By LAURA LOREK
Founder of Silicon Hills News
Innovative Trauma Care, known as iTraumaCare, a medical device maker with its U.S. headquarters in San Antonio and also based in Edmonton, Canada, has come up with a solution.
It makes the iTClamp50, a clamp that grips the skin and creates a seal that allows blood to clot rapidly beneath the skin where it is applied to stop the bleeding.
“In a matter of seconds you’ve sealed off the wound,” said Phil Faris, iTraumaCare’s CEO and Chairman of the Board.
The iTClamp50 has already received U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for use on the arms and legs, the axilla, the groin area and the scalp, Faris said.
“This is a technology that can be deployed with frontline medical personnel both in the hospital and in the field,” Faris said. “We feel if this technology is deployed properly, it can make a significant impact on patient outcomes and in many instances may be life saving.”
iTraumaCare began selling the device last October. The product is being used in the U.S. and Canada. Also, iTraumaCare is selling the device in Europe and the Middle East.
“We’re in 26 countries right now,” Faris said.
The one-time use sterilized device costs $79 per clamp and covers a two-inch wound. They can be stacked together to cover a larger wound.
It’s just being deployed to ambulances and E.M.S. vehicles and fire equipment. San Antonio is one of the cities planning on using the device, Faris said. Some Special Forces medics in the military are also using it, Faris said. It’s being evaluated by the military for the first aid kit that the soldiers carry into the battlefield, he said.
“It’s very simple when you look at it but that simplicity can make it widely adopted and deployed,” Faris said.
The iTClamp50 covers an estimated 50 percent to 60 percent of the wounds a medic would normally encounter in trauma situations, Faris said.
Dr. Dennis Filips and Dr. Ian Atkinson founded the company in 2010. Filips, previously served as a trauma surgeon with the Canadian forces and saw the need for a device to quickly and effectively stop bleeding in trauma situations. He came up with the clamp, which replaced gauze pads and pressure applied by combat medics in the field. It also replaces the immediate need for suturing.
After his last tour of duty in Afghanistan, Filips worked with the Institute for Surgical Research in San Antonio, but he couldn’t train the medics to do what needed to be done under fire.
After Filips’ last tour of duty in Afghanistan, he worked to train medics in the field that were preparing to deploy to Afghanistan, but he found the training to be difficult.
He wanted to create a product that could be used on the front lines, Faris said.
He came up with the clamp, which replaced gauze pads and pressure applied by combat medics in the field. It also replaces the immediate need for suturing.
“This is the device that came from that experience,” he said.
Last November, iTraumaCare closed on a Series B round of funding and has raised $13.5 million to date, according to Crunchbase. Targeted Technology is the lead investor in iTraumaCare. The rest of the investment has come from high net worth individuals in San Antonio, Faris said.
iTraumaCare has 23 employees. The Edmonton office has just five employees the rest are employed by the San Antonio based company, Faris said.
Faris expects to hire ten employees over the next year.
“We will continue to hire as we scale up,” he said.
The iTClamp is based on a medical platform technology with a whole series of devices coming behind it to manage bleeding, Faris said.
Faris previously served as CEO of Vidacare, a medical device company in San Antonio. He knows how to take a product to market and grow its sales into the millions. That’s one of the key reasons iTraumaCare located in San Antonio.
In the past, the two things missing in San Antonio were key executive talent and money. Now because of the successes of companies like Osteobiologics, ENTrigue Surgical and Vidacare, the talent pool is stronger here. And the capital is flowing more into medical technology startups, Faris said.
“Most of us are driven by improving patient outcomes,” Faris said. “That’s why we get into a business that is as hard, as being in the healthcare side of the world, as opposed to doing websites. We’re trying to make a difference in patient care.”
Editor’s note: this article first appeared in Silicon Hills News’ print edition