Clinical Innovation Fellowship spin-off seeks to improve medical tube success
During their fellowship period, the team came across the huge need for safer medical tubes. As they investigated the need further, they learned about how widespread tube-related incidents were across clinical hospitals. Using their combined skills, the team has developed a fail-safe connector that protects the patient and medical tube from damage.
Until recently, the project was focused on development and testing of prototypes. The final design is now established with the first series of injection-moulded connectors being manufactured at the end of 2017. The following test phase will provide data for the technical file required by the CE-mark process.
TADA Medical belongs to the KTH Innovation pre-incubator and has been granted €309,000 in soft funding to date. In November 2017, the company also won the Senior Category in the Showcase Innovation Fellowship Alumni Competition.
All medical tubes are constantly in danger of being dislodged. Dislodgement occurs when the medical tube is accidentally subjected to a force large enough to cause is to detach from the patient, thereby pulling away any dressing, needle or other fastening and/or access device.
There are many different consequences of accidental dislodgement, including:
- increased risk of needle stick injury for medical staff due to needle replacement
- interrupted intravenous therapy
- increased medical staff workload and additional cost for each restarted therapy
- exposure of patients and medical staff to leaking liquids
- wasting expensive medication
- substantial blood loss in unconscious and unaware patients
Approximately eight out of ten patients entering the hospital will receive a medical tube for infusion. Clinical studies show an average infusion failure rate of 10% due to dislodgement. For some patient groups, the failure rate is as high as 30%. An average infusion restart costs €25. For a medium sized hospital, this will lead to unnecessary healthcare costs of approximately €90,000 per year due to dislodged infusions alone.
TADAS’s patent pending connector is placed on the medical tube close to the patient’s vascular access site. It is designed to separate into two parts when the tube is pulled. The double valve feature keeps any liquid from spilling which is especially important when considering chemotherapy treatment or blood diseases.
All medical tubes used for infusion, transfusion and dialysis would benefit from the TADA connector. Other medical tubes that would profit from the TADA connector are urinary catheters and drains.
Benefits of EIT Health support
Katarina Hedbeck, CEO said EIT Health support has been invaluable: “The team is immensely grateful for having had the opportunity to participate in the Innovation Fellowship. If it were not for the programme, the four of us would never have met. Also, the programme provided us with support and a platform enabling them to kick-start their company.
"The EIT Health HeadStart/Proof-of-Concept grant for €50,000 has been invaluable for the company. Product development within the medical technology field requires great knowledge in risk analysis, quality management and intellectual property rights – all of which TADA have taken consultant advice for. This would not have been possible without the financial support of EIT Health.”
KTH, Royal Institute of Technology