Dr. Jeffrey Kline, research director at Carolinas, has long been known in Emergency Medicine circles for his groundbreaking research in diagnosing pulmonary embolism. Throughout this decade, however, he’s also been advancing his medical device company, BreathQuant Medical Systems (and, judging by the picture, he’s also been hitting the gym).
There’s a new profile of Dr. Kline and his company in the Charlotte Business Journal. The reporter is a little off on her facts (there are plenty of devices that measure CO2 and O2 simultaneously, we’ve covered some) but, nonetheless, she does well to detail the progress of the company:
The device, known as BreathScreen PE, is the first to measure levels of carbon dioxide and oxygen simultaneously. Kline says such measurement will enable doctors to better diagnose a pulmonary embolism, which develops when a blood clot blocks an artery leading to the lungs…
He co-founded device-development business BreathQuant Medical Systems in 2001 with the goal turning the BreathScreen into a viable product.
“I just thought it was the longest of long shots,” Kline says.
He now hopes to gain U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for the BreathScreen within a year and to start selling the device to emergency departments within two years….
Initial results show the BreathScreen can reduce the need for CT scans by about 10%, Kline says. The device detects blood clots by measuring a decrease in carbon dioxide levels and increased oxygen levels in exhaled breath, he adds.
He estimates the medical device — a little larger than a handheld video camera — will cost between $5,000 and $10,000. It will contain a reusable insert costing roughly $25.
More on the physiology behind the BreathScreen device, from Dr. Kline’s Carolinas faculty page:
I have investigated the role of using the alveolar deadspace (estimated using capnometry and arterial PaCO2) plus a whole-blood D-dimer to screen for PE. At Carolinas Medical Center (CMC), we use a combination of a decision rule that I derived and the deadspace/D-dimer in what we term the “PE rule out” procedure. We use this procedure approximately three times each day in the ED as part of real practice. To advance my ideas, together with my business partner, Mr. Michael Sinsheimer, I co-founded BreathQuant Medical Systems, a company dedicated to noninvasive diagnosis (see www.breathquant.com). Our company has patented and tested a breath-based device and signal processing algorithm that uses expired CO2 and O2 to estimate alveolar deadspace from PE (US patent issued).
We should note that even a 10% of reduction in CT scans would save a lot of time in the ED and a lot of radiation for the patient. We’ll be following this device’s progress with great interest.