Startup helps cancer patients breathe well during radiation treatment

Media release | 21 December 2017

The quality of cancer treatment could improve worldwide thanks to technology developed by a Sydney startup company, Opus Medical, with support from the NSW Government-backed Jobs for NSW.

Opus Medical has developed its 'Breathe Well' technology, which coaches cancer patients to self-regulate their breathing to assist in the accurate targeting of tumours and sparing of healthy tissues during radiation treatment.

'This clever technology uses a motion sensor camera to detect breathing patterns and a visual interface to advise cancer patients on how to adjust their breathing in real-time,' Deputy Premier and Minister for Small Business John Barilaro said.

'This ensures stable breathing and also coaches patients to breathe in the right way to move healthy organs — such as the heart and lungs — out of the path of the radiation beam to support more targeted radiation treatment.

'This helps to more accurately target cancerous tissue while also reducing damage to the surrounding healthy tissue.'

The Breathe Well technology was pioneered by Paul Keall, who is a Professor in the School of Medicine at the University of Sydney and a director at Opus Medical, and developed with company co-founder Dr Sean Pollock as part of his PhD project.

Dr Sean Pollock
Dr Sean Pollock, co-founder of Opus Medical 

A technology prototype was developed with the assistance of a Building Partnerships grant from the NSW Government-backed Jobs for NSW. The technology has also been assisted with a $1.3 million grant from the NSW Health Medical Devices Fund.

Dr Pollock said the technology has secured Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for sale in Australia and the US.

'We believe there are strong global opportunities for this technology and expect 2018 to be a big year for us.'

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