A Spanish startup company is testing and pursuing regulatory approval for a wireless stretcher that allows for continuous monitoring of heart and stroke patients even when patients are being moved.
Imaxdi, based in Vigo, Spain, has embedded its own, patented heart monitoring technology into a stretcher and has been testing prototypes for about six months at hospital in the autonomous Spanish region of Galicia. Imaxdi presented the concept at a Spanish conference on emergency medicine in June, and has a patent application pending in the US.
"People have problems with wires when moving around stretchers," Imaxdi CEO Miguel Moure tells MobiHealthNews. "We can move the stretcher wherever you like," Moure says. The monitors do not need to be disconnected when a patient gets moved or when a technician brings in an imaging unit, for example.
The wireless stretcher is a collaboration between Imaxdi, the Galician chapter of the Spanish Society of Emergency Medicine – known as Semes Galicia – and the emergency department at Hospital de O Salnés in Pontevedra, Spain. It uses an Imaxdi product called mBeat, which continuously measures ECG readings, oxygen saturation and blood pressure.
Imaxdi developed both the hardware and the software, according to Moure.
The mBeat monitor connects to mobile devices following the low-energy Bluetooth Smart protocol. It right now is being used to speed diagnosis of heart conditions in six ambulances in the remote Canary Islands, where specialty care is limited and transporting patients to the mainland is risky and expensive, Moure said.
Imaxdi has completed testing of mBeat for a CE Mark is awaiting final approval, according to Moure. Once the certification has been secured, the company will put the device on the market in Spain and Poland, which, Moure said, has similar medical device regulations as Spain. Future plans call for selling mBeat across the European Union and eventually in the U.S. and Latin America.
"We also are trying to develop a home version" for monitoring of patients post-discharge, Moure says.
Imaxdi is looking bring both mBeat and the yet-unnamed stretcher system to market in partnership with a medical equipment supplier, either through a joint venture or a licensing agreement, according to Moure. "Our goal is not to produce the product," Moure says. "We are an R&D company."
Imaxdi completed a first round of funding, worth about 500,000 euros, last year, and currently is seeking additional venture capital.
For more about mBeat, see this video from Imaxdi.