Making Simple Procedures Simple
VeinTech is a Perth-based medtech startup, founded by Nick Buckley, Nikhilesh Bappoo and Katherine Arenson in 2020 after completing the Perth Biodesign course. VeinTech is working to address the high failure rate of first-pass cannulation failure in a wide variety of medical settings. Cannulation is one of the most common invasive medical procedures, however, the first-attempt failure rate is 40%, and up to 70% in hard to cannulate patients such as the very young, very old and obese people.
VeinTech are developing the VeinWave, a handheld ultraportable vein imaging device that will make cannulation quicker, less painful and more successful. They anticipate the VeinWave being used across a number of clinical settings, with emergency departments, private hospitals, chemotherapy providers and pathology collectors being important early adopters. VeinTech are currently at a proof of concept stage of development, and have just commenced development of a clinical demonstration prototype.
The next major development of our prototyping is to develop a clinical demonstrator, with which we can gain clinician feedback and do early bench and human testing. The student projects were directly related to this – working on both the hardware and the firmware aspects to help us achieve this goal, in concert with our lead designers Atamo, a Perth based product development firm.
One student project focussed on the hardware and determining the parameters that our hardware will be required to perform at, as well as implementation of optimisations to ensure that we are able to image and display veins for cannulation as clearly and quickly as possible. Our second student project related to the processing of the signal itself, identifying the best way to recognise the signature of a vein and reduce extraneous noise and artefact.
The students on placement with VeinTech gained experience of early stage prototyping of a medical device – not only the hands-on experience this entails, but also an awareness of how this fits into the overall plan of business development, fundraising and promotion of a company. They also had the opportunity to collaborate directly with and learn from the founders, an opportunity less readily available at bigger organisations.