El Camino Health announced on March 14 that it will begin using a new blood flow monitoring technology called FloPatch, a wearable ultrasound system that allows clinicians to more effectively treat patients with sepsis. The Mountain View-based health system is the first in the world to adopt the new technology, according to the announcement.
"Timing is crucial when caring for patients with sepsis," Cheryl Reinking, chief nursing officer at El Camino Health, said in a statement. "Our nurses have seen firsthand how effective FloPatch is in monitoring the effectiveness of treatment in deteriorating patients, especially those with sepsis and low blood pressure."
In partnership with Flosonics Medical, the developer of FloPatch, El Camino Health has been piloting the FloPatch technology for the past year at Fogarty Innovation, the medical technology and startup incubator that operates out of El Camino Hospital.
"Our nurses immediately loved it and helped decide where in the hospital the technology would be the best fit," Reinking said.
FloPatch is a device approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. It provides fast and consistent measurements to help clinicians track a patient's heart function.
"Once placed on a patient's neck, the FloPatch continuously assesses blood flow in the carotid arteries, which are the major blood vessels that supply blood to the brain, neck, and face," the statement said. "FloPatch then wirelessly transmits that data to a secure iOS mobile application, providing clinicians with actionable, real time data at the bedside."
When a patient with sepsis arrives at the hospital, the first critical step is to treat them with IV fluids, the El Camino announcement stated. But it can be challenging to administer the right amount of fluid, and too much can cause major complications for patients.
"While there are tools currently available that can measure fluid response, they are cumbersome and time-consuming to use," the statement said. "FloPatch's advanced analytics engine quantifies and displays changing metrics over the course of an assessment and helps clinicians deliver more precise fluid treatment and ultimately, better care to patients."
El Camino Health cited a study that found that four to five patients will avoid potentially dangerous fluid overload for every 10 FloPatch uses.
The FloPatch is the latest technology to benefit from El Camino Health's medical technology accelerator program out of Fogarty Innovation (FI), a six-month-long mentoring program that helps early-stage companies grow.
"With guidance from their lead FI mentors, Mike Regan, chief innovation officer, and Dr. Zach Edmonds, strategic adviser, the Flosonics team worked directly with clinicians at El Camino Health to gain a better understanding of the patient journey and determine the best clinical use for their groundbreaking technology," the statement said.