US-Israeli medical devices firm ART Medical says it has found a way to avoid life-threatening complications in intensive care units with sensor-based smart tubes that enable medics and nurses to collect comprehensive patient data.
When patients are admitted to the ICU, they can be fitted with a number of tubes: breathing tubes, feeding tubes, and/or urine catheters. However, there is nothing that effectively indicates whether patients are experiencing complications associated with the intubation in real time.
Nurses and doctors are required to constantly monitor patients to identify infections and complications, a time-sensitive activity that is generally done manually. Delays can lead to complications, or even death.
ART Medical, based in Palo Alto and Netanya, Israel, has developed a smart Sensor-Based Tubes Platform to monitor gastric reflux, saliva and urine output continuously and automatically to detect and alert nurses and physicians of any abnormalities during tube procedures, enabling then to take necessary action. The sensors collect the data and transmit it, in real time, to a console so physicians can take immediate action, if needed.
The company offers a range of products that optimize enteral feeding, when a feeding tube is inserted into the stomach, enabling a correct monitoring of the amount of food delivered. Others can detect and prevent aspiration pneumonia and ventilator associated pneumonia and acute kidney injury, commonly associated with intubated patients.
The technology has received FDA approval and is now in the final processes of clinical trials. Sales of the product are expected to start late next year, the company said Wednesday.
“One of the challenges for the ICU staff is patients’ prolonged length of stay and mortality from complications which are unrelated to the original reason of hospitalization,” said founder and CEO Liron Elia. “Aspiration of foreign materials is a major risk for intubated patients and technology is what is needed to solve this problem.”
Art Medical was founded by Elia in 2009 and has raised some $27 million to date from investors including US-based Advanced Medical Technologies LLC, according to Start-Up Nation Central, which tracks the industry.