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

Founded in 1837, MetroHealth is leading the way to a healthier you and a healthier community through service, teaching, discovery, and teamwork. Cuyahoga County’s public, safety-net hospital system, MetroHealth meets people where they are, providing care through five hospitals, four emergency departments and more than 20 health centers. Each day, our nearly 9,000 employees focus on providing our community with equitable healthcare — through patient-focused research, access to care, and support services — that seeks to eradicate health disparities rooted in systematic barriers. For more information, visit