The Eurecat technology centre and Mobile World Capital Barcelona have founded start-up Dipneo which is to develop and market a new medical device for resuscitation in case of cardiorespiratory arrest. It is based on a new system patented by Eurecat which allows air to be blown into the patient autonomously, a feature which makes it suitable for non-expert users as well as professionals. The project came to MWCapital last year where they were mentored throughout the business validation stage and putting together the founding team.

This new device differs from the air bag insufflators available on the market in that it operates autonomously and hands-free. This means that once in place it gives confidence to the non-expert user while it is also a technical, financial and performance improvement in the resuscitation manoeuvre with respect to existing advanced ventilation systems for professionals.

Xavier Castells, Dipneo’s CEO, says that “Dipneo’s goal is to bring the first version of the medical device to market in 2025” with sales expected to reach €2.5 million by 2026.

The company seeks “to be the perfect foil for automated external defibrillators with a market potential of €4.2 billion and expected growth of 8.8 percent per year,” adds biomedical engineer Julio Díaz, Dipneo’s CTO.

Dipneo’s aim in the near future “is to develop a product to improve survival,” explains Ferran Soldevila, the company’s co-founder and Eurecat’s Industrial Product Director, who points out that the product is expected to start the regulatory pathway to earning CE marking in 2024.

Once it has got through this stage, “we plan to release it on the market, starting with the expert user and then honing the device for use by professionals who would use it occasionally and other users,” adds Castells. He estimates that the new device will have an impact in out-of-hospital settings such as medical emergencies, intra-hospital settings such as primary care centres, traffic emergency and rescue services, and also in cardiac protected areas such as old people’s homes, businesses, sports facilities and municipal venues. The new medical device is based on Eurecat’s proprietary patented technology and has been licensed to Dipneo.

Out-of-hospital cardiorespiratory arrests; a major problem

It is estimated there are 700,000 out-of-hospital cardiorespiratory arrests per year in Europe and they are a serious health problem as the survival rate is 10 percent. “This ratio can be improved to 45 percent survival just by being able to perform successful CPR as quickly as possible,” notes Castells.

To achieve this goal, “we need to train and provide expert support to the person who has to perform the resuscitation along with the tools needed to oxygenate the brain, including ventilation systems and defibrillators.”

Based in Barcelona, Dipneo is made up of Xavier Castells, CEO, who has senior management experience as CFO and director in several businesses and start-ups and as an investor in health sector start-ups, and Julio Díaz, CTO, a biomedical engineer who has extensive knowhow in resuscitation devices. It is also backed by a committee of experts and the input of Dr Marc Bausili, an anaesthesiology and resuscitation specialist and entrepreneur in this field, and David Osorio, director of the Red Cross medical emergencies division in Catalonia.