New iPad app uses mobile photos to accurately measure blood loss during surgery
The Triton Fluid Management System is a photo app unlike any other – it can accurately predict blood loss better than current standards, and now, it’s approved by the FDA.
Prior to the invention of The Triton Fluid Management app, surgical work included weighing cloths, sponges, drapes, and all sorts of surgical equipment. Those same items would be weighed after the procedure to determine their weight gain in blood. It sounds about as accurate as a high school lab project – not precise, but it was “close enough” for theory.
With mobile photos, Gauss Surgical can extract data about blood loss simply by analyzing a photo with its calculations. It’s incredibly simple:
At its core Triton uses standard off the shelf mobile computing technology in combination with cloud storage. Using the iPad camera, the system scans surgical sponges that are covered in blood, and sends the images to the cloud where image-processing algorithms estimate the amount of blood contained on that surface and sends it back to the OR in real-time.
Evidently, calculating this number with any fair amount of accuracy has been erroneous, especially in situations with large blood loss. According to Aryeh Shander, M.D., Englewood Hospital and Medical Center, Englewood, NJ. “Over or under estimation of blood loss may lead to wrong clinical decisions. This new technology avails us the ability to more accurately account for blood loss with the potential to not only improve patient outcomes but also conserve healthcare resources.”
Clinical studies indicate that the use of blood products beyond a level deemed medically necessary can increase complication rates, ICU days, and overall length of hospitalization. Overuse can also substantially increase the cost of care. The cost of a single unit of red blood cells averages as much as $1,100 when administration and supply costs are included. A recent study by Premier, a healthcare performance improvement alliance of approximately 2,900 U.S. community hospitals and 100,000 alternate sites, looked at 464 member hospitals and concluded that blood utilization represents the eighth highest savings opportunity for hospitals – a savings of $1.06 million per hospital, per year.
All of that is pretty impressive for an iPad app that takes photos of bloody equipment!