Nosewings magnetic nasal dilators were invented, developed and patented by Dr. Robert André, an ENT-surgeon and facial plastic surgeon specialised in nasal surgery with a PhD in nasal valve surgery.
The main focus of his practice is to help his patients to breathe better through their noses, which often leads to a much better quality of sleep and frequently reduces snoring. Broadly speaking there are 3 ways to achieve this:
- Nasal sprays
- Using devices aimed at widening the nasal passages
While nasal sprays certainly have their place, especially in patients suffering from allergies, most of Dr. André’s patients consult with him about seeking an alternative that doesn’t involve the daily use of medication.
Nasal surgery, especially nasal valve surgery, frequently accomplishes this goal. In nasal valve surgery, the nasal passages are widened mainly by increasing the angle between the (upper and lower) lateral nasal cartilages and the nasal septum thereby significantly increasing nasal airflow.
Dr André developed, refined and carried out many thousands of surgical procedures that have improved nasal breathing and reduced snoring. Even so, he found that for many patients, especially those who only have complaints during exercise or at night, non-surgical solutions were sufficient or even preferable. Many patients told him that they had tried a variety of devices aimed at improving their nasal airflow. While those devices were beneficial to some patients, their effectiveness was variable and furthermore they came with several disadvantages causing most patients to discontinue using them.
The existing devices fall into two categories: external adhesive devices, such as Breathe Right nasal strips, and a multitude of internal nasal expanders.
While the nasal strips generally do result in increased nasal airflow, in a number of patients they caused skin irritation and did not attach to the skin for as long as necessary. Furthermore, because they are single-use only, they are considered quite costly with prolonged use.
The internal devices have the advantage of being reusable, but because the size and shape of each nose is different, often these devices cause discomfort, fall out or have limited effectiveness.
These shortcomings of the existing devices caused Robert to think of how he could create an effective nasal dilator while avoiding the disadvantages of the existing ones as much as possible.
This is when he came up with the idea of NoseWings, an entirely new kind of nasal dilator making use of the repellent force of strong permanent magnets and anatomically modelled, mimicking the size, shape and orientation of the nasal alar cartilages.
That was the easy part.
Although the first prototypes were immediately effective, they were not comfortable enough, they did not always stay in place and were difficult to adjust to individual noses.
It took eight years of extensive experimentation with magnets of different sizes, shapes and strengths and a multitude of configurations, encasement materials and production methods.
The final result was reached through continuous adjustment and remodelling of the many prototypes based on feedback from his patients. It also helped that Robert himself had trouble breathing through his nose at night due to allergies so that he could test the effectiveness and comfort of each prototype for himself.
Although he was able to breathe through his nose all night long with at least the last 5 models, he wasn’t completely satisfied until the adjustments leading to the final model were made.
The technical, design and production aspects involved in perfecting NoseWings also turned out to be far more complicated than anticipated. Four manufacturing companies tried and failed before our current production partner managed to reach the standard, we feel happy to share with the world.
It took a while, but we can now confidently proclaim that Roberts goals of developing a nasal dilator which is effective, comfortable and durable, have been achieved with Nosewings.
Philippe André is a serial entrepreneur and has a passion for starting, developing, and growing businesses. He has over 20 years of work experience with a broad range of responsibilities in various industries, ranging from medical devices, office equipment, home renovations to skydiving. He has a diverse background in general management, business and marketing consulting, sales and training. Philippe is intrinsically motivated, entrepreneurial and result-driven with a focus and passion for sales and marketing.
Philippe suffers from collapsing nostrils which causes him to snore at night. As Robert’s brother, he, therefore, has been the primary tester for NoseWings since the very first prototype. Philippe has now been using NoseWings for several years and benefitting from improved nasal breathing, reduced snoring and a night of better night sleep for him and more importantly for his partner.
For several years now Philippe has been telling Robert that NoseWings is ready to share with the World. However, Robert being the perfectionist that he is, would not allow NoseWings to be sold to the public until he was fully satisfied with it.
In 2018 Philippe broke his back in a skydiving accident and six months into his recovery he decided to do an MBA in Entrepreneurship at the University of Technology Sydney to develop NoseWings into a viable business venture. Using the resources of UTS and the design thinking methodology, Philippe was able to assist in the development of NoseWings to the stage where it is now ready to be sold to the public.
Philippe graduated with a distinction from his MBA in Entrepreneurship, and he achieved the following milestones with NoseWings:
- Awarded the 2019 UTS startup award for “Best Application of Research.”
- Selected to participate in the HCF Catalyst Startup induction program
- NoseWings is One of only six out 300+ startups to be included in the Sydney Innovation Stories Digital Campaign at the International Conference Centre in 2020
- NoseWings won the Gilbert and Tobin award at the UTS Venture Day 2020
Philippe vision is to use his entrepreneurial expertise to share Robert’s invention and the benefits he has been enjoying from using NoseWings to help people Breathe Better, Sleep Better and Live Better.