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COVID-19 ICU-CARE – A ground-breaking ICU bed-side COVID-19 trachea flushing system that can cut healthcare costs and reduce COVID-19 spread between ICU patients and staff

Project description

A respiratory suctioning system for COVID-19 patients

COVID-19 patients requiring a mechanical ventilator for respiratory support must have their airways cleared from secretions and mucus on a daily basis to prevent infection. Existing suctioning techniques are not efficient and carry a high risk of spreading COVID-19 amongst ICU patients and staff. The EU-funded COVID-19 ICU-CARE project is working on a patented suctioning assist system, TrachFlush, already validated in general ICU patients. The system automatically flushes all secretions out of the airways at a reduced cost and with low risk of contamination. In collaboration with leading hospitals across Europe, the project will carry out a large clinical study to demonstrate the efficiency and safety of using this innovative tool with COVID-19 patients.


When the severely ill COVID-19 patients are admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) for respiratory support (breathing with the support of a mechanical ventilator), it is crucial that the upper airways of these patients are being suctioned many times daily to remove secretion and mucus, in order to prevent lung infections. If not removed efficiently, there is >50% likelihood of mortality. Unfortunately, the suctioning techniques today have 2 major limitations 1) it cant remove secretions efficiently and thereby preventing lung infections and 2) it induces a very high risk of COVID-19 spread amongst ICU patients and staff, as secretion is suctioned outside the patients body.

AW Technologies aims to solve these problems with TrachFlush – a patented suctioning assist system. As an add-on to standard mechanical ventilation systems used in the ICU, TrachFlush automatically flushes ALL secretion out of the airways and has already shown to cut cost and to reduce contamination in a small feasibility study on general ICU patients.

The aim of this project is to take TrachFlush to market and battle the COVID-19 outbreak.

In collaboration with experts from 5 leading hospitals from Denmark, Italy, Holland and Spain, this COVID-19 ICU-CARE project concerns a large-scale clinical study to reach TRL 8 and aims to demonstrate: 1) a 90% efficient secretion removal and implicit reduction in lung infections, 2) a 90% reduction in ICU nurse workload and, 3) elimination of any contamination between patients and staff – on COVID-19 patients! When we reach these goals, we can help EU battle the COVID-19 outbreak.

The business opportunity is huge. Our market is €3,6Bn and will reach €4,5Bn by 2025. Via a recently signed distribution agreement with an ICU ventilator manufacturer, we aim for rapid market penetration and a market share of 5,3%, a turnover of €100M, an EBITDA of €57M and additional employment of 22 people by 2025.

We foresee a total budget of €1.7M for this project

Call for proposal


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Net EU contribution
€ 1 196 749,00

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The organization defined itself as SME (small and medium-sized enterprise) at the time the Grant Agreement was signed.

Danmark Nordjylland Nordjylland
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Total cost
€ 1 719 017,50