EarSwitch has been selected for the UK’s Innovative Devices Access Pathway pilot, a programme which aims to accelerate access to innovative medical devices for the NHS.

The pilot has selected eight devices for its programme, including the EarSwitch EarMetrics-Oximetry. The solution tackles a concern that pulse oximeters used to measure blood oxygen levels are less reliable for people with black or brown skin.

By taking readings from the inner ear canal oxygen levels can be more accurately recorded, as this site is not pigmented regardless of skin colour.

As well as excluding racial bias, the in-ear placement may also deliver more accurate readings as they are less vulnerable to external temperature, movement and blood circulation in comparison to finger and ear lobe monitors.

The EarMetrics-Oximetry was developed with funding from the UKRI Biomedical Catalyst and UKRI Healthy Ageing Challenge. Being accepted onto the pilot programme will allow EarSwitch an opportunity to accelerate its technology and transform health outcomes for patients.

The company believes that its in-ear sensor will deliver a new standard of care for people with acute respiratory conditions, including asthma, Covid and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Dr Nick Gompertz, founder of EarSwitch, said: “We’re dedicated to developing an oximeter that empowers healthcare professionals to deliver equitable healthcare and ultimately save more lives.

“We couldn’t be prouder that EarMetrics-Oximetry will be part of the groundbreaking IDAP scheme, which we see as recognition of its potential for the NHS and its millions of patients.”

The Innovative Devices Access Pathway pilot was launched in September 2023 with funding from Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC). It is a partnership between DHSC, Health Technology Wales (HTW), Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), NHS England (NHSE), National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), Office of Life Sciences (OLS), and Scottish Health Technologies Group (SHTG).

EarSwitch was one of 25 digital health start-ups to advance to the virtual heats stage of Digital Health Rewired Pitchfest 2024.