CLEVELAND, OHIO – (Fresh Water 1/11/2016) Maintaining a patient’s body temperature during and after surgery to prevent hypothermia and infections has long been a challenge in the medical community. Traditionally, medical providers have used Forced Air Warming (FAW) devices to warm a patient, but these devices often fall short.
“Current FAW devices, the standard of care, fail to meet the clinical goal of maintaining normal body temperature during surgery in over half of all procedures,” says Brian Patrick, co-founder and vice-president of Mercury Biomed. Furthermore, he says the cumbersome and intrusive systems are wasteful and can make the operating room uncomfortable.
“There are a growing number of clinicians that question the safety and effectiveness of the current standard of care in perioperative patient warming,” says Patrick. “And that’s why we believe it’s an important problem to solve.”
So Patrick and his team have come up with a better way to warm a patient throughout the surgical process. Their better idea earned Mercury Biomed $1.4 million in Ohio Third Frontier funding.
Mercury Biomed’s WarmSmart uses thermal regulation technology to raise core body temperature faster and safely. The technology stimulates the body’s natural thermostat to increase blood flow on-demand — using blood flow as a short-circuit heat transfer pathway to the body core.
The WarmSmart technology was developed by Kenneth Diller, founding chair of the biomedical engineering department at the University of Texas at Austin. Diller is an expert on bio-heat transfer and the physiological processes that govern temperature regulation.
Patrick teamed with Diller in 2010 to form CoolCore to develop and test the technology before partnering with Innovative Medical Equipment in 2015 to form Mercury Biomed in Cleveland.
In December Ohio Third Frontier’s Commercialization Acceleration Loan Fund awarded Mercury Biomed a $1.4 million loan to bring its Smart Temperature Management System technology to market.
The money will be used to fund the company’s clinical trials, which are currently underway, obtain FDA clearance and refine and build commercial devices using the technology.
“We aim to use the state’s award to create high-tech jobs in Northeast Ohio, hire local consultants and commercialization partners, and to bring more prosperity and recognition to the state and the region,” says Patrick.
The clinical trials are scheduled to be completed early this year, with the WarmSmart technology due to hit the market later this year. Mercury Biomed is currently working on other applications using the technology, with SmartCool due to begin clinical trials soon and hit the market by 2018.
Written by Karin Connelly. Karin enjoys telling people’s stories, whether it’s a promising startup or a life’s passion. She has spent 15 years reporting on the local business community for publications such as Inside Business and Cleveland Magazine. She was editor of the Rocky River/Lakewood edition of In the Neighborhood and was a general assignment reporter and photographer for the Amherst News-Times. At Fresh Water she enjoys telling the stories of Clevelanders who are shaping and embracing the business and research climate in Cleveland.