News

US Endoscopy sells big blue cushion for heads

It looks like something your kids may have done in their pre-kindergarten arts and crafts lesson. But US Endoscopy is high on the Boost, which promises to stabilize the head for a series of specific procedures using an endoscope, a tube-like device that slides into the human body to explore areas within. The company says it’s never found a bigger unmet need than the one the Boost fills.

MENTOR, Ohio — It looks like something your kids made in their pre-kindergarten arts-and-crafts lesson — a blue foam creation with an uneven cut across the top and an odd, bigger-than-a-doughnut-hole gash just off center.

But US Endoscopy is high on the Boost, which promises to stabilize the heads of patients during the steps of a specific procedure that uses endoscopes, tube-like devices that slide into the human body to explore areas within. The Ohio-based company, which makes products for gastroenterologists, said it’s never found a bigger unmet need than the one the spongy Boost fills, according its customer surveys.

“Nothing has been built for this purpose,” said Tamara Struk, a senior product manager at US Endoscopy.

The Boost was announced this week and is a new product line for US Endoscopy. It’s designed to hold a patient’s head still during endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography, known as ERCP, which determines problems in the liver, gallbladder, bile ducts or pancreas. Patients lay face down or on their sides during the procedure, which includes probing with an endoscope, injecting dyes and seeing results on an X-ray. It can discover gallstones, internal leaks or cancer, among other things.

At least 500,000 ERCPs are performed every year.

The company hopes its $28, one-time-use product is cheap enough and efficient enough to replace what happens now: physicians using positioning device meant for different procedures, or using rolled up towels or pillows to hold a head in place during the operation.

The Boost is made of polyether polyurethane, is designed for the “vast majority” of head sizes and should hold its shape for four hours. The whole keeps there from being constant pressure on the ear. One of the challenges in designing the device was creating a cushion that could support humanity’s heads for the length of a procedure.

“Really, it can’t be compared to people coming up with their own contraptions that doesn’t provide consistent positioning of the head,” Struk said.

Topics