Allotrope Medical’s first device, the StimSite, is an intuitive hand-held device that assists surgeons in quickly and easily identifying ureters during a surgical procedure. The device was a runner-up in the MedTech Innovator contest and received $50,000 for second place.
Over 3 million operations are performed that require identification of the ureters annually in the U.S. The process of identification can cost over an hour in the operating room or thousands of dollars in unreimbursed equipment and resources. Inventor Albert Huang believes Allotrope can shorten operating time and eliminate the additional procedures and implants used in the process. Doing so increase surgical efficiency, cuts costs and frees the surgeon to perform more procedures.
“The processes in place to identify ureters include manual dissection, injection of fluorescence or body cameras,” Huang told MedTech Conference attendees in September. “We said, ‘There has got to be a better way to reduce foreign object placement [in identifying uretors].’”
Huang developed the electrical stimulation device that can be hand-held, requires no additional tools, and costs less than anything else on the market. “We wanted to make sure we weren’t interrupting the workflow or going outside the comfort zone of surgical procedures, so the hand-held aspect of the device is something surgeons are very familiar with.”
Huang also said, as a method of “future proofing,” that he made StimSite in such a way that it can be integrated with surgical robotics.
Huang sees StimSite as a platform technology. Through data collection, and talking to key opinion leaders, Huang began to explore how the product could be used to stimulate physiological function of other smooth muscle areas of the body. “The smooth muscle stimulation is a therapeutic white space.”
Huang is currently engaged in R&D and fundraising, looking to raise $3 million in Series A. He is working to narrow the profile of the device, and improve circuitry and the casing. He said he is enthused by the human factors aspects of tinkering with the device.