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TRACHEO4LIFE. Highest realibility for emergency tracheotomies

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[Tracheo4Life]Commercial_sheet PDF

Device for tracheotomies assisted performance, both emergency and elective ones: life-saving surgical operations and patient safety

Complications and mortality associated with tracheotomy are mostly avoidable if the procedure is carefully performed. Post-tracheostomy complication rates are found to be significantly higher in emergency tracheotomy than in elective one (2 or 5 times higher). In these situations, patient’s condition could be a critical difficulty for surgical operation because of patient’s anxiety and sudden movements.

Tracheo4Life combines in a single device imaging systems for a medical diagnosis and mechanical means for patient’s immobilization and  the subsequent precise incision in the trachea, according to the anatomical characteristics of the case. This innovative device has been the result of multidisciplinar cooperation between a research team from the Technical University of Madrid and health-care professionals from Universidad Autónoma de Madrid.

Technology Solution

This solution provides a new device for performing tracheotomies, both emergency and elective ones, which enhances the effectiveness of the surgery and patient’s safety, particularly in those situations requiring a faster medical operation.

To this end, the device includes:

  • an image processing system for madical diagnosis and most suitable placement of tracheal incision;
  • mechanical devices to prevent patient’s neck area from moving;
  • mechanisms for an effective tracheal incision in order to maintain an effectiva airway, and;
  • a control unit for information processing for the purpose of adapting medical procedure to patient’s anatomical characteristics.

“Tracheo4Life combines medical imaging systems, an effective stabilization method of the patient, a precise mechanism for the tracheal incision and a control unit in a single device”

Market demands

  • Around 10% of mechanically ventilated critically ill patients receive a tracheotomy to facilitate prolonged airway and ventilatory support.
  • Complication rates associated with tracheotomy have been reported to range from 15-40%; the mortality rate related to tracheotomy is reported to be less than 2%. Mortality is caused, among other factors, by the blockage of the tube to be inserted or its displacement.
  • Complications and mortality associated with tracheotomy are mostly avoidable if the procedure is carefully performed. Post-tracheotomy complication rates are found to be significantly higher in emergency tracheotomy than in elective one (2 or 5 times higher).
  • Urgent tracheotomies:
                • Urgent tracheotomies can not be usually performed in controlled environments, with the patient under local anasthesia. The awake patient could contribute to this topic negatively, as the patient’s anxiety and movements challenge the whole surgeon. 
                • The risk of pneumothorax is highly increased in patients with abnormal work of breathing.
                • Urgent awake tracheotomies imply the necessity of fast and simple techniques, that may be easily learned and performed with minimal assistance.

“Tracheo4Life represents an essential advance to improve the reliability of emergency tracheotomies, sucha a critical surgery in terms of complications and patient safety”

Market potential

  • Global respiratory care equipment and supplies market is estimated to reach $11 billion by 2017, growing at a CAGR of 8.8% from 2010-2015. The therapeutics devices market dominates the global respiratory care market, followed by monitoring devices and disposables, including  tracheotomy devices [Global Industry Analysts Inc.]
  • USA, Western Europe and Japan dominate the world’s consumption of medical devices (USA, 41%) [Frost].
  • Many emerging markets are witnessing annual medical device consumption growth rates of 15-20% (China, India, Brazil, Mexico), while most established markets are stuck at growth rates between 5-7% [Frost].
Competitive advantages

  • The combined application of medical imaging tools with medical procedures set to the patient’s characteristics, provides  a solution that minimizes the risks associated with emergency tracheotomies, a feature not offered by commercial devices being marketed nowadays.
  • Compact, easy to use, accurate and safe:
    • tools for providing a previous diagnosis that fits the path of the cannula and the incision to the patient’s anatomy;
    • elements for securing the placement of the device on the patien’s neck, clavicles and upper chest, enabling patient immobilization;
    • a portable medical imaging camera that contributes to the diagnosis and the execution of the diagnosis: a medical probe should be held to the patient’s neck to define the locationd of the tracheal air column and the tracheal rings, as well as arteries, veins and other anatomical structures of the neck;
    • a control unit to manage the information provided by the camera in order to analyze patient anatomy and set properly some factors related to the incision procedure through control signals.

  •  Multidisciplinar cooperation between top researchers and health-care professionals.
  •  UPM research team, co-inventor of other 7 patents, including results in the health sector.

Development stage

  • Concept
  • R&D
  • Lab-Prototype
  • Industrial Prototype
  • Production

Tracheo4Life UPM contact

Andrés Díaz Lantada, Pilar Lafont Morgado, José Alberto Jaén Gallego

ETS Ingenieros Industriales – UPM

e: adiaz@etsii.upm.es (Andrés Díaz contact)

UPM contact

Innovation, Commercialization and Entrepreneurship Area

Centre of Support for Technological Innovation – UPM

e: innovacion.tecnologica@upm.es

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