The history of Freesterra-1, a respirator developed by the A Coruña-based company Bionix Technologies, is a great example of how talent and the desire to serve society can unite and lead to a profitable and wealth-generating business project in the country . The Covid-19 pandemic has transformed this start-up in just two months, which has developed a respirator model for Covid-19 patients (also applicable to those of other pathologies) that could be manufactured in a period of some two months, if the pending certifications go ahead.
Jacobo Penide, founder of the company, explains that Bionix was born in late 2017 and is fundamentally dedicated to offering comprehensive solutions to companies to monitor their business operations, using RFID technology, the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence. “I have always thought that it is a shame that medical devices are not manufactured in Galicia and I even made some attempt in the past to launch a project. When the Covid-19 crisis erupted and we saw the health collapse that occurred in Spain, I believed it necessary to contribute our knowledge to fight this pandemic and we started with the respirator project”, explains Penide.
The first designs were made in early March. Bionix obtained the collaboration of another Galician technology company, Cinfo, and also of the Nóvoa Santos Foundation, which manages the Teresa Herrera hospital in A Coruña and promotes health research. Work was done day and night to perfect the design and in just 24 days a first prototype was produced. The final objective was to obtain an invasive respirator, suitable for patients with a pathology as acute as Covid-19.
The pending step is testing on real people and it is expected to be able to do it in a few weeks, when the corresponding authorizations arrive. At all times, the recommendations of the Spanish Medicines Agency and the British counterpart agency for the development of this type of apparatus have been followed.
The project is funded by the Galician Innovation Agency of the Xunta de Galicia