November 15, 2020
Clearing up feeding
Since medical errors in hospitals were cited as the third leading cause of death in the United States, according to the BMJ, the issue of effective enteral feeding protocols has become a point of increasing concern in recent years, particularly in treating ICU patients. Around the world, 22 million feeding tubes are placed each year, often by nurses using traditional blind insertion techniques. Misplacing the tube in the lung can produce fatal consequences, yet these losses have slowly become the accepted collateral of high-risk ICU procedures.
It’s unsurprising feeding tubes can be dangerous, as the system used to place them has barely changed since the 80s. ENvizion Medical, a trailblazing company based in Tel Aviv, tackles this problem by developing the next generation of electromagnetic feeding tube placement devices.
The company’s system, dubbed “the Waze of feeding tubes,” utilizes multiple sensors and known anatomical landmarks to generate an image mapping of each patient’s anatomy up to the upper GI tract in order to trace the feeding tube accurately and avoid misplacement. By providing vision at the bedside, ensuring accurate placement and quicker feeding times to combat malnutrition, ENvizion’s system is helping reshape our approach to patient safety. The technology may not only turn conventional enteral feeding on its head but also the way in which medical procedures, some of which have been widely accepted for decades, can be refined through technological ingenuity.