UL student nominated for International Award

Catriona Hughes

University of Limerick student Ronan Leahy has been nominated for the International James Dyson Award 2011. The Product Design and Technology student was shortlisted for the award following the creation of his product Medimover, a clever patient transfer system for hospitals.

The product was designed as a method of transferring patients from hospital trolleys to beds, without actually having to lift or roll the patients. Ronan gained inspiration for his medical device after working part-time as a hospital porter.

Ronan outlined the reasons behind his Medimover invention; “I saw first-hand the difficulty with the traditional method – for patients it was uncomfortable when they have to be rolled on to their sides or manually lifted by hospital staff to use the current products on the market, particularly following surgery, and for hospital staff their backs suffered from physically transferring patients from trolleys to beds.”

He said that “Medimover is designed to alleviate both problems.  Patients can be transferred easily and it requires far less effort from hospital staff, introducing the double layered rotating fabric system has made this possible. This system greatly reduces the force created by the patient lying on the bed so the Medimover can be pushed between the patient and the mattress.”

He will receive a prize of €12,000 and a further €12,000 will be donated to Ronan’s university department should he win the award. Ronan is one of 20 students internationally who have been shortlisted.

Ronan Leahy’s Medimover design has been filed for patent with PurdyLucey, the European Intellectual Property (IP) Dublin-based firm, with the help and support of the University of Limerick’s Technology Transfer Office.

Another Product Design student at UL, Chris Murphy, was awarded the Irish James Dyson Award this year for his innovative access system named the ‘Open Pool Transfer’ which was graphed to transfer people from poolside to water.

In recent years students of the Product Design and Technology course at the University of Limerick have continued to achieve in the area of innovation, with five students nominated for the James Dyson Award. A 2010 graduate has since gone on to become an employee of Dyson in the United Kingdom.

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