A new battery-powered inhaler, yet to be named, reportedly boasts the world’s highest aerosolizing efficiency rate of 15 µL/sec (0.9 mL/min) and promises precise control of the small volume of liquid being atomized for pulmonary drug delivery.

The inhaler—developed by Omron Healthcare Co Ltd, a subsidiary of Kyoto, Japan-based Omron Corp, and Nipro Corp, Osaka, Japan—is an advance on Omron Healthcare’s Micro Air NE-U22 nebulizer launched in 2002. The mesh-type NE-U22 generates particles to an average size of 5 µm at 0.25 mL/min and over, while the new inhaler achieves 3 µm on average and approximately 1.0 mL/min. In addition, more than 70% of the droplets are under 4.7 µm, the size regarded as optimal for deposition in the lungs, according to Omron Healthcare. The new inhaler’s cartridge allows about 1-month doses of medications to be kept under aseptic conditions.

Omron Healthcare and Nipro currently are seeking business alliances with pharmaceutical companies interested in using the inhaler for pulmonary delivery of their products.

“The new inhaler is our response to growing interest in converting medications previously administered through injection or other methods into aerosol-based distribution, due to its noninvasive delivery and quick performance,” says Keiichiro Akahoshi, Omron Healthcare president and representative director.

Medical practitioners worldwide are exploring pulmonary delivery of treatments for diseases other than respiratory conditions, according to Omron Healthcare. For instance, practitioners believe inhalers could deliver painkillers, drugs for multiple sclerosis, and insulin for diabetics.

Nellcor Receives Patient Monitoring Advancement Award

As a result of Nellcor’s continuous educational efforts, pulse oximetry has become accepted as a standard of care and is now considered the fifth vital sign, according to growth consulting company Frost & Sullivan. For this achievement and the company’s industry leadership, Frost & Sullivan presented Nellcor, part of Tyco Healthcare, Pleasanton, Calif, with the first-ever Patient Monitoring Industry Innovation and Advancement of the Year award at the 2003 Global Excellence in Healthcare & Life Sciences Awards Banquet in November.

The annual award also recognizes Nellcor’s “dedication to providing better quality of patient care as well as its creation of unique synergies that not only seamlessly link caregivers, universities, and hospitals, but also help expand the market for all participants,” according to Frost & Sullivan.

“Through its pioneering technology, sound business strategies, superior customer relations, and ongoing educational efforts in the industry, Nellcor has consistently distinguished itself as the leader in the pulse oximetry market,” says Katherine Shariq, industry analyst with Frost & Sullivan.

Nellcor most recently released the OxiMax® pulse oximetry system, the company’s fifth-generation technology. In the past 19 months, US customers have implemented more than 28,000 stand-alone OxiMax N-595 pulse oximeters.

Devilbiss FlexAire Mask Gets Innovation Award

The DeVilbiss FlexAire mask by Sunrise Medical, Longmont, Colo, received the Most Innovative New Product of the Year award at Medtrade 2003 in Atlanta in October. The annual award—given by VNU Expositions, the Roswell, Ga-based show organizer for Medtrade—is chosen by popular ballot. It recognizes state-of-the-art design, quality, and innovative use of technology in the home medical equipment marketplace. The FlexAire Mask, released in August of this year, is engineered to fit a wider array of facial profiles to improve patient compliance while enhancing business efficiency for dealers and laboratories.

Gallagher named Associate Publisher of RT Magazine

Keith Gallagher has been promoted to Associate Publisher of RT. Since joining the Allied Healthcare Group in January 2002, Gallagher has been RT’s Advertising Director. Over the past 2 years, Gallagher has been instrumental in increasing ad pages in RT. He launched an annual wall calendar this year for the respiratory care marketplace and will help oversee the publication going to a monthly format in 2004. As Associate Publisher, Gallagher will work closely with the editorial staff of RT as well as with its art/production department. “I’m confident that Keith will continue to grow the advertising base of RT as we launch into a monthly format,” says Publisher Tony Ramos. “RT’s market share growth in 2003 was impressive. Combine this with our stellar editorial content and an even more improved design and layout, and it has been a good year for RT. With Keith and the rest of the RT team at the helm in 2004, we’re looking forward to another strong year.”