Shift Labs Receives Small Business Innovation Research Phase II Award from US Air Force

View/Download PDF

Shift Labs Receives Small Business Innovation Research Phase II Award from US Air Force

Wireless DripAssist Infusion Rate Monitor will provide new data insights and connect patients across the care continuum

SEATTLE, WA – Shift Labs, Inc., a Seattle-based company that designs and manufactures innovative, high-quality infusion technologies, announces that it has been awarded a Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract by the United States Air Force (USAF) through the AFWERX innovation program.

The Phase II contract will allow Shift Labs to develop wireless capabilities for the DripAssist Infusion Rate Monitor platform and integrate the device with patient monitoring and digital health solutions for both military and civilian customers.

DripAssist is the first monitored gravity infusion device that allows easy management of infusions without a conventional intravenous (IV) infusion pump. By adding data connectivity, the DripAssist platform will now capture and communicate previously unexplored data about treatments, patient response, and compliance related to medication delivery. Seamless integration of this data across multiple care sites will deliver key insights previously only available with complex equipment or expensive hospital visits.

Military healthcare providers regularly deliver gravity IV infusions throughout the care continuum and they need ways to improve data capture and information sharing, particularly during patient hand-offs. Outside of hospitals, civilian markets have the same problem; in homes, nursing facilities, or infusion suites, IVs are delivered via gravity or with pumps that lack real-time data sharing capability, meaning there is no easy way for distributed healthcare teams to monitor treatments. Accessing real-time IV infusion data is a key component of compliance and is especially crucial for health systems seeking to reduce rehospitalization for at-risk patient populations.

“We see this as an opportunity to transform and modernize a critical component of healthcare,” said Beth Kolko, Shift Labs CEO. “More and more IV medication is being delivered outside of hospitals, and surprisingly often this is via gravity infusion with little to no data captured. A connected DripAssist platform allows us to bring the power of data science to this growing healthcare segment and build a new data set that will dramatically improve insights into drug dosing and patient outcomes.”

While the Air Force is funding development of a wireless DripAssist to improve field care, Shift Labs is simultaneously developing the DripAssist technology to record gravity infusion data and share it to a multitude of civilian systems, including remote patient monitoring platforms, EHRs, infusion pharmacies, and clinical research organizations.

“We are excited to have the opportunity to pursue this dual-use technology and partner with organizations leading the charge to better understand how patients respond to treatment,” added Kolko. “Additional impact will come from our partnerships with Clinical Research Organizations as we explore how the DripAssist platform adds new layers of data to digital clinical trials and potentially improves drug discovery timelines.”

In a prior SBIR Phase I award, DripAssist was successfully evaluated as an effective tool to improve the administration of intravenous (IV) infusions in austere care settings such as field medicine, forward surgical teams, aerovac, and prolonged field care. DripAssist is already in use across environments as diverse as US home care to Ebola treatment centers.

About Shift Labs

Shift Labs, Inc. is a Seattle-based company that creates well-designed medical devices for fast-growing healthcare sectors, everywhere from alternate site care in the US to clinical care in emerging markets. The DripAssist Infusion Rate Monitor is their first product and has previously been recognized as one of Popular Science Magazine’s 12 Best Healthcare Innovations of 2016, as well as receiving the MedTech Conference’s 2017 Global Health Innovation Award, a Silver medal from the Industrial Designers Society of America IDEA awards, funding from USAID as part of the Ebola Grand Challenge and Saving Lives at Birth: A Grand Challenge for Development and a Phase 1 SBIR from the United States Air Force. Learn more at

About the Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) and AFWERX SBIR Program

AFRL and AFWERX have partnered to streamline the Small Business Innovation Research process in an attempt to speed up the experience, broaden the pool of potential applicants and decrease bureaucratic overhead. Beginning in SBIR 18.2, and now in 19.2, the Air Force has begun offering 'Special' SBIR topics that are faster, leaner and open to a broader range of innovations.


Contact CEO Beth Kolko,, or CTO Koji Intlekofer, at +1 206.369.1216.