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Technology & Inventions
This blog focuses on the latest products, devices, and ideas to improve emergency medicine practice. Brief news releases and photographs are welcome, and must be submitted electronically. Images must be 300 dpi, in tiff, jpeg, or eps format, and at least 4“x4” in size. Please send information to
Friday, November 20, 2015

Advanced Cooling Therapy (ACT), a medical device firm, has expanded personnel in its commercial launch of the Esophageal Cooling Device (ECD).



“The ECD is the first device on the market cleared for temperature modulation via the esophagus. This enables efficient core-cooling, or core-warming, without the complexity and risks associated with intravascular catheter placement, and without the obstruction of patient access seen with surface pads and wraps,” said Robin Drassler, the vice president of North American sales.


The device is placed like a standard gastric tube, making placement quick. Placement requires one clinician, whether it’s a nurse, paramedic, physician, or other health care provider.

Two lumens attach to existing temperature modulation equipment, while a third lumen simultaneously allows gastric decompression and drainage.


“A wide variety of clinical conditions seen in the ED require temperature modulation. Temperature reduction and/or prevention of fever has been shown to benefit patients after resuscitation from cardiac arrest, as well as patients suffering spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, or hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, among others. Numerous clinical trials are investigating the impact of temperature reduction on conditions such as sepsis, stroke, and myocardial infarction,” Mr. Drassler said on the advantages of using the device in the emergency department.


It received FDA de novo clearance in June 2015, its CE Mark in Europe in 2014, and is licensed for sale in Canada and Australia


Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Cleveland Clinic Innovations selected Twiage, a novel prehospital communication solution that enables EDs to triage incoming ambulances, as the winner of its New Ventures Health Care Challenge at the 2015 Medical Innovation Summit in Cleveland.



YiDing Yu, MD, the founder and CMO of Twiage, said a first responder can use her award-winning system to record video of stroke symptoms, which can be quickly relayed to on-call neurologists or telestroke programs.


 “By advancing the prehospital timeline, Twiage allows hospitals to shave crucial minutes off hospital metrics, such as door-to-CT scanner and door-to-tPA times for stroke,” she said at the summit.


Paramedics and EMTs also can use Twiage's HIPAA-compliant smartphone app to capture ECGs for heart attacks and trauma scenes through photos and to record digital voice memos. Providing live patient data and GPS-tracked ETA for all incoming ambulances allows hospitals to accelerate treatment while improving performance measures, patient outcomes, and reducing costs, according to a Twiage press release.


For more info, visit

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Hospi Corporation, introduced the Macy Catheter Tray at this year’s ACEP Scientific Assembly. The new device is designed specifically to support the needs of clinicians working in emergency departments and other acute care facilities.


The Macy Catheter provides a bridge or alternative to IV access, and intended to decrease hospital admissions and facilitate patient discharge. It received FDA clearance in 2014 and the CE Mark approval this year, and is designed solely for ongoing rectal delivery of medications and fluids. Invented by a nurse, Brad Macy, RN, BSN, CHPN, the catheter is used in hospice and palliative care facilities across the county, and is making its way into emergency and acute care settings.

“This convenience kit reflects our commitment to optimize patient care through expanded use of the Macy Catheter in areas where it can help to ease provider workflow, lower the risk of iatrogenic complications and reduce costs,”  said Igal Ladabaum, the CEO of Hospi Corporation.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Emergency Medicine News spoke with Jeff Strickler, RN, the associate vice president of University of North Carolina (UNC) hospitals about Bivarus, an electronic survey methodology. He discussed why UNC’s ED made the switch, how it works, and the differences between Bivarus and paper-based survey tools.

Why did you decide to try this analytics company? Did it have anything to do with Press Ganey dissatisfaction?

The satisfaction with Press Ganey is maybe a strong word but I think it had a lot to do with the limitations related to what was our current customer service survey methodology, which happened to be Press Ganey. But Press Ganey’s not much different than any of the other companies that would’ve been out there. They all have the same limitations, particularly as it relates to emergency departments. We had a very small response rate. The only people that are getting surveys are those patients that are discharged from the emergency department. So for our emergency department, which is admitting 30 percent of our patients, we felt like we were losing a significant voice of people that were not just admitted but tend to be the more severely ill or injured and able to describe their patient experience. So we really kinda felt like that was, you know, missing.


Can you briefly explain how Bivarus works?

So, the person only gets a 10-question survey, so you don’t get the survey fatigue that you get from many of the traditional paper-based survey tools or like HCAPS. So there’re only 10 questions, but those 10 questions are dynamic. They change for each patient. So, there’s a 100-question bank and 10 different categories looking at various things in care, so like, safety, looking at processes of care, looking at communication, etc. The other traditional tools also allow people to write comments but the thing about Bivarus, because it’s electronic and research bears this out, that people tend to be more responsive in electronic survey methodologies versus paper-based tools, and that’s been our experience as well. We receive a lot of comments. So, we have a provider scorecard that we’re able to give to our providers where they can look at what their overall scores are across all of those questions.


In what ways did using Bivarus and achieving such positive results improve patient safety?

During a 12-month period that we looked at it, we noted from the Bivarus review, 242 safety-related comments. And again, it’s key to understand this wasn’t so much questions as much as these were comments. And when those 242 cases were drilled down, we discovered 12 adverse events, 40 near misses, ultimately of which 31 were further evaluated to be preventable. There 23 medical errors with minimal risk, and 167 general safety-related issues. Then we looked at that number, particularly of the 52 adverse events/near misses, and found that only 10 percent of those were actually found in an existing safety event reporting system that our hospital and most hospitals have. So what really kind of dawned upon us was using Bivarus and the patient experience as a patient reportable safety occurrence tool and it enables us to really drill down and make positive change.

          Our interests related to the limitations of the paper-based tools: We think that using electronic survey methodology is a valid way to go now and give them the wide penetration of electronic access. We have found that the representative group from the Bivarus responders to be very similar to the overall ED population. So, we’re not perceiving that there is a statistically significant population that’s being missed by using electronic survey methodology.


To listen to the interview in its entirety:


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Friday, February 20, 2015

CrowdOptic allows emergency physicians to observe patients inside an ambulance en route to a hospital by sharing the perspective of an EMT broadcasting in real-time through a wearable device like Google Glass. CrowdOptic is one of five official Google Glass partners.


“Through 4G on the ambulance, he’ll upload high-definition 1080p video that streams to the Cloud and can be accessed through a secure link by a computer or a tablet or even an iPhone by personnel in the receiving hospital,” said Jim Kovach, MD, JD, CrowdOptic’s vice president of business development.


“An emergency physician can talk through two-way audio to the EMT, and he can [zero] in through a digital zoom to instruct the EMT to look at an EKG or to even conduct a pupil exam to look for a contraction or dilation.”


The company said they hope the technology will lead to a new relationship between EPs and EMTs based on a dialogue that’s going to occur over time, Dr. Kovach said. Currently, the company is primarily working on pilots for health care systems that have large stroke coverage, with letting stroke patients bypass an ED the brass ring of this new technology.


“To be able to save the time of repeating a physical exam could save 25 to 30 minutes and really revolutionize stroke treatment,” Dr. Kovach said.



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