sensor-guided intubation tube ensures proper placement, prevents harm

When a patient needs a breathing tube or feeding tube, proper placement is critical. Miach Medical Innovations, a company formed in 2011 out of CWRU, is developing tubes with built-in sensors to ensure proper placement.

“Several statistics show the need for properly placing these tubes,” says operations manager Cullen Dolan, who is working on his masters in engineering management. “Ten percent of breathing tubes are not initially placed properly. We found other statistics that show 20 percent of breathing tubes experience unplanned movement and 70 percent of feeding tubes experience unplanned movement. Also, 15 percent of extubate patients need to be reintubated." The ramifications can be damaging and even cause death.
The Miach Medical team, which includes CWRU doctors James Reynolds, Jim Rowbottom and Jeff Ustin, is developing sensors to assist caregivers with placement. “It will help caregivers know the tube is properly placed, unplanned movement, and when it is safe for the tube to come out,” explains Dolan.
Miach’s developments earned the company top honors at JumpStart's Northeast Ohio Entrepreneur Expo’s student competition. The company won $1,500 for placing first in the competition. Additionally, Miach was awarded $25,000 by the Lorain County Community College Foundation Innovation Fund.
The team will use the money on sensor development. “The key is finding a sensor that is cost effective and still meets all of our technical needs,” Dolan says. “We’re working with academic groups and companies to find the sensor we need.”
Dolan has found the experience educational and rewarding. “The sensor tube is something that’s needed, and with my background in biomedical engineering this was something I wanted to be a part of,” he says. Representing the company at the expo was a great experience. Winning the competition was just icing on the cake.”

Source: Cullen Dolin
Writer: Karin Connelly
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