Innovative paediatric devices in 2021
Its safe to say there have been much disparity when it comes to launching products in the paediatric space, the challenges surgeons face become a lot more complex and not only that, but a lot of hospitals don’t have the clinical trial space to allow for research therefore testing of the product is limited. Another reason is that the difference between adults needing surgical intervention as appose to a child is significantly higher which can lead a medical device company to think there isn’t a high enough need for it.
We have come a long way in the last few years with medical technology however the paediatric space still has a while to go to catch up. Currently, only 15% of medical devices approved by the US FDA seek an indication for use in newborn patients, meaning that only 5% of all approved FDA products have an indication for use in newborns.
In this article, I wanted to shine a light on the companies that have created innovative and breakthrough products that are changing the space and more importantly saving young children’s lives by the devices they are creating.
Approximately 1.3 million babies are born with congenital heart defects. Starlight Cardiovascular sensed a gap in the market. Most tools needed to treat CHD were only suitable for adults; the company are now developing a portfolio of devices that are tested specifically for paediatric patients improving morbidity, mortality and access to care.
Ink Imaging has designed MRI coils that are able to wrap round an infant. This aims to improve patient comfort and decrease scan time. The amount of time it takes to do an MRI scan has always been an issue, especially as children are having to stay still for such a long amount of time. Should the child be moving too much, this can then cause useless data or images appearing very hard to read, which can then lead to a child having to be given anaesthesia, increasing risk of complications for such a fragile patient.
This device will not only help lower costs due to the amount MRI scan machines costs; but it will be a safer way to scan paediatric patients.
Navi is a company that was built due to the low amount of innovations being made in the paediatric space. They create and commercialise products that help doctors and nurses deliver better care in the neonatal intensive care unit setting.
Their product is the ‘Neonav ECG Tip Location system’
Currently in development; this is machine learning driven software that is to be used to help clinicians create accuracy when inserting catheters into newborn and paediatric patients. It can also be used to detect post-procedure catheter migration. It works by measuring the electronic signals form the heart and applying sophisticated machine learning techniques. This provides clinicians with real-time feedback on the positioning of the catheter.
A hugely common problem is that there is no real-time feedback currently whilst inserting the catheters, which can increase chance of complications should the catheter be misplaced. This product will help maximise success rates and provide a safer and more accurate placement for the surgeons.
There is no doubt that we have come a long way since previous decades; but there is still undeniably a huge gap in the market. Possibly, due to the performance of last year which has given companies the time to design and develop more than ever; we will see an increase in the next couple of years that will make waves for the medical paediatric space.
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