Leah Hanson, VP of Global Sales and Marketing, Rhythmlink International LLC
From mild seizures and head trauma to irreversible stroke due to brainstem hemorrhage, neurological disorder can be anywhere between a trivial irritation to a life-threatening incident. But when such patients under traumatic conditions walk into a care facility, they are often subjected to MRI or CT scan at best as opposed to checking for abnormal neurological activity using EEG. The reason: most care facilities aren’t prepared for unplanned EEG monitoring due to the scarce availability of specialized clinicians who can set up the electrodes for the test. As valuable care time is lost in waiting, patients and their loved ones suffer dearly.
“When we dug deeper into the reasons for the poor state of continuous EEG monitoring, we found that the EEG process required a lot of delicate, manual intervention around the frequent plugging and unplugging of the electrodes for scanning,” says Leah Hanson, VP of Global Sales and Marketing, Rhythmlink International LLC. “Moreover, as the electrodes were reusable, there was a huge risk of cross contamination for the patients, their families, and the medical staff.”
As an innovative medical device manufacturing company, Rhythmlink swung into action and built an industry-first single-use disposable electrode cleared by the FDA for use in an MRI scanner, in 2013. The FDA-cleared MR Conditional electrode was designed in such a way that any bedside staff at the care facility could maintain the electrodes when an MRI was required versus removing and reapplying the electrodes each time an image was needed. This not only helped the neuro specialists to analyze the brain condition and take swift actions but also tackled the risk of cross contamination. “Our first MRI product in 2013 set the foundation for us to make EEG as commonplace as EKG,” says Leah.
We are a company focused on exploring areas in healthcare where patients’ concerns are not being met or areas where there are gaps in the care workflow efficiency
Rhythmlink is focused on exploring areas in healthcare where patients’ concerns are not being met or areas where there are gaps in the care workflow efficiency. With its heart beating for ease of care, the company provides custom manufacturing and packaging services to align with the protocols used in a hospital. “Whether you are pediatrics hospital that needs 27 electrodes with a lead wire length of 1.5m in rainbow colors, or a geriatrics hospital that demands 22 leads, 2m wire length in green, we can deliver the same,” says Leah. Hospitals use such protocols for faster workflow and higher efficiency. And they also prove fruitful in training the nursing teams in handling the electrodes safely by eliminating the risk of error or confusion.
The company’s products have found greater prominence with the onset of COVID-19 pandemic, which brought the matter of single-use disposable devices out of the back burner right to the front and center of the medical community. “As a team of visionary clinicians, we knew that single-use disposable electrodes were the future of healthcare, disinfection is outdated,” says Leah.
Pushing the envelope in safe and secure EEG monitoring is the company’s new innovation, a subdermal needle electrode, Guardian Needle™, which is designed to protect medical teams from accidental needle sticks while providing exceptional data quality in EEG and surgical settings. Built in collaboration with a partner, the disposable Guardian Needle is revolutionary in design utilizing a protective casing to protect healthcare professionals from dangerous and costly injuries.
Aligning with the increased demand for increased EEG access at the point of care. The company is excited about its yet another new product, Brain Health Headset™. This disposable single-use device takes EEG monitoring to a new level through faster and safer application of electrodes. With its passion for patient-centric care, the company aims to explore new avenues for innovation in healthcare devices.