The DVTlite helps to promote blood circulation in a patient’s legs while recovering from a procedure such as knee surgery. The company’s president and CEO, Richard Parker, took a moment to speak with MPO about the device, the innovative technology behind it, and where his company’s headed with this solution.
Sean Fenske: Can you please tell me about the DVTlite? What does it do?
Richard Parker: The DVTlite Venowave is a mobile compression device for the prevention of deep vein thrombosis (DVT). It uses a peristaltic wave plate on the back of the calf to continuously circulate blood.
Fenske: Why is this important following orthopedic surgery?
Parker: Post-surgical DVT is most common following major orthopedic procedures because of the amount of trauma on the body, the long anesthesia times, and post-surgical immobility or decreased mobility. Complications from DVTs can range from pain, additional surgery, or even pulmonary embolisms that can cause life-long pulmonary issues and even death. Patients who suffer from DVT are likely to develop chronic venous disease and require medical intervention throughout their life.
Fenske: What’s the alternative to this technology and how does the treatment effectiveness compare to DVTlite?
Parker: Traditionally, doctors only used chemical prophylaxis anticoagulants (blood thinners) to help prevent DVTs. The issue is that more and more physicians are seeing bleeding complication when using blood-thinning agents and are looking for safer alternatives. There are other compression pumps used in hospitals and facilities, but the devices are large and too cumbersome to easily be used at home. Many consist of a pneumatic pump that uses compressed air running through hoses that connect to garments wrapped around the calf. These systems are a solution for use when patients are lying in the hospital bed, but are very cumbersome for use at home, when the patient needs to get up to walk around, or even when used in the restroom.
Fenske: Can you talk about the enabling technology that really makes this device function?
Parker: The DVTlite Venowave is the only mobile compression device that uses the peristaltic wave motion. The wave plate allows for a continuous flow of blood in comparison to pneumatics that inflate and deflate ever minute or so. All other mobile devices on the market are simply taking the large pneumatic system and making them smaller. Many still have hoses that run from the pump to the garment, which is still difficult to apply and can pose a tripping hazard.
Fenske: Are there other potential applications for this technology?
Parker: There have been studies done for vascular applications such as post-thrombotic syndrome, chronic venous insufficiency, and edema. Also, some high-risk patients are using them for long-haul travel to keep the blood moving.
Fenske: What’s on the horizon for the company and this technology?
Parker: We are looking forward to being able to compete in the hospital arena with our newest model of Venowave, which includes a compliance meter and audible alarms. With total joints procedures on the rise and continuing to climb in the next several years, we are ready to help combat a very serious problem for physicians, hospitals, and ultimately, the patients.
Check out the following video to see how this technology actually functions.