Infusion catheter delivers medication with precision

VascularDesigns:

Vascular Designs’ IsoFlowâ„¢ infusion catheter … is a dual balloon catheter designed for controlled and selective infusion of physician-specified fluids into selected vasculature by means of temporary occlusion of a target region of the vessel with simultaneous perfusion of blood past the isolated region. With this type of directed approach to fluid delivery, you can increase drug concentrations at targeted sites while reducing systemic exposure, thereby improving efficacy and patient outcomes. This makes IsoFlow ideal for battling diseases such as cancer for which treatment requires the direct infusion of chemotherapy drugs to a targeted region of the body like a tumor.

The IsoFlow catheter enables sideways perfusion, The IsoFlow catheter enables sideways perfusion, which gives you the ability to push specified fluids both into side branch and angiogenicly formed vessels, letting medications reach an isolated area in a highly targeted and concentrated fashion. With IsoFlow’s unique design, fluids can reach areas that could not previously be treated directly.

How cool is that.

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Anthropomimetic robot is just a tad bit creepy

ecerobotEccerobot (Embodied Cognition in a Compliantly Engineered Robot) is an anthropomimetic robot developed by a consortium of labs in Europe. An antrhopomimetic robot imitates not just the human form, but human biological structures and functions as well. This gives the robot the potential for human-like movements and interactions.

From the website: “The ECCEROBOT project is a spin-off of the CRONOS1 project conducted at the University of Essex. The goal of this project was to investigate machine consciousness through internal modelling. For this purpose the first anthropomimetic robot torso was built. Within the ECCEROBOT project we will further enhance this torso, develop a controller for it, and investigate the development of human-like cognitive abilities.”

Reminds me a little of the “terminators” in Terminator movies. Like I said, creepy.

An infusion pump that can be used around MRI scanners…Cool!

pumpsyringThe MRidium 3860+ from IRadimed is the first non-magnetic iv pump with integrated SpO2 monitoring designed specifically for use around MRI scanners. According to the manufacturer: “The new 3860+ offers significantly upgraded performance and features to the already proven MRidium MR IV pump product line. With the addition of a 10 key numeric input keypad and its wider pumping range of O.l mL/Hr to 1400 ml/Hr, the 3860+ series allows quick programming and broad fluid flow control. The drug library has been enhanced to allow user profiles to be stored and easily transferred via the SD memory card to other pumps. With the addition of the Masimo SET Sp02 monitoring and specialized fiber optic sensor, the 3860+ facilitates both safe sedation AND monitoring in one portable MR safe unit. Approved for use in 0.2 to 3 T Magnets. Features: Dose Rate Calculator, Bolus Dose Programming, Secondary Drug Delivery, Syringe Delivery, Adjustable Occlusion Pressure, KVO, SpO2 monitoring, and Alarm Settings, [and] CQI Data Ability w/Tracking Software which records up to 3000 Entries.” A couple of things that stand out, besides being able to use it around an MRI scanner, are the wide range of infusion rates and the ability to use standard 10 to 60 mL syringes with the MRidium Syringe Adapter IV Set (image shown). I’ve seen several pumps that limit users to 999 mL/hr, which can create an issue in certain circumstances. The ability to utilize syringes comes in handy for pediatrics; most pediatric infusions require an entirely different pump.

Pharmacists aren’t typically interested in infusion pumps, but they catch my eye from time to time since my involvement with the Alaris Smart Pump project at our facility.

Needle-free injection system

The Engineer:

The Pyrofast system uses a fine, high-pressure jet stream to penetrate the skin and deliver liquid or solid drugs to the tissue beneath. According to the German company, the entire process takes 40m/s and creates a puncture that is four times smaller than that caused by conventional needle injections.

pyrofastDr Thorsten Rudolph, managing director of Anwendungszentrum Oberpfaffenhofen (AZO), is working with IP management company, Patev to commercialise the technology. He claims that the system will prevent the transmission of blood-borne diseases via needlestick and sharp injuries and provide a more attractive option to patients generally.

‘The pyrotechnical gas propulsion technology that is used doesn’t cause bleeding, so the transfer of diseases such as HIV will be eliminated,’ he said. ‘This is the same chemical gas technology being used in airbags to provide a fast and reliable pressure profile. Including it in an injection system means that it can easily be used by patients to self administer drugs through the skin.’

Most needle-free injection systems produce the initial penetration pressure using a spring or compressed gas. This can cause discomfort to the patient as the pressure applied is not uniform. Patev claims that the system overcomes this by using chemical substances that, after activation, generate a gas to create a constant and reliable pressure profile.

The system also has the advantage of distributing the drugs to a wider area under the skin and therefore speeding up absorption, whereas needle injections cause a bolus that slows drug delivery.

The team has developed a prototype and Rudolph is confident of working with industrial partners to begin trials in the near future.

