Derry team’s asthma device wins award

Airbrio founders Dr Jim Harkin, Professor Liam McDaid and CEO Susan Kelly receiving their award from category sponsor James Leckey.
Airbrio founders Dr Jim Harkin, Professor Liam McDaid and CEO Susan Kelly receiving their award from category sponsor James Leckey.

An innovative product for asthma sufferers, created in Derry, has won a major award.

Air​brio, based out of C-TRIC in Altnagelvin’s Hospital Campus, won the Life and Health Science category at the recent Invent Awards and scooped £3,000 for its revolutionary product to help asthma sufferers to control their symptoms.

Air​brio works by attaching a device to an inhaler to inform patients whether they are inhaling correctly using a light system. The data is sent in real time to an app that coaches good technique and reminds patients when to take their medication.

The platform will capture user data, and use analytics to inform patients – and crucially, their healthcare professionals – on how well they take their medication over time and when they are at risk of having an asthma attack.

The product was developed in Ulster University’s Derry campus, where two of the founders, Dr Jim Harkin and Professor Liam McDaid, are full time academics.

Phase 2 clinical testing begins early next year – with ‘real world’ pilot studies in GP practices in Northern Ireland running alongside a three centre UK wide clinical trial.

Hosted by Catalyst and sponsored by Bank of Ireland UK, the Invent awards are a celebration of NI’s most talented innovators and seeks to find the product with the most commercial potential.

There were more than 100 entries this year across all six categories which included engineering, agri-science and electronics.

Susan Kelly, CEO at Airb​rio said: “Our mission at Airbrio is to change lives. We are absolutely delighted to have won this award which will help us to deliver on that critical mission”.