Have you ever gone to a nearby hospital and had a procedure done using a power tool from the hardware store? Although using hardware in healthcare doesn’t sound appealing, it’s a typical alternative for people who have rings stuck on their fingers.
According to Dr. Kevin Spencer, an Emergency Department doctor at Dartmouth General Hospital, electric power tools from a hardware store are often used for difficult stuck ring removals that have failed other attempts.
Furthermore, Spencer noted that, if considerable caution is not used, the tremendous speeds and heat generated by rotary grinders can quickly result in severe finger burns in a matter of seconds. With such kinds of instruments, one slip-up can result in catastrophic harm, and the sparks they shoot into the air can also be dangerous for eye injuries.
“There are also multiple providers needed for lengthy periods to complete a difficult ring cut with those tools. One person tries to protect the finger, one person applies cooling water to try and mitigate burn risk, and another person is using the rotary grinder, so there’s a crowd of people around the patient trying to use a non-medical device hardware store tool. It’s an unsophisticated, resource intensive and risk prone medical procedure that needs to be changed,” adds Spencer.
At Ring Rescue, Spencer is working with co-founders Brad MacKeil and Patrick Hennessey to bring about that shift. The company Ring Rescue was established in 2018 to address the issue of stuck rings. In 2016, Hennessey and MacKeil, co-founder and lead operations engineer, were on the verge of finishing the Dalhousie engineering program together. They were coming up with ideas for their last engineering Capstone project.
MacKeil shared that they were throwing ideas around, and the idea of a compression device to reduce swelling in a finger to help facilitate ring removal bubbled to the top. The device was demonstrated by MacKeil and Hennessey at the Capstone project display in the spring of 2017, with Spencer serving as a judge. After seeing the idea, Spencer contacted Brad and Patrick and began discussing what is now known as Ring Rescue.
According to Hennessey, co-founder and chief technical engineer, the team marketed the compression device as a medical device and has sold over 1,600 units since the Capstone project. However, there was still more growth to come. While the Compression Device offers a non-destructive solution that reduces the finger size to aid in ring removal, the Dolphin Ring Cutter rapidly and safely cuts any ring metal. According to Hennessey, their ring cutter incorporates three key innovations: cutting discs that use a specific abrasive, a computer-driven feedback loop that minimizes heat generation, and a user-friendly design.
In addition to a mighty list of backers, Spencer says the local startup infrastructure has been essential to Ring Rescue’s success. He stressed how many people had contributed to their success. “It truly is. I mean it takes a village, and there is a strong village here that has helped us and is willing to help others get involved in the medical startup space. It’s an exciting field, and it’s growing”, Spencer added.
More to this amazing story at https://halifaxchamber.com/business-voice/medical-device-start-up-on-the-cutting-edge/
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