Now known as the RevMedx XStat, the project that launched me on my path as a designer initially started as my senior thesis project at Harvey Mudd College between 2008-2009. As a result of the work done on this project, our team at Harvey Mudd now shares a patent with our sponsor company (US Patent 8828050).
Rather than have their engineering majors complete a standard thesis, Harvey Mudd would invite a multitude of companies to participate in their Clinic program. The Clinic program was basically a co-op, wherein teams of senior engineering students would get assigned projects from real world companies and have the entire year to research, design, prototype, iterate and eventually present their solutions.
For both myself and the multidisciplinary team I was part of, that company was the Oregon Biomedical Engineering Institute (OBEI), led by entrepreneur Kenton Gregory. He tasked us with a truly noble goal – to help him and OBEI find a way to quickly and effectively clot wounds sustained by soldiers in the battlefield, allowing them enough time to be taken to a field hospital to receive the proper care. As of that time, medics had to manually apply gauze and put pressure on the wound until a clot formed. If the clot did not form, they would have to remove the gauze and begin again. The precious time and effort expended in this method literally meant the difference between life and death.
Thus, the solution had to be flexible in the sense that no two wounds are alike, lightweight so that the medics could easily carry it in their packs, easy to operate, and, most importantly, able to automatically impart pressure on the wound site so that the medic could attend to other injured soldiers.
Working together with the research team at OBEI, our student team at HMC helped develop what is now known as the XStat – injectable compressed sponge pellets coated in clot-aiding agents. When injected into a wound site, these sponges expand, filling the wound site and maximizing exposure to the clot-aiding actives. The result is a wound that can be fully clotted within 15 seconds, an astronomical improvement over the previous standards.
The device passed all the criteria given to us – the sponges conformed to any wound shape, the syringe and sponges are both extremely lightweight, the syringe/injection mode of operation is extremely intuitive, and best of all, the density of the sponges pushing against both the wound site and each another created enough force to mimic human pressure on the wound.
I returned to OBEI 18 months later as a summer intern to continue work on the project. My work with the talented team there led to another, vital addition to the sponges – the inclusion of X-ray detectable thread so that, when the time comes for the field surgeon to remove the sponges, they can ensure none are left in the body.
As previously stated, Kenton Gregory and our team at Harvey Mudd received a patent for the device, and OBEI subsequently spun off a sister company, RevMedx, to fully focus on the project. The success of the project and its recent FDA approval in December 2015 has led to a lot of recent press coverage in the press by PBS, ABC, CNN, and Wired.
Unfortunately, due to the passage of time and proprietary nature of the project, I am only able to display promotional shots taken from other publications.