A recently approved iPad app has been put to use to measure blood loss during cesarean section births. The app is being used as a substitute for evaluation techniques, such as sponge weighing, in cesarean surgeries at Magee-Womens Hospital in Pittsburgh, PA.
The Triton technology is the first and only mobile app to a real-time estimation of surgical blood loss on surgical sponges, according to the company. It was approved by FDA in May.
The technology, dubbed Triton Fluid Management from Gauss Surgical, provides an accurate estimation of blood loss during surgery by using an iPad camera to scan surgical sponges covered in blood and a computer algorithm to estimate the amount of blood. That information is sent to the operating room in real time. The system is HIPAA-compliant.
Sponge weighing in maternal cases can be confounded by other fluids, such as amniotic fluid and saline. In clinical testing, Triton demonstrated superior accuracy and precision as compared to visual or gravimetric methods.
“One of the biggest issues in postpartum hemorrhage is unrecognized blood loss,” Dr. Jonathan Waters, Chief of Anesthesiology at Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC, said in a statement. “We believe that use of the Triton Fluid Management System could be a game changer in allowing us to recognize blood loss and intervene sooner, thereby improving outcomes for the many mothers we serve each year.”
Waters and his team published two papers on Triton and served as beta testers for it.
About 8% of maternal deaths in the U.S. are due to post-partum hemorrhage and the maternal mortality rate for the country has been getting worse. In 2013, 18.5 mothers died for every 100,000 live births in the U.S., while in 1987 that rate was 7.2. Globally, there were an estimated 289,000 maternal deaths last year, with a death rate of 210 mothers for every 100,000 live births–a figure that’s been improving in recent decades.
The Los Altos, CA-based startup Gauss was founded in 2011. It was an early participant in Stanford University’s StartX incubator. Gauss closed a $6.2 million Series A round in October 2013. It was led by LifeForce Ventures with Promus Ventures and Taube Investment Partners participating.