Asthma Management System
Sales Growth of 3,000% from Adoption of Microsystems Technology
Technologies used


Industrial sector (PRODCOM code)
    331 Medical products
    332 Instrumentation companies
    31 Consumer electronic products

Mediwatch is a small company engaged in the design and manufacture of a number of diagnostic and prosthetic medical systems. The company employs 15 people and has a turnover of 600 K Euro.
The company's market includes large organisations such as Glaxo, Merck, Boeringer Ingleheim, Rhone Poulec Rorer, UK and Bard, and also sells its products via direct sales to end users. The company supplies products in the medical sector (NACE industrial code 3310).

The company's product range includes the Ezee Pzee, Sphinct Aid, Erect Ease, DriWatch, Urosonic Scanner, Venus and Spiropeak product and nebulisers. In developing these products the company has gained expertise in medical electronic systems based on the use of analogue and digital components, and microcontrollers.

The objective of this application was to improve the company's Spiropeak asthma management product. This product currently allows the user to monitor the peak flow of air expired by a person, and to compare this against previous values so as to assist in the treatment of asthma by adjusting drug doses. The existing product incorporates a microcontroller to provide a readout of peak flow.

The rationale for the product improvement was to improve the market competitiveness of the Spiropeak by the provision of unique product features in its market place. The introduction of a micro-machined sensor into the improved product to measure directly bi-directional flow will enhance the functionality and performance of the product, whilst at the same time reducing its manufacturing costs. This will result in a significant increase in the company'' sales and share of the market.

The product improvements delivered by the use of the microsystem include:

  1. A reduction in the size of the Spiropeak to make it into a compact, convenient pocket-sized system, and therefore particularly attractive to children.
  2. To reduce the cost of the system to that of currently available less accurate and inconvenient commercial devices.
  3. To allow inspiratory measurements to be undertaken as well as expiratory. Both measures are essential for accurate asthma control.

The application experiment was completed in 19 months, and involved the technical evaluation and validation of prototype micro-machined sensors currently available at European microsystem device supplier organisations. A 7 month delay was incurred while commercial arrangements with the selected subcontractor were finalised.

The increased sales of the equipment will payback the 91 K Euro prototype development costs within 17 months of the completion of the application experiment. This incorporates the 15 month industrialisation period. The expected return on investment over a 3 year period is 2,850%. The industrialisation costs for the micro sensor are estimated at 100 K Euro.


    Mediwatch Ltd.
    PO Box 244,
    NN6 6AG
    United Kingdom.

Detailed information

You can also benefit from microelectronics

Microsystems technology provided Mediwatch Ltd. with the means of improving its products and enhancing its market position. You can also achieve significant benefits by acquiring the right microelectronics technology and utilising it in your product or manufacturing process. You can get help from FUSE to realise this.

FUSE is a technology transfer programme, funded by the European Commission to stimulate the wider use of microelectronics technologies by European enterprises to increase their competitiveness and enhance their economic growth. The demonstrator described here is one of many examples in the public FUSE portfolio covering the whole spectrum of microelectronics technologies and spanning a wide range of applications and industry sectors.

FUSE provides you with:

  • Best practice in acquiring specific microelectronics technologies and conducting full development projects through the FUSE portfolio of real life demonstrator documents.
  • Local training and expert support to plan your innovation realistically and help you conduct your project successfully.

Further information and support relating to this and other demonstrators can be obtained from the addresses below.

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For further information and support regarding this case study, please contact a Technology Transfer Node (TTN) in your region.
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Univercity of Glamorgan
Mid Glamorgan
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