Researchers in Ireland are developing a new disposable positive expiratory pressure (PEP) device called SoloPEP that is designed to reduce cystic fibrosis patients’ exposure to infections, reduce antibiotic usage, and reduce hospital length of stay.

The Limerick-based team, which recently secured €500,000 in Enterprise Ireland funding for the development of the product, involves microbiologists, product designers and medical doctors who specialize in treating both paediatric and adult respiratory illness.

“The design of this new positive expiratory pressure (PEP) device is clever and focused on the end user from the beginning. It removes significant risk for patients by improving their microbiology hygiene and safety,” said Professor Colum Dunne, who is Foundation Chair and Director of Research at UL’s Graduate Entry Medical School (GEMS).

Currently, there are percussion-based chest physiotherapy devices on the market, but according to Professor Dunne, these “can sometimes become reservoirs for the bacteria that cause infections in Cystic Fibrosis patients.” Because the new device, SoloPep, is disposable, it poses no threat of reinfection.