About this idea
Emergency medicine innovations is a life sciences startup that is paving the way for actively cooled portable cold storage options for the military, the healthcare industry, and first responders. Certain medications and blood products need to be maintained at a specific temperature or else they spoil. Current actively cooled options weigh in excess of 20 pounds and are about the size of a hard-shell yeti cooler, while the passively cooled options, similar to an icepack, have a limited cooling ability. Our product is slightly larger than a Nalgene bottle and weighs less than 5 pounds, making the transportation of whole blood, blood components, and medications feasible. After conducting customer discovery with one of the largest fire departments in the United States, the Houston Fire Department, the resounding consensus is that the cold storage options used by essentially all fire departments are bulky, unreliable, and difficult to use. The primary complaint among paramedics was the lack of portability. Our grab and go form factor makes transportation in austere environments and situations effortless.
The Houston Fire Department was so impressed by the product we are developing, they offered to conduct department wide beta testing upon completion of the functional prototype. We have already conducted proof of concept testing that outpaced our expectations. Our path to revenue includes completion of the functional prototype that is already under construction. After conducting a thorough patent search with a patent attorney from the SBDC tech team, we have determined that we have a clear path to intellectual property. In addition to the hardware product, a web-based software as a service will be offered to customers that wish to track the real time temperature data, location, and chain of custody of the cold storage device and the contents inside.
EMI is determined to deliver innovative, lifesaving technologies to the EMS industry and the military.
Hemorrhagic shock as a result of injury is the leading cause of death in people ages 1 to 46 years old in the United States. In these situations, every second counts. A portable form factor will permit first responders to take the cold storage device directly to the scene of the incident. For the military, a soldier in combat is often injured far from an established medical facility. Rather than placing all your eggs in one basket with a large blood cooler that carries the entire squad’s blood resources, a portable form factor will allow each soldier to carry life-saving whole blood on their persons similar to how all soldiers carry their own tourniquet.
Inside an ambulance, storage space is a premium. The coolers that are currently used by EMS agencies are large, bulky, and cannot be accessed while working on a patient in the back of the ambulance on the way to a hospital. By freeing up space and permitting the cooler to be transferred using one hand, a paramedic can provide the essential care needed by the patient without interrupting their partner who is working on other tasks.
Aside from drastically improving patient outcomes by having access to the blood and medications when they are needed the most, our device can operate without a source of power for nearly a week. The inside of an ambulance can get extremely hot or cold depending on the climate. Though the cabin is temperature controlled, generators fail, and paramedics forget to plug in the ambulance after returning home from a call, ultimately resulting in medication or blood spoilage. By having a battery, our device will save EMS agencies the cost of replacing medications and blood that have spoiled. Our software will allow a user to set alert conditions, ensuring they are immediately informed when the ambient temperature of the ambulance exceeds the safe temperature for blood or whatever contents are stored inside our device.
What I'll do with $5,000
The funding provided by the 5x5 competition will be used to further develop the functional prototype of the device. As we accomplish our technological readiness objectives, more electronic and hardware components will need to be purchased. The funding will be used to solidify our component choices and expand to manufacturing several prototype devices that can be sent to potential customers for evaluation and feedback. The completion of the prototypes is essential to creating further traction, allowing EMI to seek large sources of funding.
About Spencer Scarber
Full-time student at GVSU studying mechanical engineering. Student pilot, nationally certified EMT, and photojournalist whose passions include innovation and engineering design.