Guard Medical: Healing Wounds with a Pinch of Innovation
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Machiel van der Leest, President and Co-founder
Surgical site infections (SSI) have become a global epidemiological burden accounting for nearly 33 percent of the 10 billion dollars spent in healthcare-associated infection costs in the U.S. healthcare. Against this backdrop, Negative Pressure Wound Therapy (NPWT) has emerged as a very effective treatment modality. By creating a controlled negative pressure condition, this wound therapy accelerates wound healing times and significantly reduces SSIs.
However, current NPWT devices are cumbersome and expensive, and thus use of this proven therapy is limited. Amid this scenario, Guard Medical, a dynamic and highly focused start-up, has ventured on a quest to lower SSI rates and improve patient care while enabling considerable cost reduction for the healthcare system. Guard Medical commissioned a leading market research firm to conduct an in depth market assessment by interviewing over 65 surgeons which found 75 percent of the surgeons believed that NPWT decreased SSI rates.
Guard Medical has developed a highly innovative, wearable NPWT system for closed surgical incisions, NPseal, that recently received FDA clearance. It is an easy-to-use solution that makes the prophylactic use of proven yet under-utilized NPWT therapy possible. “With our intuitive and cost-effective product, our goal is to accelerate the much broader use of NPWT to reduce surgical site infections and lower morbidity and mortality rates,” states Machiel van der Leest, president and co-founder at Guard Medical. NPseal’s technology can be used on a wide range of closed surgical wound types and sizes and leverages NPWT’s broad applications for infection prevention, scar mitigation, and enhanced cosmesis.
“In response to my recognition of the clinical need for a NPWT device which is simple, easy to use and cost effective, the NPseal technology originated at New York-Presbyterian and Weill Cornell Medicine” states Dr. Sang Lee, Chief of Colorectal Surgery at the University of Southern California and co-founder of Guard Medical.
Dr. Sang Lee, Chief of Colorectal Surgery at the University of Southern California and co-founder
As an all-in-one device, NPseal comes with no external battery, canister, or separate pump, unlike the current solutions in the market. The product is designed with an easy-to-use approach that can be applied very quickly. The key to NPseal’s design is a proprietary pinch pump, made from a soft, pliable material that effectively pumps air out of the wound space and establishes a therapeutic negative pressure. The simple pinch process also makes it easy for patients to maintain NPseal therapy at home. The pinch pump is silent by nature and devoid of any electronic and mechanical noise that prevents the evocation of patient anxiety.
This simple, innovative surgical dressing can substantially improve patients’ lives by quickly discharging them from hospitals, helping them to freely go about their daily lives back home as they recover. The technology supports surgical procedures such as general surgery, colorectal surgery, plastic and reconstructive surgery, and obstetrics (Cesarean). The technology is well suited for inpatient and outpatient surgery in both ambulatory surgical centers (ASC) and office environments, enabling NPseal to make NPWT therapy more accessible. By increasing NPWT’s access for surgical patients, NPseal can improve patient care while generating considerable savings for the health care system.
Guard Medical is about to start post-market clinical evaluations early next year through an extensive program to demonstrate NPseal’s utility in clinical use. Alongside, the company is expanding its product portfolio by venturing into different wound care branches. Leveraging its core pinch pump technology, Guard Medical is poised to address the segment of chronic wound care too. “Joining the global effort to reduce costs and strive for value-based healthcare amid the repercussions of the pandemic, we are excited to be the forbearer of this crusade in the wound care market,” concludes Lees.