Start-Up Previews, March 2012
This Month's Profile Group, Surgical Incision Closure Start-Ups, features profiles of EndoEvolution, ZipLine Medical and ZSX Medical. Plus these Start-Ups Across Health Care: Foundation Medicine, PMD Healthcare, VasoStitch and Virttu Biologics.
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Despite great strides in minimally invasive surgery over the years, suturing continues to vex surgeons. That’s understandable, given the amount of hand-eye coordination required: surgeons hold two long instruments and watch a video screen from across the room while performing very intricate motions with their hands and fingers. EndoEvolution LLC has developed an automated suturing system that mimics the way surgeons manually suture. The Endo360° uses a traditional curved needle instead of a straight needle, and it drives the needle in the exact manner a surgeon would when suturing by hand: grabbing a needle from its tail, pushing the point of the needle through the tissue and picking up the point.
For many years, non-absorbable and absorbable sutures and staples have been the primary method of closing the external skin layer. Both types of devices provide good incision closure to promote wound healing, but they have drawbacks. There hasn't been much innovation in incision closure over the last decade, but now, innovative companies are working to address concerns with the gold standards. ZipLine Medical Inc. hopes to be at the forefront of this evolution with a noninvasive, external skin closure system intended as an alternative to sutures and staples that decreases operating time, heals the wound in a uniform manner with minimum skin stress and a much-improved aesthetic result and is easily removed by the patient at home.
The current tool by which patients with lungs diseases (like asthma and COPD) measure their own lung function at home, the peak expiratory flow meter, is not sufficiently informative enough to guide decision-making. PMD Healthcare aims to help respiratory patients care for their disease better. The company has developed a spirometer for home use, Spiro PD, that works on the same principles as the well-accepted office-based and hospital spirometers, but is easy to use and affordable.