Image: A sensor-based enteral feeding system can prevent life-threatening ICU complications (Photo courtesy of Art Medical).
A novel parenteral feeding platform identifies gastric reflux, secretion, and urine outputs automatically, minimizing the likelihood of patient complications.
The Art Medical (Even Yehuda, Israel) smARTrack feeding tube system includes disposable sensor-enabled enteral feeding tubes that offer continuous monitoring of gastric reflux, saliva, and urine output, and a console-based dashboard that automatically alerts attending clinicians of any abnormalities. In addition, the smARTrack console is equipped with a motorized mechanism that automatically and in real-time stops working if the feeding tube moves out of position during ongoing use, and can guide an operator to correctly re-position the tube.
SmARTrack feeding tubes are equipped with sensors designed to provide information on the location of the tube tip, relative to the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), thus assisting to reduce the incidence of misplacement during first positioning. It also monitors position continuously during the course of the feeding and automatically alerts care staff of tube migration. Along with watching for complications or infection, the smart feeding tubes can also help offset the common high rates of inaccurate calculation of a patient’s nutritional needs.
“One of the challenges for the ICU staff is patients’ prolonged length of stay and mortality from complications which are unrelated to the original reason of hospitalization,” said Liron Elia, founder and CEO of Art Medical. “Aspiration of foreign materials is a major risk for intubated patients and technology is what is needed to solve this problem.”
Tube related reflux and secretion may cause acute kidney injury (AKI), aspiration pneumonia (AP), and ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP), serious complications that can lengthen hospital stays and even be fatal. Currently, ICU nurses and doctors must monitor for such complications, but due to the constant nature of intubation, many time-sensitive abnormalities go unnoticed, resulting in high complication rates; 25% of ICU patients develop VAP, and nearly half of those patients never recover. Another 50% of patients who are admitted to an ICU and stay more than 24 hours end up with an AKI.