illustration graphic of an epidural injection

As Seen In MD TECH REVIEW: The Rise of Computer-Aided Anesthesia Delivery

Medical News
March 4, 2022 2:25 pm

By Arjan Haverhals, President & CEO of Milestone Scientific

Milestone Scientific is a medical research and development company that patents, designs and develops injection technologies and instruments for medical and dental applications. Their proprietary DPS Dynamic Pressure Sensing Technology instruments regulate control flow rate and monitor the exact pressure, and optimal needle position during the administration of an anesthetic. These instruments provide virtually painless and precise injections and increase the overall patient comfort and safety. 

With injection technology not seeing innovation in the last 150 years, Milestone Scientific is bringing much-needed innovation to the space:

Where is this technology being used currently?

We have FDA approval for the CompuFlo epidural instrument and CathCheck verification system in epidural-specific indications, and the technology is used in multiple hospitals throughout the country. Milestone’s dental instrument, the STA Single Tooth Anesthesia System, is used widely throughout the country in general dentistry practices with growing interest from specialty practices including periodontic, cosmetic and pediatric dentistry. 

What are common challenges/risks for epidurals?

The current standard of care – the loss-of-resistance technique – dated from the 1900s, is associated with risk factors such as severe headache, paralysis and mortality in up to 5% of all procedures performed. One major risk is an unintentional dural puncture during epidural needle placement, which can result in long-term side effects and negatively impact a patient’s health. Another challenge is how time-intensive catheter placement verification in pain management is for patients. It can take anywhere from 20-40 minutes to confirm the placement of a catheter in the epidural space.

A common misconception is that most anesthesiologists believe current epidural placement methods are fine, and risks are so low that no changes or innovations are needed. According to a recent survey, conducted by the Schlesinger Group, 56% of anesthesiologists feel the pressure of time and 96% say they must embrace new technologies.

Why is Milestone’s technology the solution to these risks?

Our CompuFlo epidural instrument improves patient safety, experience and health outcomes by avoiding dural punctures (99% effective on the first attempt). The CathCheck Verification System technology confirms placement of a catheter within two minutes, versus 20-40 minutes using conventional methods. Cost reductions of $504 per average patient hospital stay can be obtained thus lowering the cost to the hospital by avoiding extended stays and liability cases.

How does Milestone play a role in the dental industry?

According to the Colgate Oral and Dental Health Resource Center, 40 million people in the United States are dental phobic due to fear of syringes and up to 25% of second appointments are canceled out of the same fear as confirmed by dental professionals. This could lead to a loss of revenue for dental practices but Milestone’s STA Single Tooth Anesthesia System helps patients feel at ease when they need to undergo a dental procedure. Using computer-controlled injection technology, we administer injections of the local anesthetic below the patient’s pain threshold, making the injection precise, efficient and virtually painless. Additionally, wait time to continue with the procedure is reduced to as little as 60 seconds after making an injection. From our survey, 100% of patients prefer our technology over the traditional syringe.

What is your vision for the future of computer-aided anesthesia delivery and how it can help patients?

I envision this technology as a means to improve the quality of life for patients. My daughter went through five attempts to place an epidural when she had her first child. I wish this technology had existed at that time. I’m sure parents, particularly those of children with special needs for example, might also wish they had known about our dental device sooner. One dentist who has used our STA Single Tooth Anesthesia System for years told me, “There is nothing better than having a patient come in for treatment and seeing the change in them when they leave with less fear and anxiety about their next trip to the dentist.”  

I also see this kind of innovation offering better health outcomes for women. A study from last year found that even when male and female patients express the same amount of pain, female patients’ pain is often seen as less intense and more likely to benefit from psychotherapy versus medication, as compared to men’s pain. This gender gap in healthcare could lead to biased diagnoses related to chronic pain for women and may also explain why very little has changed in the field of epidural delivery. Any way we can aid in closing that gap is a win-win. 

Arjan’s bio: Arjan Haverhals has served as CEO of Milestone Scientific’s dental division, Wand Dental Inc., since June 2020. In September 2020, he was promoted to president of Milestone Scientific Inc. and has been the president and CEO of Milestone Scientific Inc. since May 2021. He brings more than 30 years of sales, marketing, product development and international expansion experience within the medical device, pharmaceutical and other industries. Mr. Haverhals holds an MS in pharmacy from the University of Leyden in the Netherlands.

Published in MD Tech Review