YOUNG people with severe health conditions that hamper mobility could now sleep soundly with the help of a Yorkshire inventor's high tech sleep system, dreamt up in his shed.
Engineer Dane McGee, from Wetherby, first developed a special sleep system for people with conditions such Motor Neurone Disease and Multiple Sclerosis, which have profound effects on the daily lives of sufferers.
His aid – "The Comfier™" – uses inflatable tubes adjusted by remote control or eye tracking technologies so that people can make themselves comfortable.
With the support of biomedical test equipment experts Rigel Medical, Dane developed his idea into a marketable product that is now built for him by a Rotherham-based manufacturer.
Having already helped a number of adults with mobility issues The Comfier™ is now transforming bedtime for five-year-old Alex Ray, who sufferers from a range of debilitating conditions.
Dane explained: "The Comfier™ was designed to assist anyone but until recently had never been used by very young children. Alex has really benefited from it. He's sleeping better, as is his mum, Sarah."
The breakthrough came after The Comfier™ was demonstrated to a paediatric physiotherapist who identified the potential for it to help kids as young as Alex.
Dane's work with Rigel Medical's Tony Mann has allowed him to bring the product to market, ensuring it is tested to the relevant medical device standards.
Tony explained: "Dane has been absolutely committed to building a product that can drastically improve the lives of people with very difficult conditions.
"For that reason it's been a pleasure to help him in his journey.
"Rigel has been able to supply him with the equipment and knowledge to make sure The Comfier™ meets all important safety requirements. It's fantastic to see it now in use." Dane said "The support and expert guidance I have had from Tony has been excellent. I would happily recommend Rigel to anyone who has a similar development project and needs to ensure they are using the most cost effective safety testing solution."
This latest version of Dane's product comes after a significant piece of innovation that means the Sleep System can be adjusted by people who only have the use of their eyes.
Using existing "Eyegaze" technology The Comfier™ can track a user's eye movement and process that information into instructions which adjust the sleep system as required.
The Comfier™ is designed to enable people with limited mobility to regain the independence to control their own comfort in bed.
Sarah Milner, Alex's mum added: "The Comfier™ has totally transformed our lives, I don't know how we coped without it. Alex is finally getting a better quality of sleep and more of it."