AssistENT, Johns Hopkins University
Team members: Clayton Andrews, Melissa Austin, Eric Cao, Alexander Galvin, Talia Kirschbaum, Theodore Lee, Pooja Nair, Harrison Nguyen
The AssistENT is a comfortable and discreet nasal dilator that can be inserted into obstructed nostrils to open the airways and facilitate breathing. Current nasal dilators are intended to be used only during sleeping hours, can be difficult to use, and are uncomfortable after prolonged use. They are also visible, making it unlikely that those needing help breathing during the day would use them. The AssistENT device is made from flexible, form-fitting materials that do not cause discomfort. It is also not visible when in use, eliminating the social stigma associated with existing dilators. AssistENT is the first intranasal dilator that is fully suitable for use during the day, and it could present a viable alternative to reconstructive surgery to enhance nasal breathing.