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Altair Medical awarded FDA Breakthrough Device designation to address the global opioid crisis

Glasgow, Scotland, 24th February 2020 / Sciad Newswire / Altair Medical, a medical technology company developing a groundbreaking solution to the global opioid crisis, today announce that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has awarded the Company Breakthrough Device designation for its RESPMETERTM wearable biosensor device.

Altair Medical’s RESPMETER is a chest-worn wireless sensor that accurately detects when someone is suffering Opioid Induced Respiratory Depression (OIRD), a common and often fatal side effect of using opioid drugs. Causing 1,000 deaths each week in the UK and USA, OIRD is now the largest cause of accidental death in most developed countries.

The technology monitors and analyses respiratory patterns using proprietary algorithms. When it detects OIRD in the patient, it sends a message to designated first responders, or emergency services, who can intervene to administer naloxone. This extemely effective antidote has a very high success rate, reviving the person within seconds. 

The Breakthrough Devices Program was established by the FDA to provide patients and healthcare providers with timely access to transformative medical devices by speeding up their development, assessment and review, while preserving the statutory standards for premarket approval. Eligibility is restricted to innovative medical devices that provide more effective treatment or diagnosis of life-threatening conditions, where there are no approved or cleared alternatives, and where early device availability is in the best interests of patients.

To achieve Breakthrough Device designation, a panel of experts at the FDA extensively reviewed both RESPMETER and its prospective users. Following the confirmation of this designation, the company will now receive additional support from the FDA, and any submission for US approval of RESPMETER will be reviewed as a priority.

Altair’s founder, Dr Bruce Henderson, said: “I recognised the need for a new solution to the problem of opiod deaths during my work as a forensic medical examiner. I was appalled at the number of unnecessary deaths and developed RESPMETER to combat this unmet need. Being granted Breakthrough Device designation will greatly assist the team at Altair in delivering this life-saving technology to patients.” 

Jonathan Guthrie, Chairman, said: “This award is a major milestone for Altair Medical in our development and we are currently seeking investment to help us get this important innovation to patients and clinicians who need it as quickly as possible.”


For further information please contact:

Altair Medical
Bruce Henderson, Founder
Jonathan Guthrie, Chairman

Media Relations – Sciad Communications
Emma Pickup, Account Manager
T: +44 (0)2034 057 892


Notes to Editors 

About Altair Medical

Based at BioCity, Glasgow, Altair Medical was established in early 2018 by Dr Bruce Henderson, a specialist physician and founder of COMS, a successful healthcare services company, and by Jonathan Guthrie, a chartered accountant and entrepreneur who founded technology and outsource CRM businesses Paywizard and MGt.

With a mission to reduce the number of lives lost and to make the use of opioids safer for patients and physicians, the RESPMETER technology has been developed by an international team of specialists with experience of hardware and software development, data analysis and artificial intelligence.

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Last Updated: 24-Feb-2020