Cothera, a subsidiary of United Orthopedic Group, recently launched the VPULSE, a compression and cold therapy therapy system for prevention of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolisms (PE), but which can also be used as a device for problematic knees and shoulders. The VPULSE received 510(k) clearance from the FDA earlier this year, is considered appropriate for home use, and is available by prescription. This is a review of the VPULSE.
The VPULSE system is designed to fill the need for a preventative measure for DVT and PE, which are collectively known as venous thrombosis. DVT is the formation of a blood clot in a deep vein, and which most commonly occurs in the legs, while PE is the embolism of a pulmonary artery. According to the company, the VPULSE provides intermittent sequential therapy that reduces the risk of hospital-acquired DVT and PE. Intermittent compression therapy is used to reduce swelling at the treatment site, while controlled cold therapy reduces both pain and swelling.
DVT is among the most frequent hospital-acquired conditions and, according to the company, there hasn’t been a single economically feasible medical device to support continued compliance from the hospital to the home that simultaneously provides a physician with patient usage data. The VPULSE can be used continuously from the hospital to home setting, and is equipped with a mini-SD card slot to provide physicians with compliance data.
While we are unable to review the performance of such a device in terms of preventing DVT or PE, we are able to evaluate its performance in providing compression and cold therapy, and in this regard it is a highly capable system. The VPULSE control unit weights about five pounds and has a capacity for approximately 1.2 gallons (4.4 liters) of water. The unit connects to the compression pads via high quality tubing that easily clicks together, probably even by those with arthritic hands. Modes are selected through a backlit color keypad that is on the control unit. The device can use either ice cubes or provided water bottles. Tests indicated that when the system was filled with water and its ice bottles, the VPULSE stayed appropriately cold for over five hours. The pads are comfortable and easy for a patient to attach.
In terms of providing cold therapy, we found the VPULSE to be dramatically superior to already existing devices, such as the BREG Polar Care Kodiak Cold Therapy System, in that it has a control pad, maintains an appropriately cold temperature longer and that the VPULSE’s pads are more comfortable and better fitting. These attributes should result in superior patient usage compliance.
The one noted negative was that the VPULSE is slightly larger and heavier than the comparison model, though this is likely due to its numerous additional attributes, including compression therapy and the recording of usage data.
All in all, the VPULSE was an easy to use therapy system that will hopefully contribute to a reduced occurrence of DVT and PE complications.
Here’s a video introducing the Cothera VPULSE:
Product page: Cothera VPULSE…