OrNim, a Lod, Israel company, has developed a non-invasive laser-based sensor for direct monitoring of oxygen levels within the brain. The company is trying to break into a lucrative market of cerebral perfusion monitoring, currently dominated by such devices as INVOS Cerebral Oximeter from Somanetics Corp. Unlike its competitiors, OrNim believes its monitor could potentially be used for monitoring a variety of organs, from brain to viscera.
From the company’s technology page:
… pulse oximetry is an optical based technology that is used to measure oxygen levels within the arterial blood. It works by attaching a non-invasive probe to a patient (usually placed on the ear, finger, or toe) which transmits a beam of light through the patient’s blood vessels. This technology works by measuring the differences in absorption of different wavelengths of light by oxygenated and deoxygenated hemoglobin. Pulse oximetry has markedly improved medical care – particularly in the fields of anesthesiology and intensive care – and as a result has been rapidly adopted by the medical community. However, pulse oximetry is subject to a number of limitations – most notably, the technology cannot penetrate deep tissue, it is sensitive to ambient light levels and remains limited to peripheral perfusion (e.g. the finger). Tissue oximetry, a technology capable of penetrating deep tissue, remains qualitative in nature (i.e. it cannot provide an absolute measurement of blood oxygen saturation).
OrNim is introducing a breakthrough technology that enables localized, quantitative measurements of oxygen saturation levels from deep tissue volumes. OrNim’s sensors are capable of performing Targeted Oximetry – allowing caregivers the ability to pinpoint specific regions of the body, bypass peripheral tissue, and measure oxygen saturation levels within the monitored tissue.
The ability to locally monitor tissue oxygenation is particularly important in the instance of monitoring oxygen saturation within cerebral tissue. The Company’s technology is capable of filtering out the contribution of external tissue to the measured signal – thereby providing a “clean” reading of oxygen saturation from only the tissue that is targeted.
This is a revolutionary application as prior methods of quantitatively measuring oxygen in specific deep tissue tended to be invasive (i.e. requiring a surgical procedure), narrowly localized, and subject to environmental interference.
In addition to monitoring tissue oxygenation, Targeted Oximetry is inherently capable of monitoring other vital parameters. As a result, the technology can also be used to detect the presence and extent of hemorrhages within the monitored tissue, or changes in blood perfusion to the tissue.
With quantitative cerebral oximetry, patient outcome can be improved. Additionally, intensive care (ICU) patient stay and costs associated with patient treatment can be significantly reduced. It is essential to determine a patient’s absolute oxygenation for managing his/her therapy. In cases where the patient’s condition is unknown prior to start of procedure, qualitative modalities are inefficient.
OrNim’s first product will assist physicians in preventing and reducing neurological damage that frequently occurs during traumatic brain injury, stroke, or following cardiac arrest.