AventaMed Set To Make Treatment Of Middle Ear Infection Safer And Cheaper

AventaMed Set To Make Treatment Of Middle Ear Infection Safer And Cheaper
Otitis medical with effusion (OME) is a buildup of fluid behind the eardrum due to middle ear infection, causing considerable pain. Children are particularly prone because of a flatter and narrower Eustachian tubes and a weaker immune system. The condition is treated by surgically implanting grommets, a plastic tube about the size of half a grain of rice, across the eardrum to allow fluid to drain. The approach involves multiple surgical instruments and staff, and the procedure is performed using general anesthesia, which can carry some risk.

The Irish startup AventaMed is focused on simplifying surgical procedures to reduce healthcare costs and improve patient safety. Their first product is a handheld device that streamline the placement of grommets in the eardrum. The grommet is preloaded into a sterile packaged cartridge which is easily fitted to the device. The grommet is accurately placed across the eardrum by pressing a single button on the device, allowing a consultant to perform the entire procedure in just seconds without the need for an anesthetist or other surgical staff.

Grommet surgery is the most common surgery in children, and by the age of 7, 1 in every 15 children will have one. Over 2 million grommet placement operations are carried out in Europe and the US every year, a market that is estimated to be worth more than $5 billion annually. AventaMed has developed an innovative device that avoid the risks and disadvantages of a full surgical procedure with general anesthesia. The device give parents a quick and non-invasive alternative that can be performed without general anesthesia in the doctor’s office, reducing time and associated costs of the more invasive surgical alternative. In fact, it is estimated that the technology could save hospitals over $2,000 per procedure, increasing hospital margins and freeing up valuable OR time. Most importantly, it makes grommet placement a safe, stress free experience for both the patients and their family, potentially increasing access to care.

The startup was founded by Olive O’Driscoll and John Vaughan, both based at the Medical Engineering Design and Innovation Centre (MEDIC) in Cork Institute of Technology, in 2013 after observing ENT surgeries. They surveyed the market and found there was a huge clinical opportunity, and designed and prototyped the device before working with surgeons in both Europe and the US to refine the design and test its usability.

AventaMed has previously won the MedTech Idol Competition, the InterTradeIreland Seedcorn competition, and the Emerging Medtech Company of the Year at the Irish Medtech Excellence Awards. In 2015, the startup raised €1.3 million from Halo Business Angel Network syndicates Medtec, Irrus, Boole and Enterprise Ireland. In 2017, they raised another €1.8 million to attain FDA approval and go to market in the US.