It’s been a busy and exciting time at G-Tech Medical, a Fogarty Institute company that records the electrical signals that naturally occur in the digestive tract (also called the gastrointestinal or GI tract) and is studying the patterns of stomach and intestinal contractions in individuals following abdominal surgery.
First, the startup received the good news that the two abstracts G-Tech submitted to the Digestive Disease Week conference have been accepted for presentation. The conference, the world’s largest gathering of physicians and researchers in the fields of gastroenterology, hepatology, endoscopy and gastrointestinal surgery, will be held in San Diego from May 21 to 24.
Presenters from G-Tech include Anand Navalgund, PhD, of G-Tech Medical, and Lindsay Axelrod. Lindsay and Natasha Kafai, two of our 2015 Lefteroff summer interns, co-authored the poster abstracts. The presentations will discuss the value of non-invasively monitoring the activity in the digestive tract and the best locations to place myoelectrical signals on the lower digestive organs to diagnose GI disorders.
G-Tech also announced that it is launching a clinical trial of its GutCheck System at El Camino Hospital. The pilot and feasibility study “Measurement of Gastrointestinal Myoelectric Activity in Patients At Risk For or Who Have a Post-Operative Ileus” uses the GutCheck System, comprised of a wireless, wearable, disposable patch and app to measure the electrical activity from the stomach, small intestine and colon.
This electrical activity is a signal of motor activity of the organs, potentially a measure of their return to function after surgery. The user interface of the app was created by Lindsay, with earlier design input from Amanda Spielman and Gabriele Cassani, two other Fogarty Institute interns.
The study will retrospectively look for differences in the patterns of patients who develop an ileus (also called an intestinal pseudo-obstruction) and those patients who have normal return of GI activity following surgery to find indications that may be used to predict who is developing ileus and determine the contributing factors.
The two-year trial is expected to enroll 80 study participants at El Camino Hospital. Nearly 60 million individuals suffer from some form of gastrointestinal disorder.