Global med tech award propels Northwestern startup

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A spinout of the Northwestern University research group run by one of Chicago’s most prolific inventors has won an international startup competition and is poised to move forward with wearable technology that could revolutionize the management of brain fluid-draining shunts in patients — a treatment that has gone virtually unchanged for decades. 
Rhaeos, one of the startups at the John A. Rogers Research Group at Northwestern, won MedTech Innovator’s 2020 global competition earlier this month for FlowSense, a non-invasive, wearable monitor that measures fluid levels in ventricular shunts of patients with hydrocephalus, a life-threatening condition marked by an excess of cerebrospinal fluid in the brain. 

The award includes prize money of $350,000 and access to Johnson & Johnson Medical Device Companies’ lab space for a year residency, will help get its product to market, said Anna Lisa Somera, chief executive officer of Rhaeos. 
Hydrocephalus is primarily treated with a shunt, which is a small tube and a connected valve. However, these devices regularly fail, sometimes with life-threatening consequences, and require monitoring with X-Rays or CT scans that can often expose patients to significant amounts of radiation.
The disease affects about one million Americans and the same treatment has used for decades.
Rhaeos’ FlowSense  …

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