Main Image: The Rediroom can turn any hospital bed into a secure isolation unit (Gama Healthcare). Listen: Ken & Nicky speak with Anna and Justin Ballantyne, designers of the Rediroom.
Only weeks after Queensland bio-tech company Ellume was awarded a $300 million contract to supply at home COVID tests in the United States, another local invention has racked up $10 million in sales within the space of a year.
The Rediroom is a pop-up isolation station that was designed and developed by Sunshine Coast Clinical Nurse Anna Ballantyne and her husband Justin, alongside business partner James Burkwood and Gama Healthcare. The invention is easily transported, meaning that hospitals can treat infectious patients anywhere, rather than in only a traditional isolation ward.
Anna told 96five’s Ken & Nicky that the Rediroom had been designed as a way to help hospitals manage infection control, and had been some years in development.
“It’s been an eight year journey; we didn’t set out to be inventors or develop a medical device, but we saw the need. We saw people who needed to be isolated and how that effects flow in hospitals, so we went looking for a way to solve it.”
“The more we looked we discovered how big this problem was and that there just wasn’t a practical solution. We just started on working on a solution and it’s been a long journey.”
Justin said that their faith had helped keep their feet on solid ground as they worked to bring the Rediroom to fruition.
“For me it was the right people falling into place, because this was a thing that was way too big for me to do by myself. One of the most amazing things was bumping into my now business partner; James is amazing and there’s no way we could have gotten this far without the right people.”
The Sunshine Coast team have now partnered with Gama Healthcare, a company who specialises in infection prevention, with their pop-up isolation rooms now being sent across the globe in the wake of the COVID pandemic. In the UK, the National Health Service has purchased more than 300 units, with the iso-rooms being rolled out hourly as hospitals battle with the country’s third wave.
The portable chambers filters infectious air more efficiently than a N95 respirator and can be easily set up and moved around hospitals by a single person.
Anna said that the success of the project means that the Rediroom is about to be deployed in other countries.
“We’re about to launch in Israel, Romania as well as the USA in a couple of months. The biggest challenge at the moment is keeping up with demand.”