Do-it-Yourself Cerebral Hematoma Detection

February 28, 2013 EST at 5:15 pm
Abby small

Abby, from Medlogic, demonstrates the Infrascanner 2000

The Infrascanner™ 2000, a hand-held, NIRS-based, device for detecting subdural hematomas, recently received FDA clearance.

The first showing of the product was at the ICU of the Future meeting in Los Angeles, February 21-22.  The technology inside this product goes back to the late Dr. Britton Chance, a brilliant biophysicist at the University of Pennsylvania.  I worked for Dr. Chance in 1972 while still an electrical engineering student at Penn building amplifiers for oxygen electrodes.  We re-connected a few decades later when we were both at an NIH workshop to assess neonatal neuromonitoring technology.  At that time Dr. Chance’s group had developed technology to use near infrared light to assess cerebral oxygen in a product called RunMan™.  Shortly after that, we got involved in some software development for the device that was being commercialized by a company called NIM run by Dr. Chance’s sons Sam and Peter.  We used RunMan as one of the measurements in our initial multimodal monitor prototype.

NIM never really got off the ground as a business and Dr. Chance’s technology was licensed by Infrascan, Inc a company in Philadelphia run by Baruch Ben Dor.  It seems Baruch’s team has finally gotten it across the finish line.  Baruch and I have known each other for several years as we both run small medical device companies.  We both had an unnecessarily prolonged time getting our products cleared by a dysfunctional FDA process (more on this in another post).

Clarence

Clarence Carlos

A lengthy FDA experience translates into a period where you need to keep your company alive to benefit from your work but can’t sell your product for the income to do it. Knowing what we went through, I’m happy to see their product finally on the market.

A company called Medlogic, based out of Pittsburgh, is now selling the product. Medlogic is run by Clarence Carlos, a fascinating and amazingly connected person who I spent some time with in a bar in LA.  As a former football player he is developing the untapped sports injury market to quickly assess the brain following a blow to the head. He is working with school systems on a national level and already has the device in the hands of the Pittsburgh Steelers.  They are also exploring the obvious applications in pre-hospital and hospital care.

 

No hematomas in this brain

No hematomas in this brain

The current Infrascanner 2000 is easy to operate.  It provides a diagram of the head much like that seen on an EEG headbox with eight positions marked for you to test, four left and four right.  The device steps you through collecting a measurement at each site by holding the unit to the head and pressing a button…very easy. This pattern supposedly will provide a quick assessment of the presence of subdural hematomas across the cortex.  I tried the unit myself.  My do-it-yourself scan was quick and easy and found no hematomas!