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Wireless Surgical Nerve Monitoring System

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - WiNerve (Wireless Surgical Nerve Monitoring System)

Reporting period: 2017-12-01 to 2018-05-31

Surgical procedures may result in inadvertent damage to nerves by accidental pulling, crashing or resection of the nerves during the operation. As a result surgeons are increasingly using Intraoperative Neuromonitoring (IONM) equipment, to electrically stimulate the nerves and monitor their state during the operation.

The opportunity explored in this Phase I project is the offering of novel wireless IOM, in which cables from nerve-hooked electrodes to the amplifier or stimulator are removed altogether. The safer connectivity afforded by RF links would eliminate the risk for cable swinging by the surgical team and the ensuing nerve damage.

The main objectives of this SME Phase I project were the achievement of an increase in our understanding of the market, our customers and competitors, and of the economics of the project. Overall we have confirmed the feasibility of the WiNerve business innovation and its potential for fast growth.
The work performed included the interaction with target customers and distributors to deepen our knowledge of the market, the iterative refinement of our business model and business plan as a result of the inputs from the market, the re-assessment of technical risks, the comparison of multiple supply chain approaches and a systematic scoring of the project based on the RWW methodology.
A key result of the project, prompted by our interaction with the market, has been a product concept redesign with an easy-to-use user interface and a 3D enclosure to better match market requirements. Further, the financial projections have suggested the profitability of the business proposition. An innovative pay-per-use costing model has also been a key result arising from our activities in the project. On the operations front, a new distributed supply chain strategy is being implemented.

Moreover, the project has confirmed that a fully wireless IONM is considered by our market as desirable, innovative and at the forefront of the state of the art, and the attributes of a potentially successful new IONM product have been outlined.

In conclusion, as a result of the SME Phase I project Afferent Technologies has substantially increased its go-to-market focus. The work carried within phase I has set the foundations for substantial economic and societal impact and is guiding our next steps towards product launch. With increased knowledge-based confidence in the viability of the project we have concluded that WiNerve must be pursued further.
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