The third place $1000 prize winner of last month’s BMEIdea competition was a team from Georgia Tech and their Magnetic Assisted Intubation Device (MAID). The device utilizes a magnet held over the trachea to guide the endotracheal tube during intubation. The device aims to make intubation safer (less broken teeth/busted lips from the laryngoscope), cheaper, and simpler. In addition, it will likely decrease the amount of time anesthesiologists spend on intubation to allow more napping and/or internet browsing.
We had a chance to ask the Georgia Tech team a few questions about their product:
Justin Barad, Medgadget: Can you describe the make up of your team?
Georgia Tech: Our team is comprised of four undergraduate biomedical engineering students from Georgia Tech. We have worked hard to give this product promise outside of the classroom.
Medgadget: How did you decide to work on this concept?
Georgia Tech: This project started as part of an undergraduate biomedical engineering class at Georgia Tech. As part of this class, we were tasked with reverse engineering and improving the laryngoscope. However, the more research we did on the laryngoscope and the procedure of intubation, the more we saw the need to reinvent the procedure to eliminate the need for a laryngoscope altogether.
Medgadget: Are there any other magnetic intubation systems currently on the market?
Georgia Tech: Insofar as we have found, there are no other magnetic intubation systems commercially available. There has been some research literature published on a similar procedure; however, most of these studies were performed on intubation mannequins.
Medgadget: What has your success rate been with intubation using your system?
Georgia Tech: We have tested our most recent prototypes using cadavers and have had a nearly perfect success rate.
Medgadget: Can you describe some of the biggest obstacles or challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Georgia Tech: One of the major challenges we have experienced has been juggling our demanding school work load, extracurricular activities, and this venture. Organizing the schedule of four very busy undergraduates and our two very prominent mentors has been difficult.
Medgadget: What is the cost breakdown of your product versus standard endotracheal intubation?
Georgia Tech: According to the most recent market research data, MAID is priced competitively with standard intubation and is much less expensive than alternatives to traditional intubation. These data do include a pro-rated cost of broken teeth as a result of intubation with a laryngoscope, but do not include the cost of hospital acquired infection.
Medgadget: What kind of feedback have you gotten from medical care providers regarding your product?
Georgia Tech: The emergency medical professionals we have spoken to have shown a lot of interest in our device. This device has clear application outside of the ER to the field and neonatal units. However, we think that the best endorsement we have received was from an ER physician at Grady Hospital, whose interview can be found here (along with our pitch from the GT InVenture Prize):
Georgia Tech: We plan to have our device be widely available in the next 2-3 years.