has the potential to reach many sufferers of cystic fibrosis and other respiratory diseases.

This creation stemmed simply from Marten wanting to lead a more active life, saying: “I wanted to create a portable, long-lasting battery-powered device that clears the lungs so patients are free to be outside, go camping, live a fuller, higher quality of life.”

The system uses Pulmonary Oscillating Discs that provide targeted energy and high frequency chest wall oscillation to the lungs in order to thin mucus and generate flow, which moves mucus out of the lungs. This simulates manual chest and back pounding whilst allowing the user to take deep breaths during treatment, enabling them to cough and expectorate mucous. This is also the first product that facilitates freedom of movement and breathing during therapy, and according to Marten, exercise during treatment proved to be very effective.

The first prototype was initially put together using any pieces that Marten could find and whilst it didn’t look very attractive, it worked very well. This inspired Marten to make his device more accessible and, using a contract manufacturer, began to design a marketable product. Whilst Marten worked with different engineers and designers, his own input was what drove the final version, and he understood the importance of first-hand experience, saying “As a representative of the patient population that was going to be using this device, I knew what features would make this device most beneficial.”

The device is now able to fit the vast majority of users, including accommodating ports, pregnancy, ports and mickey buttons, and does not create any rashes or itching sensations. Additionally, it is portable and battery powered meaning users can go about their daily activities during treatment.

The unexpected success of his invention has caught Marten off guard, saying: “Although I am not quite sure how it happened, I have become known as a medical device inventor. I am not an engineer or a physician, and though I’m increasingly referred to as a "biohacker" by the media, I have no idea what the term means.”

https://vimeo.com/63592322

Adapted from: http://bit.ly/2vmODHr

More info: http://bit.ly/2gNaTqx
https://youtu.be/ho62r3kf--s

This solution shall not include mention to the use of drugs, chemicals or biologicals (including food); invasive devices; offensive, commercial or inherently dangerous content. This solution was not medically validated. Proceed with caution! If you have any doubts, please consult with a health professional.

About the author

Marten deVlieger, from Canada, and his sister, were diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis. His disease meant he wrestled with his lungs filling up with mucous that is difficult to expectorate, and desperate for an effective treatment to clear his airways whilst living an active lifestyle, he developed the Monarch Airway Clearance System.

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