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May 17, 2011

Cell-Phone Monitoring Kit for Surgery Patients Announced by Investors and Surgeons' Groups



GENTAG, Inc., Third Technology Capital Investors, and The CORE Institute have developed a fully integrated medical grade wireless monitoring kit for post-surgery applications that allows patients to self-monitor themselves for excessive swelling in the areas where they’ve had surgery or inside casts, with their cell phones.

The kit, compatible with the new generation of Near Field Communications (NFC) cell phones, is for use after hospital discharge, reducing post-operative orthopedics costs and improving outcomes for patients.  

The technology is based on an ultra-linear NFC-MEMS hybrid chip with 1mm mercury (Hg) precision and 0.1 C temperature accuracy developed during the past year by GENTAG and its partners under the specifications and medical guidance of a team of U.S. orthopedic surgeons.

Working together, the surgeons created a minimally invasive way to measure in situ (in place) pressure and temperature in surgery areas, to make sure swelling, or compartment syndrome, is not occurring. Compartment syndrome is the compression of nerves, blood vessels, and muscle inside a closed space (compartment) within the body.

This leads to tissue death from lack of oxygenation due to the blood vessels being compressed by the raised pressure within the compartment. Compartment syndrome most often involves the forearm and lower leg The technology is covered under worldwide issued and pending patents.

Applications include compartment syndrome monitoring, post orthopedics surgery monitoring, back pressure and bed sores monitoring, and monitoring for excessive pressure in casts.  Other medical applications are under development.

The technology is available for limited post orthopedics surgery trials.  Commercial production is expected in 2012, starting first with pressure monitoring in casts. The technology will be fully compatible with Google, BlackBerry, Nokia, Samsung and other brand NFC cell phones integrating the NFC chip and can also be bundled with low cost custom NFC cell phones (such as GENTAG's GT-601) as hospital discharge wireless monitoring kits.  FDA approval will be required for some applications.

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Deborah DiSesa Hirsch is an award-winning health and technology writer who has worked for newspapers, magazines and IBM in her 20-year career. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Jennifer Russell


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