A novel sleep apnoea treatment from AUT secures funding for commercialisation

AUT Senior Lecturer, Dr David White, is developing a technology that aims to provide obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) sufferers with greater comfort and increased hours of sleep.

OSA sufferers will cease breathing during their sleep and often experience blocked airways for up to a minute causing sleepless nights for many sufferers. Over 100 million people suffer from OSA globally with the economic cost in the US alone estimated at over $100 billion.

Joint funding from KiwiNet and New Zealand Health Innovation Hub for Dr White’s, RACer project (Rest Activity Cycler) will be used to further develop and commercialise the technology to help provide an adequate treatment for sufferers.

Contemporary market treatments such as Continuous Positive Air Pressure (CPAP) are limited in effectiveness, with around 40% of patients becoming non- compliant with the therapy after 12 months due to the discomfort, nasal drying and congestion caused by the use of current therapies.

Dr White states that “this new technology aims to reduce the more serious side effects associated with disease, and with the new funding we are in a very favourable position to go ahead with the commercialisation stage of this project”.

Dr Guyett, CEO of New Zealand Health Innovation Hub, believes this is an exciting opportunity to partner with research to create better health outcomes. Dr Jim Bartley, ENT Surgeon from Counties Manukau Health, is also closely involved in this research as former PhD supervisor of Dr White.

AUT Enterprises Ltd filed a PCT in 2015 with the aim to develop commercial markets in New Zealand and abroad.

  • The Kiwi Innovation Network (KiwiNet) is New Zealand’s network of public research organisations, working together to transform scientific discoveries into marketable products and services.
  • The New Zealand Health Innovation Hub is a partnership between four of the biggest DHBs. NZHIH works alongside DHB innovators to develop new products and services that have commercial potential, are based on intellectual property, and improve health outcomes.