Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: N/A
Contract: N/A
Agency Tracking Number: 2R44HL061108-02A1
Amount: $396,479.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2001
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 () -
Business Contact
Phone: (847) 332-2217
Research Institution
DESCRIPTION (Verbatim from the Applicant's Abstract): Pneumothorax refers to air accumulation in the space between the lung and the chest wall. The many potential causes include spontaneous rupture of small alveoli or blebs, progression of inflammatory diseases, complications of diagnostic or therapeutic procedures, plus penetrating (e.g., knife or bullet) or blunt chest trauma (e.g., motor vehicle accidents). It is estimated that over 50,000 cases occur each year. Morbidity and mortality would be reduced with improved diagnosis of pneumothorax. We propose development of an innovative technology for immediate and accurate detection of this condition using (audible frequency) sound waves. (This is now ultrasound, nor an imagining technology.) The essential hypothesis is that sound travels through chest structures differently when a pneumothorax is present, and that these changes are diagnostic. The envisioned final product would display an answer as "positive," "negative," or (rarely) "indeterminate." The proposed device would be portable, inexpensive, safe, and easy to use. The core method involves inputting an acoustic signal into the mouth, and "listening for" changes at the chest wall with computerized analysis of signals from an "electronic stethoscope." It would consist of a sound generator ("speaker"), acoustic sensors ("microphones"), plus signal processing and display units. The first generation commercial device will be for incubated patients and use a notebook computer studies aimed at optimizing the technique and demonstrating its utility under likely use restrictions. Given the medical and cost advantages of the technology, significant commercial potential is anticipated with purchase by emergency departments, intensive care units, ambulances and military medical units. PROPOSED COMMERCIAL APPLICATION: Not Available

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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