Dirk van Asseldonk started Dolphys Medical in 2004. Its first product was a drug delivery system called PolyPulse, and a second product, Ventrain, has since been added. The technological development on PolyPulse is taking longer than initially planned, though. “As an entrepreneur, you have to give priority to the product that is closest to being ready for production,” van Asseldonk says. “It’s the fastest way to generate revenue. Plus, once you have a product on the market, you go from being a startup to being a business.” The product that’s being launched onto the market is Ventrain.
The idea behind Ventrain comes from Maastricht University Hospital. When a patient’s respiratory airways become blocked, emergency medical technicians have to perform a tracheotomy so the patient can breathe, making a sizeable incision in their throat. But that is a risky procedure. Ventrain allows for full mechanical ventilation to be performed through a tiny “straw,” through which
oxygen can be blown in and air exhaled, doing away with the need for a large incision.