The operating room can be a hectic place, with many people and machines performing complicated and important tasks. During surgery, anesthesiologists perform many vital roles, and they will soon be getting a new tool in the OR, thanks to a new startup, Gauss Surgical.
One of the job roles of an anesthesiologist is to monitor the amount of blood lost by a patient during surgery.
Many surgical teams currently use visual estimation to determine blood loss. This can often be an imprecise, and the consequences of overestimating or underestimating blood loss can create patient complications.
Gauss Surgical saw an opportunity to improve this system and are now using the iPad as the base of a new method to help track blood loss during surgery in real time.
This will lead to improved patient outcomes to facilitate better intraoperative fluid management and more appropriate blood transfusions.
“Gauss Surgical Inc.’s mobile medical platform uses the iPad to scan surgical surfaces that are covered in blood — namely, pieces of gauze that soak up blood during surgery. Through an iPad app, those scanned images are sent to the cloud, where Gauss’ algorithms go to work, ‘almost like facial recognition software,’ to determine and deliver an estimate of how much blood is present in that sample, said co-founder and chief technology officer Siddarth Satish.”
There are other methods to measure the amount of a patient’s blood loss such as using a cathedar to transmit information from the heart to a monitor, but that is intrusive for the patient.
The iMedicalApps team has previously discussed the myriad of ways the iPad may be a game changer in the OR, and this is another tool to add to the list. If you combine this with the disposable sterile iPad sleeve for use in the operating room exclusive we brought to you first, you would further the utility of the platform.
Furthermore, if this new methodology is shown to be superior, it may be incorporated into the routine of the OR.
“Testing data on Gauss’ accuracy of measurement wasn’t shared, but if the company can demonstrate that its method delivers more reliable data than visual estimation, hospitals may also find use for it in delivering valuable data back to their quality departments, like how much total blood they’re losing during surgery and how that compares to national averages. Creating a business model that best leverages those capabilities is still a work in progress, Satish said, but a final business model will likely be similar to models that hospitals are used to seeing with medical devices and software.”