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A close family member’s cancer experience prompted William Mason to look at how he could improve outpatient chemotherapy delivery to help patients manage day-to-day activities more comfortably.
So the QUT industrial design graduate devised the Activ Infusion Pump, which has seen him named the Australian winner of the 2017 James Dyson Foundation prestigious international design award.
William, 27, began the project as part of his QUT Bachelor of Design (Honours).
His device is a single use, long-term, one-channel elastomeric infusion pump, with a carry bag so it can to be worn discretely under clothes and a shower bag with neoprene mesh to firmly secure it while showering.
Medication and diluent is filled into the pump via a syringe within a controlled laminar flow facility. This is then delivered via an elastomeric bladder intravenously to the patient, typically through a medical port on the patient’s chest. The pump has a single port which may be used to fill and express the medication.
William said he was excited to win the Australian James Dyson Award, and the £2000 ($A3275) prize would help towards further prototypes and development. As the national winner he also moves on to the next competition phase of international judging.
“Witnessing the struggle my family went through is what has really motivated me to develop this pump,” he said.
“Outpatient healthcare treatment is becoming more common and I think it is important to apply design thinking and practices into the development of medical products.
“I understand my product isn’t going to solve all the problems connected with chemotherapy treatment, but it can make a positive impact in a small but meaningful way to the lives of patients and their families.”
William said while there are existing infusion pumps on the market with similar technology, the Activ’s form allows it to be worn comfortably under clothes, and its two carrying accessories could be applied to existing devices.
Also going on to the international judging phase of the competition are four Australian runners-up, including another two QUT Bachelor of Design (Honours) graduates Steve Buhagiar and Gus Bellekens. They have designed a scuba tank monitoring device called The Canary which lets a dive companion know how much air is left in a diver’s tank.
The device is a wearable accessory that can be retrofitted to existing scuba set-ups and displays a panel of lights which indicate tank pressure status, similar to the way people can read a fuel gauge in their car.
In the next stage of the awards, 115 entries from 23 countries will be evaluated by a panel of Dyson design engineers. They will select a Top 20 from which the overall international winner will be chosen and announced in October.
Karen Milliner, QUT Media, 07 3138 1841 or email@example.com
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QUT design graduate William Mason, Australian winner of the 2017 James Dyson Award for his Activ Infusion Pump. Photo: Bradley Kanaris/Dyson.