Durable, affordable medical devices

LAYCO Medical Devices develops and markets affordable, durable, high-quality medical devices. As a spin-off of the ‘Surgery for All’ programme of the Delft University of Technology, they are designing medical devices that are suitable not only for high-income countries but also for low- and middle-income countries. At present, around five billion people still lack access to affordable surgical care. LAYCO’s mission is to make medical care accessible to all by considering affordability, durability, and quality in their product development. Read more about LAYCO Medical Devices and its collaboration with TNO below!

LAYCO Medical's Question for TNO

LAYCO reached out to TNO with the following issue: ‘How can we replace the disposable blades currently used for laryngoscopes* with a reusable, and therefore sustainable, alternative?’ Secondary and tertiary criteria were that the alternative had to be affordable and the blades must be able to be cleaned at 134 degrees Celsius in under 20 minutes.

During an expert session, TNO Medical Photonics worked out three possible scenarios together with LAYCO to look at the issues concerning the new laryngoscope. This allowed LAYCO to continue working on one of these scenarios by themselves and later even develop their own prototype.

*A laryngoscope is a device that is used to look inside a patient’s larynx.

Quote by the entrepreneur

"What TNO has shown us is that, with the right combination of knowledge and perseverance, there is a solution to every problem. In collaboration with TNO, we’ve been able to make great strides."

Thom Weustink, Co-Founder LAYCO Medical Devices

What is LAYCO’s laryngoscope?

A video laryngoscope is a medical tool that is used to insert a breathing tube. This is needed, for example, for COVID-19 patients or patients under anaesthesia on the operating table. The device consists of a thin blade with an illuminated end that has a camera. This blade is inserted into the patient’s mouth to bring the vocal cords into view and place the breathing tube. LAYCO Medical Devices’ ambition is to bet on reusable medical devices. Our first product, the reusable video laryngoscope, is a great example of this.

What makes your product so special?

As with many medical devices, the current generation of video laryngoscopes use disposable parts, in addition to being very expensive. In contrast, our video laryngoscope is wholly reusable and affordable. This is important since many lower-income countries lack the required infrastructure to supply the disposable parts of traditional laryngoscopes in a reliable and timely manner. However, we’re not only focused on foreign markets; there is also a high demand for cheaper, more durable medical devices in the Netherlands. Besides its reusability and low cost, our laryngoscope is also able to wirelessly connect to smart devices already present in hospitals or medical centers.

What's next?

Many medical companies focus on making disposable equipment. We, on the other hand, want to focus on creating reusable and sustainable medical devices. We believe this to be the future, both for the Netherlands and in the rest of the world. We’re currently hard at work on our second product, a reusable vacuum extractor. This is a device that is frequently used during childbirth. (Approximately one in ten children born in the Netherlands is delivered using a vacuum extractor.) These devices are also discarded after one single use. We’re working on developing a reusable version for the future. Our aim is to bring this product to market by the end of 2023!

Meer weten?

For more information on LAYCO Medical Devices' durable medical devices, please visit their website. Do you have a challenge, ambition or issue of your own? Contact TNO Fast Track to start making an impact together!