Toowoomba company Bayro No. 1 has secured $250,000 from the Palaszczuk Governmnent’s Advance Queensland Ignite Ideas fund to develop a world-first feeding device that could improve life for millions of people who have difficulty swallowing.
Innovation Minister Leeanne Enoch said Bayro No. 1 – the makers of RoseCup – had global potential to make a difference in vulnerable people’s lives and fill a gap in healthcare devices.
“RoseCup is a simple but ingenious device developed in Queensland for people who cannot swallow solid food or drink safely and effectively are at risk of dehydration, pneumonia, malnutrition and dying,” Ms Enoch said.
“More than one million Australians and an estimated 18 million Americans have dysphagia – or difficulty swallowing – due to stroke, brain injury, head or neck cancer, advancing age, and diseases such as Alzheimers and Parkinsons.
“Hospital admissions are costly and it can be terribly difficult for people to be fed through the stomach or nose, so there are very good social and economic reasons to scale up the production of RoseCup.”
Bayro’s Managing Director, and the designer of RoseCup, Dr Gabriel Roux has spent almost seven years developing the device, working with caregivers, speech pathologists, nutritionists and local food and plastics manufacturers.
Dr Roux has worked in hospitals and aged care facilities for nearly 30 years and it was the plight of one of his dementia patients – 89-year-old Rose Palmada from rural Queensland – which inspired the design and naming of the RoseCup.
“The only feeding options on the market for dysphagic patients are made from hard plastic and these don’t protect the airways sufficiently,” Dr Roux said.
“They overlook the simple, intuitive way we all learned to feed – the principle of sucking before swallowing.
“The cup’s unique flow and volume control as well as soft silicone spout makes swallowing safer for the patient and the job easier for the caregiver.
“I’m optimistic the RoseCup and the nutritious food range we’ve created (NutriTaste) will become part of best practice for feeding regimes in hospitals and aged-care facilities worldwide.”
Bayro will use the Palaszczuk Government’s Advance Queensland Ignite Ideas grant to assist in undertaking market and research testing and further develop the product.
“The funding allows us to do things now instead of down the track, and help us to reinvest and expand the business in new areas,” Dr Roux said.
“Initially, RoseCup NutriTaste will be rolled out in South East Queensland which has almost 300 residential aged care facilities, and then country-wide.
“We have also received significant international interest in the product range.
“Several international patents have already been awarded and we hope to export to both first and third-world countries around the globe.”
Advance Queensland is the Palaszczuk Government’s $405 million whole-of-government innovation program and is the centrepiece of the state government’s drive to create the knowledge-based jobs of the future.
The Advance Queensland Ignite Ideas program targets businesses with fewer than 200 staff that have a working prototype boasting enough features to support testing and further development on the path to market success.
A total of 39 applicants statewide were successful in the Ignite Ideas first round, representing a funding commitment of $5.65 million.
Round two of the Ignite Ideas Fund is now open, for more information visit the Advance Queensland website.