From the MIT Technology Review we learned of Dr. Farhad Imam, a neonatal intensivist at the Children’s Hospital Boston, who designed and is in the process of patenting a light-guided central venous catheter for direct visualization of placement. Dr. Imam is trying to commercialize this device:
Farhad Imam… says that his transilluminating catheter could be useful in outpatient, wilderness, and military settings, where there isn’t the luxury of using fluoroscopy or ultrasound to track the device’s movement…
Imam designed his catheter with babies in mind, knowing that it would be relatively easy for light to shine through their thin skin. However, he thinks that it will also work in adults.
Imam has tested the catheter in rabbits and patented it, and he’s now gearing up for human trials, which he expects to begin in 2009. He’s working with a catheter manufacturer and an optics company to produce a variety of prototypes.
“The reason why we’re so excited about this technology is, it’s simple, it’s intuitive in the sense that you can see it with your own eyes, and you don’t need an extra pair of hands to hold something,” Imam says.