William Mason, a graduate of the Queensland University of Technology, has been honoured with the 2017 James Dyson Award for an innovative device designed to address the problems associated with chemotherapy in cancer treatments. The James Dyson Award is an international design award that celebrates, encourages and inspires the next generation of design engineers.

One of the most common and destructive diseases impacting Australian society, cancer is often treated with chemotherapy, which can make even the simplest of tasks such as showering or grocery shopping, physically difficult to complete. Chemotherapy treatment can also result in hospitalisation of patients, not to speak of social anxiety and behavioural problems in the affected person.

William Mason’s award-winning invention, the Activ Infusion Pump, is a single use, long-term, one channel elastomeric infusion pump designed to help reduce stress and impact to daily activities of chemotherapy patients. Having witnessed the struggle his family went through following the cancer diagnosis of a close relative, the 27-year-old was motivated to develop the infusion pump, which he believes will make a positive impact in a small but meaningful way to the lives of patients and their families.

The Activ Infusion Pump is worn close to the body concealed under the garments, allowing patients to go about their normal day with increased comfort. The medication and diluent are filled into the pump via a syringe within a controlled laminar flow facility, and driven via an elastomeric bladder intravenously into the patient typically through a medical port located on the patient’s chest. The pump also has a single port to fill and express the medication, reducing the risk of error.

The Brisbane-based William will receive £2,000 in prize money as the Australian national winner and will also move to the next phase of the competition. According to William, “Being recognised as the Australian winner of the James Dyson Award is extremely exciting! The money will help me to continue on my venture, going towards further prototyping and development.”

Four runners-up will also join William for the international judging stage of the James Dyson Award program.