Simplex Scientific works to improve internal blood loss measurement

When every moment counts, having the right tools to get a job done is essential. Simplex Scientific is creating a powerful new product will allow paramedics to detect internal blood loss before a patient reaches the hospital, something that is essentially impossible with the current technology available.

The new blood loss technology builds on a discovery by Simplex’s Dr. Dennis Bahr that allows blood pressure measurements to be made accurately even during a bumpy ambulance or helicopter ride to a hospital.

“It’s very difficult if they’re in an ambulance and current blood pressure readings can’t be done while moving,” Simplex Scientific president John Peterman said. “The blood pressure technology will solve those problems and by taking other measurements simultaneously, we can use the blood pressure signals to determine loss of blood.”

In order to advance their research, Simplex was awarded a National Institutes of Health Phase I SBIR grant that allowed them to create a piece of equipment that simulated blood loss in patients.

“For our study, we built a lower body negative pressure chamber that simulates blood loss,” Peterman said. “By pulling a slight vacuum on your legs, to your upper body, it is as if you’ve lost blood. We were able to analyze blood pressure and other parameters on about 30 test subjects as bleeding was being simulated.”

The team at Simplex had to also focus on business development along with product research, so they came to the Center of Technology Commercialization (CTC) to learn more about Lean Startup. Peterman said the course gave them a better understanding of how to tailor their product to the market’s needs.

“We interviewed Middleton EMS and discussed what we were thinking and what we thought the product would be and what they think it should be,” Peterman said. “Every paramedic we’ve talked to so far seems quite interested and sees value in the product, so we’re very encouraged it will work out.”

Simplex plans to begin developing a minimal viable product within the next few weeks in order to meet the September deadline for the NIH SBIR Phase II proposal.

“Right now we’re doing interviews with EMS and paramedic groups,” Peterman said. “Once we get through this initial phase of interviews then we’re going to define and start building a minimal viable product. We’re going to have to get a lot done in the coming weeks but when we’re doing these interviews we’d like to put something in their hands so it’s easier to have an idea of what the product will be like.”

In order to make the deadline, Simplex is utilizing an SBIR Advance grant awarded by the CTC to assist their research.

“We think this program makes a lot of sense,” Peterman said. “A lot of SBIR grants have a lot of technology that gets built but it doesn’t end in a product. Already, we have a much better vision to make a product that will be a commercial success.”