2012 Winner: Outstanding Science and Technology Startup sponsored by NAIT
Innovative Device Helps First Responders to Save Lives
Twenty years as a military trauma surgeon drives the urgency of Dr. Dennis Filip’s mission to save lives by developing a tool to better equip first responders in the field.
“I was inspired by the difficult conditions army medics work under,” Dr. Filips says. Before and after his military career, he trained EMS, police officers, tactical teams and a range of other first responders. “I saw the tools they had were inadequate to treat really simple problems, like bleeding.”
Tackling a Critical Issue
Seeing a need in the point-of-injury treatment market, Dr. Filip developed the ITClamp™, a wound closure clamping device that controls severe bleeding within seconds of a traumatic injury. ITC’s goal is to save lives in pre-hospital and hospital trauma care environments focusing on preventable causes of death in both civilian and military trauma.
“If you can get an injured person to the hospital, there’s a 98-per cent chance they’ll survive,” Dr. Filips says. “The big gap is the time it takes to get from the scene of the injury to the hospital.”
He wasted no time in bringing the ITClamp to market. In 2010 Dr. Filips started up Innovative Trauma Care Inc. (ITC) to commercialize the clamp and other products the company develops. In only two years, ITC has put a quality management system in place, set up a distribution network and undertaken regulatory submissions. The ITClamp is slated to launch at the end of 2012.
“I have a burning desire to move this along as quickly as possible,” says Dr. Filips, whose wife is still in the military, as are other family and friends. “I don’t want to be left with a feeling that I didn’t do enough quickly enough to potentially save their lives — and to impact the lives of other people who come into harm’s way.”
Life Saving Technology
The ITClamp instantly controls critical bleeding by sealing the skin closed to create a temporary pool of blood under pressure. This forms a stable clot until surgical repair. The device is ready for use by anyone, anywhere. It is portable, safe and simple to use and can be rapidly applied in high-stress situations. The ITClamp aims to reduce stress on the health system through fewer hospital days in the ICU and less time EMS spends on the scene, among others.
The U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research has signed an agreement with ITC to conduct further tests on the device; and customers and distributors from around the world are requesting the product. ITC received Top Innovation Award for Medical Devices at the 2012 Life Science and Health Care Ventures Summit in New York City, a conference hosted by a consortium of venture capital funds.
“I’d like to transform the field of emergency trauma care by developing and manufacturing commercial solutions for common and preventable causes of death,” says Dr. Filips. ITC’s goal is to capture a substantial share of the global market of pre-hospital trauma care.