A Breath of Fresh Air

Any patient who has ever worn a conventional oxygen mask for any length of time, will know the discomfort involved and also appreciate the difficulty created by the mask in terms of communication.

An Irish university student, James D’Arcy has come up with an innovative way of delivering oxygen to the hospital patient. The Flo2w offers a new user experience in respiratory therapy and represents a real breakthrough in patient comfort. It’s also more efficient than the current masks used which surely has to be welcomed in this current era of cutbacks in hospital resources?

James has been shortlisted for a prestigious international prize having made it to the finals of the James Dyson Awards. I wish him the very best of luck on October 5th.

“A University of Limerick student has been shortlisted for a prestigious international prize for a revolutionary new oxygen-delivery system.

James D’Arcy is the only Irish entry to make it the finals of the James Dyson Awards with a device called Flo2w.

The device holds an oxygen tube to a patient’s head with an adjustable headpiece that can be clipped on and off.

Mr D’Arcy (23), from Minane Bridge in Cork, has already beaten more than 500 entries from 21 countries across the world to make the final 18. He could win the grand prize of €12,000 plus €12,000 for the design department at the University of Limerick, where he has just completed his final year.

Mr D’Arcy said his invention is a new way of delivering oxygen to a patient and eliminates many problems associated with the current device that supplies oxygen.

“Flo2w eliminates the big, intimidating, one-size-fits-all mask that is currently being used,” he said. “The subtle design makes the user feel as if they are not even wearing it. The oxygen is supplied to the patient through nasal tubing.

“The system integrates a new form of regulating oxygen in an innovative and easy way for both the patient and health care professional.”

Other inventions to make the global shortlist include an ultraviolet sportspack designed by a Canadian that eliminates bacteria and odour from the user’s shoe.

The James Dyson Foundation will announce the global winner on October 5th.”

Information Source: The Irish Times and the James Dyson Award.

6 Responses to A Breath of Fresh Air

  1. Grannymar says:

    That looks like a wonderful improvement on the claustrophobic face mask. I hope James does well in the James Dyson Award.

    • Steph says:


      Thanks. The present masks sure leave a lot to be desired.

      The new Flo2w is not only highly efficient in monetary terms, it is also more efficient in how it delivers oxygen to the patient. The present masks leak at the sides whereas the Flo2w supplies oxygen to the patient via lightweight snug-fitting nasal tubes, making the user feel as if they are not even wearing the device.

  2. Annb says:

    I heard him interviewed on the radio a few weeks ago – very impressive guy.

    • Steph says:


      I missed that interview unfortunately although spotted the press release at the time and it’s taken me until now, to put up a blog post about it 🙄

  3. Nancy says:

    Hi Steph,

    My husband has Type II Diabetes and his sugar levels go up and down so much he has to test his blood several times a day and adjust his food or insulin accordingly.

    Our son is a chemist for a large chemical company and is always inventing things,but those inventions are mainly industrial.

    I mentioned to him the other day that I wish he could invent some sort of wrist watch type monitor that a Diabetic person could wear and that would allow anyone to glance at it and know the sugar levels of the person they were concerned about.

    He told me that the idea wasn’t out of the question but, the monitor would constantly need a drop of the person’s blood to work. I thought about this and figured my husband is better off without this device because with it, we might always know his levels but, he would probably die because we would be using up all his blood testing it.

    • Steph says:


      You always manage to make me laugh, even when discussing a serious topic! 😀

      I can understand your concern about your husband’s sugar levels as I know that the control of diabetes (Type 1 and 2) can be very difficult.

      Approximately 220 million people worldwide are currently living with diabetes and it is predicted that this will increase to 366 million by 2030 due to an aging population, a rise in sedentary lifestyle, obesity and inappropriate diet.”

      These alarming statistics are certainly enough to make me want to be more careful about my own diet and lifestyle!

      People who want more information on diabetes should visit http://www.itsmyinsulin.ie/

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