Canadian patent issued on technology to help dialysis providers, patients

Published: October 20, 2011

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind., and DETROIT - Technology that helps dialysis providers perform surveillance on a patient's vascular access site, which is the connection between the patient and a dialysis machine, has been awarded a patent from the Canadian Intellectual Property Office.

Vasc-Alert LLC, based in the Purdue Research Park, holds the exclusive worldwide license for the technology. The device was developed by researchers in the Department of Nephrology and Hypertension at the Detroit-based Henry Ford Health System, which owns the Canadian patent. The researchers previously had been awarded a patent from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

The software-based, data-driven medical device tests an access site to determine which patients might be developing a stenosis, or narrowing of the blood vessel, that may decrease the effectiveness of dialysis treatment. A stenosis that is left untreated may develop into a thrombosis, or complete blood clot, putting the patient at risk of losing the access site.

The technology measures and automatically trends a patient's intra-access pressure. Weekly reports that identify patients with elevated pressure trends are sent to the dialysis center to prompt early referrals for interventions of a patient's access site.

Doug Curry, vice president of Vasc-Alert, said the technology utilizes standard observational data collected during treatments.

"We benefit patients and hemodialysis center clients equally. Patients' quality of life is paramount, but cost also is important," Curry said. "We provide a unique solution for our clients because they can use our surveillance service to provide high-quality patient outcomes without squeezing resources."

Curry explained how the Canadian patent would positively affect the company's business.

"The patent gives us the ability to begin our international expansion. Canada will be our first international market, and we have filed patents internationally for the same technology in multiple countries," he said. "We are actively pursuing marketing partners who understand the benefits that proactive vascular access surveillance plays for patients in maintenance hemodialysis."

About Vasc-Alert LLC

Vasc-Alert LLC  is a privately held medical device company that uses computer technology to cost-effectively identify access dysfunction or stenosis in an effort to decrease vascular access-related hospitalization rates and associated costs of emergent access care due to clotting incidences. Vasc-Alert's patented technology, originally developed by a team of physicians and engineers at Henry Ford Hospital, provides a sophisticated data evaluation process that measures and automatically trends a patient's intra-access pressures.

About Purdue Research Park

The Purdue Research Park has the largest university-affiliated business incubation complex in the country in four locations across Indiana. The park network is home to about 200 companies that employ 4,000 people and are located in West Lafayette, Merrillville, Indianapolis and New Albany.

Purdue Research Park contact:
Steve Martin, 765-588-3342,

Douglas Curry, 765-775-2525, Ext. 3,