OBIO Shares Results of Pilot Launch of New Technologies That Help Manage Covid-19
June 1, 2021
June 1, 2021
TORONTO, ON – June 1, 2021 – While the race to eradicate Covid-19 continues, the Ontario Bioscience Innovation Organization (OBIO®), a not-for-profit organization dedicated to advancing health technology innovation and commercialization in Ontario, is sharing results of the pilot launch of its Early Adopter Health Network (EAHN) introduced last year. Four projects with novel technologies were adapted to address challenges with Covid-19, ranging from healthcare operations to disease/patient management to improvements in diagnosis or treatment.
“The goal for the EAHN is to become early adopters of homegrown medical technology and help streamline the procurement process to help busy hospitals and health care providers deliver improved patient care,” says Gail Garland, President and CEO of OBIO. “The companies in our program were able to pivot their technologies in real-time to help address some of the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic and more efficiently pair them with clinical end users.”
The four projects enabled through the EAHN include:
KA Imaging’s Reveal 35C is the world’s first x-ray detector that provides three different images (a standard digital radiograph, as well as bone and soft tissue images) and can be used bedside to better visualize the lungs, particularly among COVID-19 patients. The improved diagnostic imaging can be a game changer in the ICU to assess whether patients with pneumonia need a ventilator, or how the disease evolves, and can be easily deployed to a community hospital or in-clinic.
“With the support of the EAHN, we were able to test Reveal in a clinical setting, enabling the radiologist to diagnose pneumonia with more confidence,” says Amol Karnick, President and CEO of KA Imaging. “The same facility has already received two extra systems to increase imaging capacity, proving that early adopters are critical to how quickly new technologies are implemented.”
Patients with COVID-19 may have neurological and cardiopulmonary issues requiring repeated MRI and CT scans. Given the virus’ half-life of 72 hours on plastic or metal, the surfaces of these machines can become contaminated, exposing health care workers and other patients to infection. Synaptive, with its partners, have designed a single-use drape that can be safely disposed of after each scan, an innovation that can prevent potential COVID-19 contamination and protect against other air-borne viruses.
“OBIO’s program provides us with an opportunity to design, test and validate our MRI drape solution in a real-world clinical scenario, with the collaboration of our partners at UHN,” says Cameron Piron, President of Synaptive Medical. “The ability to work with Ontario’s leading health organizations through the EAHN provides companies like Synaptive Medical with a base of Canadian customers and experiences that strengthen our global value proposition.”
FloPatch, the world’s first wireless, wearable Doppler blood flow device, helps medical personnel assess and monitor blood flow for critically ill patients by sending data remotely to mobile devices using low energy Bluetooth, which is critical in a pandemic context. The low-cost, ultrasound sensor adheres to a patient’s neck, providing hands-free blood flow assessments and important clinical insight for patients in the emergency department, operating room, general medical floor and intensive care units.
“Through the Early Adopter Health Network, with support from Health Science North Research Institute, we were able to test FloPatch and advance the technology to market by facilitating engagement with hospitals here in Ontario.” said Andrew Eibl, COO of Flosonics Medical.
Ironstone Product Development
Ironstone’s Revoxa™ system increases the efficiency of oxygen delivery to COVID patients nearly tenfold, meaning an oxygen tank that would typically last less than a day could last more than a week. If deployed, the technology could make an incredible difference in places such as India, where access to oxygen is currently rationed on a triage basis.
“The support from OBIO’s program was invaluable in advancing this technology to clinical use,” says Joel Ironstone, President of Ironstone Product Development. “The funding helped us conduct a trial to demonstrate the technology’s ability to drastically reduce oxygen consumption while delivering the same or potentially improved support to hypoxic patients, allowing us to contribute positively to the pandemic effort.”
OBIO has undertaken years of consultation with industry and the health system to develop EAHN. Health science companies and health care organizations who want to be a part of EAHN should send proposals or requests for more information to OBIO at firstname.lastname@example.org.
OBIO®, founded in 2009, is a not-for-profit, membership-based innovation organization engaged in strategy, programming, policy development and advocacy to further the commercialization of human health technologies positioning Canada as a leader in the international marketplace. OBIO advances this goal through collaborative partnerships with industry, the investment community, academia, the health system and government.
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