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Veritract - Utah BioDesign - University of Utah


									Veritract, LLC

Millions of feeding tubes are placed every year in the US to treat seriously ill patients. Of these feeding
tubes approximately 3.2 % are misplaced and thousands of patients die as a result. Veritract ‘s Smart
Feeding Tube™ technology will save these lives by preventing feeding tube-related injuries and
decreasing the complexity of the process for placing the tubes. This technology will result in significant
reductions in the cost, time, and injuries associated with placement of existing feeding tubes.

Veritract was founded by Dr. John Fang, a GI specialist at University of Utah Department of Internal
Medicine and is staffed by an experienced team of medical device professionals. The company and its
staff are committed to development of feeding tubes with integrated optics and steering, which will
allow for precision tube placement into the GI tract, thus avoiding death and serious complications.


The technology was originally disclosed in 2007 by Dr. Fang when he served as a clinical mentor for the
U’s Department of Bioengineering bioDesign program that creates a partnership between clinicians at
the Health Sciences Center and student engineering teams. Clinicians provide the ideas, clinical
relevancy and mentoring while the student teams develop requirements, build prototypes and conduct
testing. Often times the technologies worked on by student teams progress no further when the course
is finished. However, this was not the case with the technology that is now known as the Smart Feeding
Tube. Additional research and development was carried out by Dr. Bob Hitchcock, Assistant Professor,
Department of Bioengineering (and lead faculty member of the bioDesign Program) and Mr. Mark
Adams, who at the time was working as a contract engineer at the University, with funds Dr. Hitchcock
received from a Next Stage Micro Grant Award. New disclosures were made to the Technology
Commercialization Office.

The technology progressed further when it was pursued by Mr. Adams and other team members at the
Lassonde New Venture Center. Veritract was formed and the team was the recipient of numerous
awards such as First Prize in the Invented in Utah and Runner Up in the 2009 Utah Entrepreneur

The Smart Tube Technology is a combination of a feeding tube with basic endoscope technology, which
enables the nurse to view the placement of the tube in real time. The tube design includes integrated
optical fibers for vision, a steering mechanism for guidance, and lumen for liquid nutrition. It will allow
the clinician to conclusively determine that the feeding tube is correctly placed with the need for X-ray.

The Smart Feeding Tube’s competitive advantage include easier training and use, more accuracy over
current practice called “blind placement”, and less costly than placement via fluoroscopy or endoscope.
The technology is appropriate for all patients requiring naso-gastric (stomach) or naso-enteric (small
bowel) feeding tubes.

To learn more about Veritract and the Smart Feeding Tube contact Tim Niemans, COO at .

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