INside the Technology


SaiOx™ has developed Hespiro™, which is a respiratory assist device that utilizes the proven benefits of heliox in a novel way. Heliox has been studied for decades, but previous technologies failed to make the treatment affordable.

The closed-loop rebreathing system utilized by Hespiro™ helps conserve heliox, making it more valuable as a treatment for COPD and other respiratory diseases.

The Problem

COPD is the 4th leading cause of death in the United States, killing more than 3 million Americans every year, and currently has no cure. Additionally, the rates of COPD are rapidly growing creating a $3 billion US market opportunity.

Current technologies, including high-flow nasal cannulas, non-invasive ventilators, and invasive ventilators, differ from the heliox respiratory assist device in that they use greater force or pressure to deliver oxygen to the lungs, which could damage the lung tissue. This also decreases patient adherence to treatments, leading to a greater occurrence of adverse events.

The Solution

Hespiro™ technology can more quickly and less expensively treat COPD and other respiratory diseases. The use of a simpler, more convenient device that consumes less gas over time will help ensure the adoption of the device over current technology.

Additionally, Hespiro™ can overcome one of the largest COPD issues, which is patient adherence. Patients do not want to use current technology because the high-pressure flow is uncomfortable. The low-pressure system developed at SaiOx™ does not have this problem.

How it Works

Hespiro™ technology delivers a mixture of heliox and oxygen to the patient. Due to the low density of helium, greater airflow occurs into the lungs, therefore decreasing the work of breathing. In turn, this helps increase the patient’s blood oxygen levels.

Hespiro™ Advantages

Low density heliox carries oxygen more easily and deeper into the lungs, decreasing the work of breathing and increasing patient blood oxygen levels.

Additionally, the low pressure of the system decreases patient breathing discomfort, therefore increasing treatment adherence because patients are more inclined to continue its use. Lastly, the closed system allows for decreased exposure to patient infections and less waste of air supply through CO2 scrubbing.

Additional Applications

SaiOx™ plans to continue developing different generations of the Hespiro™ device. These developments will include a home device and a field device that can treat COPD in various settings.