BY ETHAN FORMAN
---- — PEABODY — Analogic Corp. has come up with a handheld ultrasound system it says can fit in a lab coat pocket and act as a window through the skin for a caregiver trying to place an IV in a vein.
The company says its Sonic Window will make it easier for clinicians to insert a line on the first try, allowing for faster care, fewer complications and less cost.
It may also mean fewer needle sticks for patients — a particular bonus when the patients are children.
The hope is the device will bring ultrasound imaging out of the radiology department and into the emergency room, doctor’s office, phlebotomy lab, outpatient clinic or even ambulance. The company can envision its use in a pediatrics office, where it may bring peace of mind or a distraction to a child facing the dreaded needle stick.
“It’s something everyone can relate to and everyone has a strong feeling about, especially if you are a parent,” said Farley Peechatka, senior vice president and general manager of Analogic’s ultrasound business.
The device, about the size of a television remote control, can provide a direct look at structures just under the skin. It’s sleek and self-contained and has only a few buttons and a simple user interface. An LCD screen on the top of the device provides the image. It doesn’t need a separate cart, and it can be operated using one hand.
“You don’t have to use a trained ultrasound technician,” said Mark Namaroff, director of investor relations. A nurse could use it to see blood vessels in the arm to place an IV catheter.
Sonic Window has been approved for use guiding the placement of peripheral IVs, but there may be other applications for it in the future, company officials say. “We certainly see the potential to bring ultrasound to applications closer to the patient,” Peechatka said.
The device got federal Food and Drug Administration clearance this month, marking the end of the FDA approval cycle and the move toward commercialization of an idea that was hatched many years ago.
About four years ago, Analogic partnered on the technology with a privately held company called PocketSonics of Charlottesville, Va. In September 2013, Analogic acquired the remaining ownership stake in the company.
Analogic has “not quantified the revenue potential” of Sonic Window, but Peechatka said a study estimates that there are 300 to 500 million IV placements a year in the United States. About one in three attempts fail in adults without guidance, Peechatka said. One in two attempts fail in pediatrics.
Success rates rise from 82 percent for traditional IV placement methods to 97 percent when these attempts are image guided, Analogic says.
Plans are to market the device this summer to hospitals and emergency rooms, with plans to seek approval of European regulators in the future.
Staff writer Ethan Forman can be reached at 978-338-2673, by email at email@example.com or on Twitter at @DanverSalemNews.