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 is redefining health care by going beyond medical treatment to improve the foundations of community health and well-being: affordable housing, a cleaner environment, economic opportunity and access to fresh food, convenient transportation, legal help and other services. The system strives to become as good at preventing disease as it is at treating it.

The system’s more than 600 doctors, 1,700 nurses and 7,800 employees go to work each day with a mission of service, to their patients and to the community. As Cuyahoga County’s safety-net health system, MetroHealth plays an essential role in the region, caring for anyone and everyone, regardless of an ability to pay.

Founded in 1837, MetroHealth operates four hospitals, four emergency departments and more than 20 health centers and 40 additional sites throughout Cuyahoga County. The system serves more than 300,000 patients, two-thirds of whom are uninsured or covered by Medicare or Medicaid.

MetroHealth is home to Cuyahoga County’s most experienced Level I Adult Trauma Center, verified since 1992, and Ohio’s only adult and pediatric trauma and burn center.

As an academic medical center, MetroHealth is committed to research and to teaching and training tomorrow’s caregivers. Each active staff physician holds a faculty appointment at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. Its main campus hospital houses the Cleveland Metropolitan School District’s Lincoln-West School of Science & Health, the only high school in America located inside a hospital.

Knowing that good health is about much more than good medical care, MetroHealth has launched the Institute for H.O.P.E.™ (Health, Opportunity, Partnership, Empowerment), which uses a coordinated, collaborative and strategic approach to help patients with non-medical needs such as healthy food, stable housing and job training.

The MetroHealth Glick Center, a new 11-floor hospital, is under construction on the system’s main campus in Cleveland and is scheduled to welcome its first patients in October 2022. The billion-dollar project is the cornerstone of a wider neighborhood revitalization effort led by the system and its partners in the community.

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