Profusa had a vision for its Lumee™ Oxygen Platform to be used in patients with potential acute and/or chronic changes in tissue oxygen levels who may benefit from continuous monitoring. Before it could be commercially available, Profusa had a key issue to resolve with the wearable reader of its injectable hydrogel sensor.
“Ten years ago, you couldn’t build a reader that could sense multiple signals and filter out the ‘noise’ of the body’s other signals, all while being small and skin-worn,” explains Ben Hwang, CEO of Profusa. “With the latest advancements in flexible hybrid electronics technology, it’s just mature enough to work the way we want — primarily because we selected the right domain expertise partner to work with, namely NextFlex.”
Rather than try and balance a complex development cycle across multiple R&D and manufacturing facilities, Profusa found a one-stop-shop solution at NextFlex’s Technology Hub in San Jose, which is also an FDA compliant manufacturing facility. Here, Profusa found it could develop its solution with NextFlex’s assistance in just four months while having the right conversations to move its reader design toward production at scale.
By combining expertise in flexible hybrid electronics, engineering, materials science and optics, NextFlex took Profusa’s design work and design criteria, and pushed them toward a smaller, flexible form that works in harmony with Profusa’s tissue sensors. In the end, improvements to durability, flexibility and performance were all achieved. NextFlex went on to manufacture over 1000 wearable units with increasing yield and productivity by the end of 2019.
Through NextFlex’s aid, Profusa was able to take technology that could previously only be deployed in a hospital setting and move toward having a device with clinical-grade information in a wearable and flexible form that’s attractive to consumers. Profusa has been able to respond to the accelerated adoption of wireless and flexible hybrid electronics technologies in the digital health era, moving towards the launch of a wearable device that generates data that medical doctors and consumers can get the most out of.
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