COVID-19 emergency use authorized by Health Canada
A ground-breaking development in the detection of reduced lung function, as seen in COVID-19 patients, is saving lives, time, and resources. It’s thanks to the world’s first non-invasive lung function monitor, the MediPines AGM100®, developed in California, tested at University of British Columbia and Stevenson Memorial Hospital, and approved for use in Canada.
Hospitals are reporting a dramatic decline in ICU admission rates and hospitalized COVID-19 death rates. This is due to the AGM100®‘s quick and accurate measurements of lung function, and faster medical interventions which lead to better treatment.
“The AGM100® could be thought of as a breath test for lung function. In less than two minutes, it allows doctors to assess how well a patient’s lungs are taking oxygen from the air through their lungs into the bloodstream,” says Dr. Oswaldo Ramirez, Emergency Physician, at Stevenson Memorial Hospital, just north of Toronto. “This lifesaving assessment lets us quickly see which patients are in trouble and need to be admitted, and which ones can be released with preventive measures, like home oxygen.”
“This frees up much-needed hospital beds, moves patients out of our Emergency Department, and allows us to focus on the more critically ill without having to wait for the traditional blood test, a process which can take up to an hour,” Dr. Ramirez added.
Doctors can use the AGM100® to continue to monitor lung function at a micro level without having to perform blood tests. This allows for better therapies and reduced dependence on hospital labs. Patients wear a small clip on their nose while breathing normally into a disposable mouthpiece that is connected to a monitor. The device can be delivered to Canada in a few days.
“This portable device, while doing complex things, is simple to operate,” Dr. Ramirez says. “It can be used by doctors, nurses, paramedics, and others. In Canada, that’s particularly important in remote areas of the country that don’t have easy access to blood labs. Given its speed, the AGM100® works well in high volume emergency departments.”
Early intervention made possible by using the AGM100® leads to better outcomes for patients by preventing the need for ventilators and other more critical and invasive forms of treatment. “By using the device, we are sending fewer patients to the Intensive Care Unit. Far more patients can be evaluated and treated at much less cost and time,” Dr. Ramirez said.
While Stevenson Memorial Hospital is currently the first Canadian hospital using the AGM100®, thousands of patients are being assessed and treated at leading hospitals across the United States. Every hospital in Canada would benefit from the improved patient outcomes, healthcare efficiencies, and clarity in clinical decision making the device provides. Given its simple operation, the AGM100®, is particularly effective in long-term care facilities where no labs are present.
The AGM100® has been tested at the University of British Columbia (UBC) since 2018. Dr. Philip Ainslie, Professor and Canada Research Chair, and Co-Director for the Centre of Heart, Lung, & Vascular Health at UBC says, “Over the past two years, in 10 experimental studies with MediPines, we have extensively used and validated the AGM100® in a broad range of physiological and clinical scenarios. It provides a safe, reproducible and valid measure of non-invasive pulmonary gas exchange. Also, AGM100 compares extremely well with directly measured arterial blood gases.” Health Canada authorized the emergency importation and sale of the monitoring system earlier this year.
“To ensure that healthcare workers have the tools they need to combat this life-threatening pandemic, we have ramped up production,” explains Steve Lee, CEO of MediPines, who co-invented the AGM100® with world-renowned respiratory physician scientist Dr. John B. West.
While extremely useful during the COVID-19 pandemic, the AGM100® was designed to assess lung function for patients suffering from ailments like Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and pneumonia. AGM100® will continue to have that ongoing use during and post-pandemic.
MediPines Corporation, based in California, is a market leader in respiratory assessment and monitoring of pulmonary gas exchange. The company mission is to advance respiratory medicine by providing physiology-based respiratory devices that enhance clinical effectiveness and achieve better patient outcomes.
MediPines AGM100® is the world’s first non-invasive gas exchange monitor. This advanced respiratory monitoring system was designed to rapidly detect respiratory impairment caused by conditions such as COVID-19, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), pneumonia, pulmonary edema, and pulmonary embolism. The device is FDA cleared and approved for Health Canada COVID-19 Emergency Use. It provides a comprehensive panel of respiratory measurements including blood oxygen levels, Oxygen Deficit (A-a gradient), P/F ratio, and alveolar oxygen and carbon dioxide levels.
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