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Inflatable prone repositioning device (IPRD)

From manufacturable prototype to marketable product, we are developing a device that makes proning hospital patients easier and faster for staff.



Project status

In progress


1 Apr 2024 to 1 Jun 2026

3D computer generated image of the IPRD
The IPRD is a multivessel pillow that inflates under the patient to ease repositioning.

Proning is the process of lying a patient on their front to get more oxygen into their body. It’s used up to 16 hours a day in intensive care units for patients who are having trouble breathing. Around 16,500 patients a year in the UK could benefit from this process.

But proning takes up a lot of time, with repositioning needed every two to four hours to prevent sores and other injuries. It also requires a healthcare team of at least five staff members to carry out the process. Because of the amount of movement involved, there’s also a danger to staff and patients of injury.

From manufacture to market

3d rendering of the IPRD inflated
The prototype will be tested in hospitals across the UK.

Working with doctors at the Royal United Hospitals (RUH) Bath, we have created a device that makes repositioning easier and safer. The cushion-like device inflates under the patient, allowing staff to safely reposition them. Using the device requires fewer staff, speeds up the process, and minimises disruption to patients. This means that repositioning can happen more often, so reducing pressure sores.

We're using feedback from staff, patients, and the public to make improvements to the device. And we are applying for safety approval and a patent so we can make and sell it. First, we are planning to do a study with 30 patients across hospitals in our region to test the device further. The 14-month trial will collect information from patients and staff on how well it performs. We’ll test how safe it is to use and how much time it saves. If we are successful, we’ll start making and selling the device to help sick patients across the UK.

Project aims

  • to change the time and number of staff needed to reposition
  • to reduce the manual handling risk for staff
  • to change the frequency of repositioning, reducing proning complications
  • to change the risk of adverse incidents


Collaborators and funders

This project is carried out in collaboration with Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust, with funding from the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR).

Contact us

Please email us with any questions you have about our project.