HALO SPECULUM – INVENTED BY A FEMALE FOR THE FEMALE

Dr. Tamatha Fenster Weill Cornell Medicine, New York, NY
Mitchell Tung OneWorld Design & Manufacturing Group, Warren, NJ
JJ Lees Artisan Medical Devices, Medford, NJ

Winner of an HP Workstation

The history of the speculum dates back to the 1840s when “the godfather of gynecology” Marion Sims performed dozens of surgeries, without anesthesia, on enslaved women using a spoon he bent backwards. The speculum used to perform exams today is only millimeters away from the original model.

Why have a bill that opens up and down when a female introitus has a circumferential opening? Why have cold, hard metal when women have tremendous sensitivity in the vaginal canal? Why have one basic shape when body habitus and pregnancy can alter anatomy from patient to patient.

The Halo speculum is composed of an over-molding soft silicone sleeve on flexible surgical steel sheet and medical-grade Nylon handles. The design allows the speculum to be rolled up as small as a tampon. When placed in the vagina, it gently expands and retracts the sidewalls. This way, it does not need excessive stretch to retract the side walls like the duck bill. The spiral accommodates all diameters of the vaginal canal regardless of the size of the patient, increasing ease of the procedure for both the surgeon and patient. In addition, the speculum does not collapse with a moving patient.

For vaginal procedures like vaginal morcellation during hysterectomy and electrosurgery during cervical cancer procedures, the steel and silicone make it possible to perform these procedures safely in the vaginal canal without injury to the sidewalls. The vaginal cuff can easily be closed, as the Halo provides perfect exposure of the top of the vagina. No additional hands are needed to hold the speculum, as it is completely self-retaining. The Halo replaces all metal retractors with one simple, one-size-fits-all design.

The Halo can be used in all procedures in and out of the operating room that depend on visualization of the cervix such as colposcopy, endometrial biopsies, intrauterine device insertions, hysterectomies, and pap smears. About 600,000 hysterectomies are performed each year. The surgical-grade Halo unit price is $70, so at 20% of just the hysterectomy market, the Halo would grow profits of almost $9 million a year.

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HONORABLE MENTIONS

Smart Wearable Sensor for Continuous Monitoring of Wound Healing

Olja Simoska, University of Utah, Salt Lake City and Keith J. Stevenson, Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology, Russia

This wearable electroanalytical sensor, based on carbon ultra-microelectrode arrays on flexible substrates, monitors chronic wound activity. These low-cost devices can quantitatively measure the state of wound healing in real time and provide a smart dressing to deliver wound treatment.

For more information, visit here .


The drug treats localized pain without the side effects of opiods.

First-in-Class Therapeutic Pain Drug Designed from Proteins

Samerender Nagam Hanumantharao, Derek Allen, and Paul Blum, Neurocarrus, Lincoln, NE

This ground-breaking drug easily treats localized pain without the side effects of opioids. The novel drug is engineered from natural proteins to be a long-lasting, local painkiller. It specifically targets only the pain neurons, so it does not affect muscular activity.

For more information, visit here .


LIMBER Unibody Prosthetic Leg

Luca De Vivo, Joshua Pelz, and Herb Barrack, LIMBER Prosthetics & Orthotics, La Mesa, CA
The process begins with a scan of the amputee's limbs.

Novel 3D printing and digital design techniques were used to create affordable, unibody prosthetic devices. The process starts with a scan of the amputee’s limbs. Using digital design, the scans are transformed into a personalized prosthesis manufactured using in-house 3D printers.

For more information, visit here .


POPSafe™ Tracheostomy Tube Sets — A Life Saving Device

Kay Fuller, Smart Bridge Medical, Ann Arbor, MI
The device eliminates "pop-off" events.

This device eliminates deadly accidental ventilator “pop-off” disconnect events. The FDA 510(k)-cleared tracheostomy tube sets include a patented ventilator elbow connector and overpressure relief safety valve.

For more information, visit here .


See the rest of this year's winners:



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This article first appeared in the November, 2021 issue of Tech Briefs Magazine.

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