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DripAssist Usability Study at Madigan Army Medical Center

A Better Way to Monitor Intravenous Infusions Away From an Outlet?

Presented at Washington Chapter, American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) annual meeting, 2017

Kyle Couperus, MD; Karl Kmiecik, MD; Christopher Kang, MD Department of Emergency Medicine, Madigan Army Medical Center, Tacoma, WA


Intravenous(IV) administration of fluids and medications are a significant part of patient treatment. They are classically set through gravity with roller clamps and drip counts, or smart pump technology. In the austere environment both of these have respective limitations such as accuracy, weight, and need for power. The DripAssistTM device we investigated monitors drip rates by counting drops in the IV tubing drip chamber. It securely attaches to IV tubing, is small, weighs 3.8 oz., lasts 290 hours on a single AA battery, and will alarm for a +/- 13% change in rate from the set rate. We theorized this may provide a useful patient safety bridge in the austere, pre-hospital, or battlefield patient care environments. We compared perceived ease of use in comparison to traditional roller clamp methods. We also explored perceived functionality for use in austere, pre-hospital, battlefield or power outage environments.

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Shift Labs creates well-designed devices for fast-growing healthcare sectors, everywhere from home health care in the US to clinical care in emerging markets. We emphasize both design and technology to create devices that help a diverse range of healthcare workers to provide better care in more places.

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