A High Wycombe-based bio-medical devices company is supplying NHS Trusts across the UK with its ground-breaking geko™ device for patients at high-risk of blood clots – also known as venous thromboembolism (VTE) – and those with a history of poor blood circulation.
The latest medical research shows nearly 40 per cent of all coronavirus-related deaths are caused by complications with blood circulation rather than breathing problems. At the height of the pandemic the NHS ordered a large quantity of Sky Medical Technology’s wearable medical devices to combat life-threatening blood clots in Covid-19 patients, to which Sky donated many thousand additional devices.
The geko™ is a small, wearable device – the size of a wristwatch – which wraps around a patient’s lower leg and uses painless electrical pulses to return blood to the heart at a rate equal to 60 per cent of walking. This is achieved without the patient having to move, which is critically important given the immobility of patients suffering with Covid-19, heart attacks and strokes.
Bernard Ross, CEO at Sky Medical Technology added: “The disposable, single use geko devices require no sterilisation or re-use between patients, taking just 60 seconds to fit. This requires less nurse-to-patient contact time and less risk of viral load exposure.”
Following several clinical trials, the geko is the first bioelectronic medical device of its kind to receive both National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) approval and the US Food & Drug Administration ( FDA) clearance for VTE prevention and is now being used in hospitals across the world.
Sky Medical Technology says that blood clots are often overlooked as a serious health issue despite causing around 40,000 deaths in England each year. Every 37 seconds, someone in the western world dies from a blood clot and 62 per cent of these deaths could be prevented given proper treatment. To put it into perspective, more people die in the UK from blood clots each year than the total number of people who lose their lives annually due to AIDS, breast cancer, and motor vehicle crashes combined.
Typically, blood clots are prevented in hospitals by either intermittent pneumatic compression (IPC) or pharmaceutical drugs. However, these drugs are not always effective and around 30 percent of patients find IPC intolerable. In these situations, the geko™ device is proven to be an incredibly effective alternative.
As the NHS and wider UK healthcare industry continues to embrace new medical device technologies, clinicians can use these to offer more targeted treatment – relieving pressure on medical staff and saving NHS resources.
Sky Medical Technology is part of an emerging MedTech sector which has seen huge innovation in recent years. The global medical devices market is expected to be worth more than $17.5 billion by the end of 2020. As the technology evolves further, and given the spread of illnesses like Covid-19, medical devices like the geko™ could eventually be used to treat more acute and chronic circulatory conditions – improving the lives of more than 200 million patients worldwide and reducing the heavy strain on healthcare.