ECRI Institute’s 2018 Top 10 Hospital C-suite Watch List (Part 3)
Microneedle blood-collection devices
The touch-activated phlebotomy device is a new and nearly painless method of collecting blood sample for lab tests. The FDA-approved, single-use, 1.5-inch diameter device adheres to a patient’s skin. Once tapped, the device uses 30 microneedles and a small vacuum to collect 100 microliters of capillary blood over 2 to 3 minutes until the fill indicator signals the collection is complete. Currently, the device is approved only to test HbA1c to evaluate glycemic control.
Venipuncture, which is used to currently draw blood samples, is a painful and unpleasant procedure for many. At times, more than one puncture might need to be made if not properly done. This new method is painless, simple and fast. It also reduces needle stick injuries.
Neonatal MRI system
The Embrace neonatal MRI system is designed for point-of-care imaging of the neonatal brain and head in the neonatal intensive care unit. The system reduces potential risks associated with patient transport for a standard MRI such as trauma resulting from transport, positioning, handling and also facilitates rapid emergency care, should the need arise. However, it is contraindicated for infants weighing more than 4.5 kg or with a head circumference larger than 38 cm (15 inches) and those with metallic or electronically active implants.
The system is fully enclosed and does not require a safety zone or a radiofrequency-shielded room, so it can reside in close proximity to typical medical devices lacking “MR Safe” and “MR Conditional” designations. Unlike the current noisy MRI system, this new system is significantly less noisy.
GammaTile cesium-131 (Cs-131) brachytherapy in neuro-oncology
The use of GammaTile cesium-131 (Cs-131) brachytherapy in neuro-oncology is currently under review by the FDA. This technology permits per-operative incorporation of Cs-131 brachytherapy seeds, which are embedded into a bioabsorbable collagen mesh that is sutured or stapled into place in the cavity left by an excised brain tumor. The purported advantages are faster delivery of radiation dose to the target tissue and more direct delivery of radiation dose compared to external beam radiation therapy or other forms of brachytherapy using different radioisotopes. All these reduce injury to the adjoining healthy tissue with improved patient outcomes.
The concept of microhospitals is a growing trend in fast-growing suburban areas as a means to increase access to health care. Microhospitals provide inpatient services, but to a smaller scale than a full-service acute care hospital. But, they are scalable i.e. they can expand according to the needs. They provide emergency care, but not intensive care. There is no standard definition of a microhospital yet, hence, services may differ between microhospitals.