SureflO2 Trading <em>SureflO2 </em>designed 2012–17; acetal copolymer, phosphor bronze, polycarbonate, polyvinyl chloride, styrene butadiene copolymer. Courtesy of SureflO2 Trading<br/>
© SureflO2 Trading. Photo: Dr. Andrew Middleton

SureflO2 Trading

SureflO2 Trading
(est. 2018, Melbourne)

After a near miss in his own practice, Melbourne anaesthetist Dr Matthew Matusik realised that existing medical oxygen systems were inherently limited by the risk of human error in operating them. This led Matusik to invent the SureflO2 oxygen mask, which features an integrated flow indicator to provide clear, timely feedback that oxygen is flowing as intended to the patient. Designed between 2012 and 2017, SureflO2 is a collaboration between Matusik, neurosurgeon Paul Smith, and a team of Australian-based aerospace, industrial and mechanical design engineers working with local manufacturers Forme Technologies.

Standard oxygen masks give no indication of oxygen flow, leading to user errors and poor clinical outcomes. (This was confirmed in 2018 when the United Kingdom’s NHS issued a safety alert after errors with portable oxygen systems resulted in 400 critical incidents and six deaths in the preceding three years.) Standard oxygen masks also require healthcare staff to get close to the device for visual or audible verification that it is working. Matusik and his team wanted to design a mask that incorporated a visually prominent, intuitive flow indicator. The resulting SureflO2 oxygen mask features a bright orange, spring-operated indicator that provides confirmation of oxygen flow, visible from up to nine metres away. With dual airflow paths and internal ridges to ensure a quiet, fail-safe operation, the indicator design can also be retrofitted to most existing standard oxygen mask systems.

SureflO2 was a finalist in the St Vincent’s Hospital Australia’s Innovation and Excellence Awards in 2017, where human safety trials were completed. It received European regulatory certification from CE Mark and Australian TGA ARTG certification in 2020, before commencing commercial trials in hospitals between 2020 and 2022, where it received overwhelmingly positive feedback. The SureflO2 was recognised with Gold and Best in Class prizes at the Australian Good Design Awards in 2020.