You can read more about it here.

Cool Technology for Pharmacy

This really has nothing to do with pharmacy, but the technology is just too cool to pass up.

I recently attended my youngest daughter’s back-to-school night. One of the instructors at the school used a 600 series SMART Board to give her presentation. Much of what she had to say never registered because I was too busy looking at the SMART Board.
Continue reading Cool Technology for Pharmacy

A great argument for being allowed to browse however you want

Slate.com: “The restrictions infantilize workers—they foster resentment, reduce morale, lock people into inefficient routines, and, worst of all, they kill our incentives to work productively. In the information age, most companies’ success depends entirely on the creativity and drive of their workers. IT restrictions are corrosive to that creativity—they keep everyone under the thumb of people who have no idea which tools we need to do our jobs but who are charged with deciding anyway.” – I couldn’t have said it better myself. I know my brother would endorse the sentiment as well.

Hi-Tech patch for migraine relief

ZelrixZelrix is a transdermal patch containing sumatriptan for the treatment of acute migraine headache developed by NuPathe, a pharmaceutical company specializing in the treatment of neurological and psychiatric disorders. The patch is based on NuPathe’s proprietary SmartRelief™ platform, which according to the manufacturer’s website is “a non-invasive technology that utilizes low-level electrical energy to transport drugs through the skin in a safe and effective manner. The rate and amount of drug delivered is controlled electronically, so that the patient receives consistent therapy each and every time. Iontophoresis is an established drug delivery technology with multiple applications currently being used by physicians.” The SmartRelief™ iontophoresis utilizes pre-programmed, embedded electronics in the patch to provide consistent therapeutic drug levels. This is very interesting technology with many potential applications. Imagine the uses in professional sports where iontophoresis is frequently utilized to administer NSAIDS and corticosteroids for the treatment of inflammation

Cool Technology for Pharmacy

glowcapThe Vitality GlowCaps is a wireless internet enabled cap for prescription bottles that uses light and sound to notify patients when it is time to take their medication. When the GlowCap is removed from the prescription bottle, the information is documented on Vitality’s server. Vitality uses this information to send the patient and physician a monthly compliance report to help monitor therapy. Of course, that’s assuming that the patient doesn’t just open and close the lid when the reminder goes off. When you stop to think of all the time, energy and money spent on patient compliance with medication, you begin to realize that the GlowCap is pretty cool pharmacy technology.
Continue reading Cool Technology for Pharmacy

Self destructing data for the cloud

One of the most frequently cited reasons for not utilizing cloud based storage is security. While the self-destructing data solution described below wouldn’t work for healthcare secondary to the need to archive information for long periods of time, it would certainly work for any personal data sent or received over the internet. The ability to put a time-bomb in a document is appealing. Read on to find out more.
Continue reading Self destructing data for the cloud

Cool Technology for Pharmacy

ROBOT-Rx® from McKesson is a robotic pharmacy system that automates many of the day to day operations that a technician may perform in a hospital pharmacy, such as medication storage, selection, return, restock, and crediting.

From the manufacturer’s site:

Every year, more than a half billion medications are dispensed error-free by ROBOT-Rx systems installed in hospitals mckesson_robotthroughout North America. Patient-specific medications are dispensed into cassettes or envelopes, facilitating cart fill, first dose, stat and now deliveries. The ROBOT-Rx also supports cabinet restocking and medication deliveries to multiple hospital sites.

The ROBOT-Rx system provides a real-time, enterprise-wide picture of medications stored, dispensed, credited and administered through the system. The robot continuously tracks all online and offline inventory, checks itself for expired and slow-moving medications and generates restocking reports.Every year, more than a half billion medications are dispensed error-free by ROBOT-Rx systems installed in hospitals throughout North America. Patient-specific medications are dispensed into cassettes or envelopes, facilitating cart fill, first dose, stat and now deliveries. The ROBOT-Rx also supports cabinet restocking and medication deliveries to multiple hospital sites.

The ROBOT-Rx system provides a real-time, enterprise-wide picture of medications stored, dispensed, credited and administered through the system. The robot continuously tracks all online and offline inventory, checks itself for expired and slow-moving medications and generates restocking reports.

I’ve recently been moonlighting at a hospital that uses the McKesson Robot-Rx system. It gets a “10” for coolness, but I haven’t been impressed with its performance. Because the robotic system utilizes barcoded medications designed for storage on peg racks, many medications require additional packaging (over-wrapping) prior to stocking (see images below). The over-wrapping requires a lot of extra technician time and labor, as well as pharmacist time to check. The system is certainly an advance in automation, but I prefer the carousel technology I use at my full-time gig.

Robot-Rx overwrapping - Front (left) and Back (right)
Robot-Rx over-wrapping - Front (left) and Back (right)