With the election just weeks away, Washington D.C. was a great choice of location for this year’s ASA. Whether you are voting red or blue, healthcare – Obamacare, is on everyone here’s minds. President Jerry Cohen, M.D. spoke at the ASA Opening Session and addressed the past year in politics, healthcare and the passing of the Affordable Care Act while weaving in this year’s meeting theme: “Transforming Patient Safety Through Education and Advocacy.”
The Commercial Exhibit Program included products from over 300 companies. Here are some highlights of the exhibit:
The GE booth highlighted their broad range of products with an emphasis on connectivity: “the next level of connected care.” GE presented the Avance CS² which is based on the popular Avance platform. One of the new features is ecoFLOW: “everything flows together.” With ecoFLOW, the oxygen and agent flow is displayed on the screen. This feature allows the clinician to pre-set a target for the amount of agent to be used and even calculates the cost of the agent being used, displaying a dollar amount on the screen. Minimal amount of agent is great for the patient, saves the hospital money and decreases waste which is good for the surgical environment. The Avance CS² is pending FDA 510(k) approval.
Draeger emphasized connectivity and integration as well. The complete anesthesia product line was displayed with their Innovian Anesthesia Information Management System and Infinity C700 monitor. This provides seamless integration for the anesthesia machine, all monitoring and complete data management. Draeger also offers a solution for low flow anesthesia technology with the Apollo platform and their Low Flow Wizard®.
The Flow-i, introduced at last year’s show, was displayed. This system offers the ventilation of their Servo-i critical care ventilator. The advanced option package includes PRVC and SIMV ventilation.
If not the largest booth, Mindray was the tallest. Their (impressive) booth showcased their broad range of products from their M7 ultrasound to monitoring. For anesthesia delivery, the A5 and A3 machines were shown with the V series monitors. The A5 featured a new integrated gas bench. This provides gas monitoring as a module of the anesthesia
machine rather than a separate monitor and is currently pending FDA approval.
The ARKON was shown at last year’s meeting and approved earlier this year. It features a distinctive blue color and unique design. The machine is controlled on a screen that resembles a large iPad or Kindle Fire and the display allows simple navigation with minimal menus. The BleaseFocus and BleaseSirius anesthesia machines were also demonstrated. For patient monitoring, the qube and XPREZZON products were featured.
A Philips anesthesia delivery system? Philips typically shows patient monitoring and imaging products at ASA. However, there was something new this year, an anesthesia machine. Say What? Well, in 2011 Philips announced that they acquired Dameca, a Denmark company for anesthesia delivery, to expand their portfolio of products. The IntelliSave AX700 system was demonstrated as Philips’ entry into the U.S. anesthesia market. This system featured a very sleek design in all white with an amazing oversized, iPad type screen. This machine is pending FDA approval. The new NMT (neuromuscular transmission) module for the IntelliVue monitor was demonstrated which allows monitoring of the patient’s level of neuromuscular block during a procedure.
The SP2 anesthesia machine was demonstrated again this year. Penlon also demonstrated their broad range of laryngoscopes. They featured their single use stainless steel laryngoscope-ready to go with the blade permanently attached to the handle. More hospitals are looking to disposable solutions to control infection rates and Penlon is a leader in this market.
Here are some additional trends and highlights we saw at ASA this year:
AIMS – Anesthesia Information Management Systems have been featured for years at the ASA. The major players for Healthcare IS were again present: McKesson, Cerner, SIS and Picis all offer an anesthesia product. GE offers Centricity and Draeger Innovian, both specific to anesthesia delivery. Acuitec also offers a solution for the perioperative environment.
Laryngoscopes – An anesthesia exhibit includes anesthesia machines, monitoring and of course any type of laryngoscope product. The micro/ compact video laryngoscope market remains hot. The market leader, Verathon Glidescope, showcased their product line including the reusable AVL system.
Numerous other video laryngoscopes were offered including:
- LMA (and distributed by Covidien) McGrath products
- Karl Storz C-MAC and C-MAC Pocket Monitor
- Olympus MAF Airway Mobilescope
- AMBU aScope-single use intubation scope; Pentax AWS
- King Systems King Vision
- Airtraq Avant and SP
- Clarus Medical Clarus Video System
- MPI MultiView Scope
- Intavent Direct Venner A.P. Advance
- Mercury Medical VividTrac single use intubation device
- Disposcope video assisted lighted stylet that works with a wireless monitor
Anesthesia depth monitoring continues with BIS monitoring, now offered by Covidien. This technology is now widely accepted and not the hot topic of previous years. There continues to be a wide range of products and interest for brain monitoring, cerebral and tissue oxygen monitoring. Products included Casmed Fore-Sight, Somanetics INVOS,
and Nonin Equanox.
My pick for the coolest product at this year’s ASA has to be Masimo’s docking station/ patient monitor that was shown with the Radical-7 pulse oximeter. A Masimo representative called the new product the “Root.” The Radical-7 docks inside the front of a flat panel, touchscreen monitor and offered amazing graphics.
The latest Radical-7 is not just a pulse oximeter, it offers SpO2, pulse rate, perfusion index, RRa or RRp, SpHb, SpOC, PVI, SpCO and SpMet. The front panel of the Radical-7 has a drag/drop feature as well as the ability to expand or close the display by touch.
Masimo’s huge booth highlighted all of the products that use/ incorporate Masimo technology as well as their complete pulse oximeter product line.