Flinders University’s Medical Device Partnering Program (MDPP) is to introduce a new concept to tackle the dehydration issue faced by the mining industry, developed by occupational hygienist Ryan Wynch.

The university will provide its input for the new Hydralert, which will help mine managers implement their health and safety policies.

The compact device will be placed in urinals to analyse the hydration level of a mining worker in real-time and provide immediate feedback.

Occupational hygienists can download the hydration data to target hydration promotion and trend data among work groups.

The concept is said to be one of two projects to receive expert design and development assistance from the MDPP, as part of the South Australian Government’s Medical Technologies Program (MTP).

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"Hydralert will provide an innovative alternative to current time-consuming approaches, allowing employees to self-test day or night."

The prototype will be integrated into clinical trials by Occulert and designed in-line with the needs of surgical procedures through a 250hr project.

Manufacturing and Innovation Minister Susan Close said: "Heat stress can be a serious safety issue because it impairs concentration, decreases productivity and causes illness.

"If successful, Hydralert will provide an innovative alternative to current time-consuming approaches, allowing employees to self-test day or night, without the need for a health professional."

Medical device company AMNY Medical will also receive MTP funding and use the support of the MDPP to develop a central component of a novel airway surgery system.

Image: Hydralert will help make mine workers safer. Photo: courtesy of Flinders University.