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Sudbury med-tech firm advancing development of blood-flow monitoring device

Software development team will ensure device is compatible with North American electronics records systems
Flosonics Medical has received $500,000 to further develop its FloPatch, a portable ultrasound device that helps monitor patient blood flow. (Flosonics Medical photo)

A Sudbury medical technology company is advancing the development of its portable ultrasound device so it can be made compatible with electronic records systems currently being used in hospitals across Canada and the U.S.

Flosonics Medical will hire a team of five software developers to ensure seamless integration of its FloPatch thanks to an investment of $500,000 in FedNor funding.

“The project we are announcing today is ultimately to enable the deployment and interoperability of this technology in a hospital throughout different departments, while capturing the information that we are assessing about those patients to help make better-informed decisions that impact the quality of care and, ultimately, hopefully get those patients out of the hospital sooner, avoid complications, and reduce the cost for the overall health-care delivery system,” said cofounder and chief operating officer Andrew Eibl during a Jan. 22 online funding announcement.

Flosonics’ FloPatch is a wireless, push-button sensor that uses Bluetooth technology to monitor a patient’s blood flow.

Once the peel-and-stick device is adhered to a patient’s neck, results are tracked in real time and sent to a physician’s tablet or smartphone.

In recognition of the company’s work, Northern Ontario Business awarded Flosonics its Innovation Award during the 2020 Northern Ontario Business Awards.

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Already approved for use by Health Canada and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the device is involved in a number of clinical trials designed to prove the technology.

Flosonics additionally has development agreements with the Canadian and U.S. militaries to use the device in transport monitoring.

“With this support, we'll be able to develop those systems in our early pilot sites and roll them out as the company continues to grow and put this technology in hospitals," Eibl said.

On hand for Friday’s announcement were Sudbury MP Paul Lefebvre and Nickel Belt MP Marc Serré, who noted FedNor had earlier invested $200,000 in the startup, back in 2017.

The company has come a long way since then, Lefebre said, and the FloPatch “has the potential to reshape patient monitoring in both health-care settings and via telemedicine.”

The technology is especially important given the challenges Canada and the world are facing due to COVID-19, he added.

“I am pleased to say that the FloPatch also enables health practitioners to better care for patients remotely and allow for faster hospital discharge in some cases,” he said.

Flosonics is based out of the Health Sciences North Research Institute, the research arm of Health Sciences North, located in the South End of Sudbury.