Fluidnet Corp. CEO Jeff Carlisle fairly bristles when he reads his company described as an IV infusion pump maker, as MassDevice did in the first version of this story published March 11.
His company’s system is so advanced compared with current infusion systems, he says, calling it a pump is just not accurate.
"To characterize this as an infusion pump company would be so misleading. We’re really taking a holistic look at the IV therapy process," Carlisle told MassDevice. "The information flow is an important as the fluid flow."
Portsmouth, N.H.-based Fluidnet, which drummed up $9.1 million of what it hopes will be a nearly $10 million funding round this week, is developing an intravenous infusion pump system it hopes will hit the market this year, Carlisle said. The company took a close look at the 35-year-old IV technology used in hospitals today and re-designed the system from the ground up.
"Today’s IV therapy process is complex, costly, dangerous and inefficient. We’re putting technology in place that solve each of those problems," Carlisle said.
As an example, he cited one of the most common uses of IV systems, the administration of antibiotics. Current IV systems require nurses to perform half-a-dozen beside tasks at the time of infusion, Carlisle said.
"It’s not practical to expect the nurse to do all those things right all the time. With our approach the nurse can set up the infusion and it can happen without interruption to the patient or nurse," he explained.
Another common problem — frequent, noisy alarms that disturb patients and disrupt nursing workflows — are largely eliminated by the Fluidnet system, Carlisle told us. For example, current IV infusion sets sound an alarm when an air bubble enters the system.
"We actively eliminate the air, eliminate the source of the problem, so that this very, very prevalent nuisance alarm and workforce interrupter just goes away," he said. "This is the first large-volume pump that actively filters out air bubbles. We still have an alarm, it just never goes off."
Another feature of the device is an RFID-based locator and status updater, which can wirelessly transmit data on the location of each system and what state it’s in (i.e., has it been disinfected after use).
"These are management workflow issues that go way beyond just moving fluid. We’re taking the most prevalent therapy in hospitals today — if you’re in the hospital you’re on an IV — and creating the ability to manage inventory and actually know if a pump has been disinfected," Carlisle said.
Despite reports indicating that the funding round was less than reported in a regulatory filing, Carlisle confirmed that the company raised $9.1 million from the sale of equity to 12 un-named investors. Cardinal Partners, of Princeton, N.J., and Rockport Venture Partners of Beverly, Mass., are previous Fluidnet backers.
Fluidnet is gearing up for a commercial release of the pump system this year, according to Carlisle, and will use the cash infusion to fine-tune the system ahead of filing an application with the Food & Drug Administration for 510(k) clearance some time this year.
"We are using [the funding] to put it in production and get it on patients. It’s pure end-stage movement towards verification, validation and production and then getting on patients during 2010," Carlisle said. "We’re almost immediately hiring 8 new embedded software engineers."