Israeli startup Guide In Medical has raised 2 million shekels ($529,000) from local pharmaceutical firm CTS Group and private investors to further develop its device for facilitating respiratory procedures, the companies said in a statement.
The device was developed to help medical professionals with the complex procedure of intubation, during which a tube is inserted into the trachea to facilitate patient ventilation. Intubation is a crucial and common medical procedure performed under general anesthesia in operating rooms and often in the field. It is the third most performed medical procedure in the United States; 50 million intubations are performed worldwide annually.
The process of inserting a tube into a patient’s trachea requires a high degree of skill and precision for quick insertion, as the patient cannot breathe while it is being performed. If done improperly, the result could be fatal.
Guide In Medical, however, has developed a non-invasive device, which is placed on the patient’s neck and transmits light into the tissues, lighting the inside of the throat. This makes it easier for the medical team to locate the trachea, using a video laryngoscope — a device with a video camera — and can more easily navigate the insertion of the tube during the intubation procedure. The device is for single use, and its estimated cost is $35 per unit.
“The advantages of the device are in the simplicity of use and the ability to quickly and safely identify the trachea even in complicated situations,” said Ariel Shrem, the co-founder and CEO of Guide In Medical. “In the coming years, this device will be in use in every ambulance, operating room, and battalion aid station.”
The device is currently in the process of meeting European Union approval, which is scheduled to be completed by March 2017. The company expects that by the end of the year it will also have approval by the US Food and Drug Administration.
The target audience for the device is doctors in medical centers, paramedics in mobile intensive care units, and organizations that operate a military or civilian intensive care unit.
The technology was developed within the framework of Hebrew University’s bio-design entrepreneurship program, with the cooperation of the Hadassah Medical Center.
Since its establishment in 2015, some NIS 3 million have been invested in Guide In Medical by NGT3 and the office of the Chief Scientist at Israel’s Ministry of Economy and Industry.
NGT3 is a venture capital fund, with a franchise from the Office of the Chief Scientist, to operate as a technology incubator in the field of life sciences. The fund invests and supports early-stage technology start-ups, and has a social agenda of increasing collaboration in the technology sphere between Israel’s Arab and Jewish populations and encourage Arab and Jewish entrepreneurs.
In an interview with The Times of Israel earlier this month, NGT3 managing partner Zohar Gendler said he would be seeking a sale or merger of Guide In Medical during the first half of 2018.