The epidural space has been termed an anatomical labyrinth. This very narrow space (only 5 millimeters wide) surrounding the spinal cord contains spinal nerve roots, loose fatty tissue, and blood vessels. Drugs injected into the epidural space (“epidurals”) are used for anesthesia and analgesic purposes during and after surgery.
Locating the epidural space requires careful insertion and advancement of a needle into the middle or lower back. Many anesthesiologists today use the loss of resistance (LoR) technique to confirm correct needle placement. Administering epidural injections requires extensive training and relies heavily on feel. Inaccurate needle placement occurs in up to 12% of cases, resulting in ineffective drug delivery and complications such as severe headaches or nerve damage.
To optimize epidural anesthesia and analgesia, the market seeks an objective method for detecting correct needle placement within the epidural space.
Omeq Medical is developing a sensor-based epidural placement system for safe, accurate epidural injections. The system gives automatic audio and video signals to indicate correct needle placement.
The Omeq system has two main components:
In the United States, over 20 million epidural injections are given annually, with an additional 19 million injections in the rest of the world. Industry leaders B. Braun, Becton Dickinson, and Portex control this $600 million global market with standard epidural kits.
Stage: Technology development
Founded: April 2013
Investor: The Trendlines Group
IP: Patent in National phase
Named one of "6 captivating start-ups of 2013" (Globes)
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