Funding secured to develop late Limerick surgeon’s legacy 

Jess Casey

Reporter:

Jess Casey

Email:

jess.casey@limerickleader.ie

Funding secured to develop late Limerick surgeon’s legacy 

The late Paul O'Byrne

MAJOR FUNDING has been successfully secured by a Limerick-based company to develop a robotic legacy project originally started by a late Limerick surgeon who has been hailed a medical ‘architect.’

The late Paul O’Byrne, formerly of Barringtons Hospital, is warmly remembered for his significant input to the medical community. 

Limerick-based automation and robotics company ‘DesignPro’ has now successfully secured €260,000 in funding to further develop a safer robotic solution to endoscopy, a project the late surgeon was incredbily passionate about. 

“There is a massive loss of Paul O’Byrne in this as he was a real ‘live-wire’ force and extremely passionate about trying to get this project done,” DesignPro managing director Paul Collins said. 

Dr O’Byrne was considered a true pioneer of medical advancements, as he embraced new technologies made possible by robotics, he added. 

 The ‘original seed’ for the project was planted by Dr. O’Byrne back in 2015 when he brought DesignPro on board to build out the first stage of the project.

“Now having gotten the fantastic news that we have secured the funding to take this to the next stage, it’s very important to us that as this progresses and grows, the solution we’re developing retains the ‘POB’ name, the ‘Paul O’Byrne’, as a legacy to him.” 

Funding for the project has been secured through Enterprise Ireland’s ‘Inno- vation Partnership Pro- gramme’.

The 24-month project will see DesignPro working in conjunction with the University of Limerick to further develop a robotic solution to endoscopy that aims to improve patient safety. 

“The links with the University of Limerick are very important here as it gives us the opportunity to work with their robotics division who bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the table,” Mr Collins added. 

The new robotic system will have passive safety features preventing sudden movements, which are considered a significant safety hazard in the existing manual procedure.

The system will also record all surgeon input, allowing a database of successful procedures to be captured that can later be leveraged to improve training.