Cleveland, OH,
11:31 AM

MetroHealth Partners with Medical-Device-Startup ABM to Improve the Lives of Patients with Neuromuscular Diseases

(Cleveland, Ohio) – The MetroHealth System and medical-device startup ABM Respiratory Care are collaborating on new technology to improve the respiratory care, quality of life and safety of patients living with neuromuscular diseases.

David Birnkrant, MD, Director of MetroHealth’s Division of Pediatric Pulmonary Medicine, has patented a breakthrough system of integrating mechanically assisted coughing and assisted breathing into a single device.

ABM will incorporate Birnkrant’s system into its new BiWaze™ ventilation platform. The innovative new devices will improve respiratory treatments, increase patient mobility, improve quality of life and extend the lifespan of people with severe neuromuscular diseases.

Many neuromuscular patients currently need one machine to help with their breathing and a separate machine to help them cough. Today, these two types of machines cannot be used simultaneously. The new system will seamlessly integrate assisted coughing with assisted ventilation in a single device.

“My idea for the new combination device and software came from my observation that current devices are most likely to fail exactly when patients need them the most,” Birnkrant said. “These new devices have the potential to improve the lives of tens of thousands of people living with severe neuromuscular diseases, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and Duchenne muscular dystrophy.”

In addition, these devices will be:

  • Non-invasive and designed to work without a tracheostomy.
  • Small, portable and battery-powered, increasing patient mobility and improving quality of life.
  • Controlled by customizable algorithms and software, giving patients and providers flexibility in treatments.
  • Remotely programmable, allowing providers to adjust and intensify therapies in real time, preventing hospitalizations and emergency room visits.
  • Less expensive to patients and insurers – because one machine will be doing the job of two and doing it more effectively, decreasing costly hospitalizations.

ABM Respiratory Care, which was incorporated in 2016, will launch its first product in 2019. The BiWaze™ platform incorporating MetroHealth’s clinical innovations is scheduled to be helping patients by 2021.

“ABM is excited to expand our relationship with MetroHealth through this collaboration and to partner with them in developing new respiratory therapies,” said Vinay Joshi, CEO of ABM. “The respiratory care industry hasn’t innovated neuromuscular therapy options in the last few decades. It is time to bring new lung ventilation and respiratory management technologies to people who need it.”

About the MetroHealth System

The MetroHealth System, Cuyahoga County’s public health system, is honoring its commitment to create a healthier community by building a new hospital on its main campus in Cleveland. The building, and the 25 acres of green space around it, are catalyzing the revitalization of MetroHealth’s West Side neighborhood.

MetroHealth will break ground on the new hospital in late 2018, using nearly $1 billion it borrowed on its own credit after dramatically improving its finances. In the past five years, MetroHealth’s operating revenue has increased by 44.5 percent and its number of employees by 21 percent. Today, its staff of 7,700 provides care at MetroHealth’s four hospitals, four emergency departments and more than 20 health centers and 40 additional sites throughout Cuyahoga County. In the past year, MetroHealth has served 300,000 patients at more than 1.4 million visits in its hospitals and health centers, 75 percent of whom are uninsured or covered by Medicare or Medicaid.

The health system is home to Cuyahoga County’s most experienced Level I Adult Trauma Center, verified since 1992, and the only adult and pediatric burn center in the state of Ohio.

As an academic medical center, MetroHealth is committed to teaching and research. Each active staff physician holds a faculty appointment at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and its main campus hospital houses a Cleveland Metropolitan School District high school of science and health.

For more information, visit