Emerging Technologies and reprocessing in the Cath Lab
Single-use device reprocessing has been a great success that produces substantial savings for participating cardiology programs. However, we have barely scratched the surface in terms of savings. To realize higher savings, there are really only two things we can do:
- Develop new reprocessing technology that enables us to safely reprocess additional devices and bring reprocessing to more areas of the hospital/healthcare space. For years, the assumption has been that single-use device reprocessing was restricted to certain lower-complexity devices in cardiology. However, recently, development of new reprocessing technologies has enabled hospitals to use reprocessed devices that are more advanced and more technically complex – without sacrificing patient safety. And yet today, many, many more devices that are not currently reprocessed are, in fact, reprocessable and represent significant savings for hospitals.
- Increase savings for partner hospitals by ensuring that goals are aligned between clinicians, technologists, manufacturers, and administrators in the lab. Only when goals are aligned will the lab be able to leverage the full potential of reprocessing. We estimate that currently, the average lab is only realizing about 35-40% of their savings potential, mostly because some devices are not included in the program, purchasing is not optimized to favor reprocessed (less expensive) devices, and collection protocols are not always followed.
We estimate that currently, the average lab is only realizing about 35-40% of their savings potential...
Innovative Health’s newly established Emerging Technologies team is committed to breaking the boundaries of reprocessing. It has already secured patents for micro-lumen cleaning, and they have challenged – and conquered – device reprocessing, where others have said reprocessing is impossible. Our Emerging Technologies team is an important investment in the future of reprocessing.
With the formation of the team, the goal is set to conquer even more technologies for reprocessing and, thereby, increase savings for hospitals. But that’s not all. The team has also been tasked with introducing single-use device reprocessing in new modalities and clinical areas. The team has already targeted savings opportunities outside of the EP lab: The annual savings potential in the Cardiac Cath Lab (Interventional Cardiology) is estimated to be hundreds of millions of dollars a year – similar to the savings that can be achieved in the EP lab. We are expecting our first Cath lab device clearance within a few months.
The annual savings potential in the Cardiac Cath Lab (Interventional Cardiology) is estimated to be hundreds of millions of dollars a year....
Annually, about 570,000 EP procedures are conducted in the US. In the Cath lab, about 2,700,000 (!) procedures are conducted by Interventional Cardiologists. Cath lab procedures are typically (but not always) less expensive than EP procedures, but lots of devices are used, and procedure economics are a challenge, especially for more complex procedures. We estimate that within a fairly short amount of time, Innovative Health will be able to help Cath labs reduce device costs by between 12% and 30% - with the more complex procedures realizing the highest cost savings.
The Emerging Technologies team will be tackling new device modalities in the Cath Lab, and the engineers are quickly developing cleaning, testing and inspection methodologies to ensure these devices can be safely reprocessed and reused without any functional differences to the new device. We have enabled EP labs to reduce their costs considerably through single-use device reprocessing – and now, we are excited to take these savings across the hall to the Cath Lab and offer similar financial benefits to our colleagues in Interventional Cardiology.