Saranas is Building a “Check Engine Light” For Internal Bleeding

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who started Vanguard Ventures and currently teaches entrepreneurship courses at Rice University, among other institutions. Three members of the Houston Angel Network also contributed $50,000 each.

“This is just the first generation,” says Gill, who will take a board seat at Saranas. “You can imagine the second and third generations of this product where the electrodes get more sophisticated in the way they are able to interpret the signals.”

The company is seeking FDA approval of the device under the 510(k) regulatory, which means it won’t have to conduct expensive clinical trials, and initially advocating its use for five high-risk procedures, including tandem-heart procedures, intra-aortic balloon pump placement, and transcatheter aortic valve replacement. Saranas plans to start selling its sensor-enabled sheaths for $250 apiece by 2016. Because Saranas’s system essentially is built on top of a sheath device already used by doctors, Magnani says, “they don’t have to learn a new system which helps adoption.”

Gill says he believes that Saranas will “look so attractive that one or two sheath manufacturers will acquire this company, sooner rather than later.”

Razavi says the inspiration for Saranas came from a particular vascular access procedure where his patient’s blood pressure suddenly dropped. “At this moment, I have no idea what is going on. It could be medicine; it could be bleeding. At that moment, I was thinking that I wish there was a way to figure this out.”

The next day, he says, the idea to be able to monitor a patient’s bioimpedance—a sort of fingerprint for tissue characteristics around vessels—came to mind. With Saranas’s device, he says surgeons like himself will have the information they need to detect and treat any bleeding from punctures quickly. “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure really is our theme,” Razavi says.

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