It seems like I hear a story every other week about someone who lost a lot of blood while in the hospital. A new app created by health startup, Gauss Surgical Inc., may be changing that.
The startup is in the process of developing an app for the iPad designed to monitor and track the amount of blood lost during a surgery. The app scans gauze and anything else that may collect blood during a procedure, and uses an “algorithm to estimate the total amount of blood on those surfaces.” This algorithm indicates the amount of blood that was lost, which allows surgical staff to determine if extra precautions should be taken for the remainder of the patient’s stay.
According to an article at Med City News on the app, most doctors visually estimate blood loss, which tends to be inaccurate. The article cited a study at Johns Hopkins that discovered that “overestimating or underestimating blood loss can contribute to patient complications, morbidity and mortality while increase care costs.” It seems like there definitely needs to be a more accurate way to monitor what could be a life-or-death situation. This app may be just the thing, since “the app can report blood loss with up to 98% accuracy,” according to Siddarth Satish, the co-founder of the app.
Personally, if I am on the operating table, I would want something as essential as blood loss to be monitored closely. Not only does it affect me, but it prevents more costs from piling up, such as emergency blood transfusions. This is one of the first platforms to be developed for the OR, and hopefully it will be able to be released widespread soon.
The product is still in beta-testing in five undisclosed hospitals across the country and won’t be released until the fall, as there are still some bugs that need to be worked out. Gauss Surgical Inc. has received some FDA clearance on the app and are hoping the entire app will be approved before its release.