External fixation devices are used on patients who are undergoing leg lengthening, correction of bone deformities, or have severe leg trauma. According to an orthopedic surgeon, external fixation devices carry a nearly 100% infection rate because of the exposed tissue. A team member's friend experienced infection and trauma from an external fixation device. Many studies have shown that oxygen therapy decreases healing time and reduces the infection rate.
What it does
Oxygen therapy is a procedure that utilizes pressurized oxygen to help maintain the cleanliness of open wound sites. With red blood cells being able to carry 15-20 times the normal amount of oxygen, white blood cells are more active and able to keep areas clean and new blood vessel connections can be built faster which increases circulation. It also reduces swelling, pressure and pain. While this is a helpful treatment, patients often have to go to a separate facility to have it done. O2Go would be able to be used in the patient's home; saving the patient's time, reduces the patient's time in the hospital, increasing the patient's comfort, reducing the cost to the patient because they will not have to be treated for an infection. This solution also saves the physicians time, so they can treat other patients, and saves hospital resources.
While originally we were focused on use with an external fixation device, this solution could be used for many other procedures that carry high infection rates, this device can be used with other traumatic open wounds such as skin grafts and severe burns. This would enter a global market of 7.5 billion dollars.
How we built it
We created a series of molds in SolidWorks, 3D printed them, and then cast the silicon using those molds. The silicon was then attached to the sleeve material. The sleeve material was created from vinyl and plastic fabrics. An air mattress pump was used as the inflation method.
Challenges we ran into
We ran into many challenges such as a lack of resources, very little time in the machine shop, issues with the silicone molding, and lack of a proper pressure sensor.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We accomplished a quantitative proof of concept in these short 24 hours.
What we learned
We learned how to do basic circuits, decision matrices, and more about the struggles of people who have an external fixation device.
What's next for O2Go
Fight. Win Expo. Drink. Get Naked. Drink some more.