New York State Innovation Summit – Day 2: IV Wedge
Join us for a compelling conversation with Brendan Laing of IV Wedge as we discuss the innovative solutions his company provides for the medical device industry. Brendan provides insight into the IV Wedge, a catheter stabilization device that significantly enhances patient comfort. He also shares his experience with the 2021 Commercialization Competition and the critical role the prize money played in enabling them to prepare IV Wedges for clinical trials. If you’re a startup company, you won’t want to miss Brendan’s valuable advice on the art of pitching, including the importance of having a clear hook and staying focused on your storyline.
To learn more, connect with Brendan directly at [email protected]
Steve Melito: Hey, welcome to New York State Manufacturing. Now the podcast that’s powered by Fuse Hub. This is a very special edition, day two of the New York State Innovation Summit in Saratoga Springs, New York. We’re here with Brendan Lang of IV Wedge. Brendan, welcome to the podcast. Thank you very much. Thank you for having me. You’re most welcome. So, for starters, tell us about IV Wedge. What do you do? What’s special?
Brendan Laing: So, IV Wedge is a medical device. It is an IV catheter stabilization device. It rests underneath IV catheters and provides stability and also protects the patient’s skin and creates a more comfortable patient experience.
Steve Melito: Okay, so catheters in general are not comfortable to experience.
Brendan Laing: Yeah, when you have them stuck to your skin for four days a week two weeks there could be skin breakdown, all sorts of issues that result from the catheter being there for too long or dislodgement anything really stemming from a lack of stability.
Steve Melito: Right, and his catheterization common in the medical field? Is this a common procedure where it becomes an issue for people?
Brendan Laing: It’s the most common invasive medical procedure in the world.
Steve Melito: Oh wow.
Brendan Laing: And it happens in all medical fields, and up to 69% of IV’s actually fail for some reason. It’s often a reason downstream, resulting from a lack of stability.
Steve Melito: Right.
Brendan Laing: It’s very common.
Steve Melito: Very common, and so this is not your first time at a New York State Innovation Summit or maybe even interacting with FuzeHub. Tell us about your experience with some competitions yourself and the opportunities.
Brendan Laing: Yeah, so I participated and was one of the winners in the 2021 Commercialization Competition, so that was really exciting. That was my first real source of funding and that’s gotten me really far and my relationship with FuzeHub from that has also been really beneficial. From the prize money, we are able to manufacture IV wedges and get them sterilized and packaged for a clinical trial which we are now running at Albany Med, Albany Medical Center, which has been everything for the company, because with medical devices, everyone wants data, everyone wants clinical data, so that’s been very helpful.
Steve Melito: Good. How do you sterilize them? Is it chemicals or ETO or autoclaving? What do you use?
Brendan Laing: We can use any of those methods, but we chose to use a method that was more cost effective for where we are as a company.
Steve Melito: That’s key.
Brendan Laing: Yes, so, yeah, it’s a class B approved sterilization method.
Steve Melito: Okay, and class B must be an FDA designation.
Brendan Laing: Yeah, yeah, sorry, I can look it up if you want to join and look it up quick.
Steve Melito: No, that’s fine. So your product is obviously considered to be a medical device.
Brendan Laing: It is. It’s simple enough that we almost call it a medical accessory. Okay, it’s an accessory to a catheter.
Steve Melito: Okay so, Brendan, we have a IV wedge with us. Can you explain what it’s about, what it’s like, why it looks the way it does?
Brendan Laing: Absolutely so. The IV wedge is a really simple medical device. It’s made of a very soft silicone so it’s very flexible, very malleable. You would insert the IV catheter and then, once it’s inserted, you would slide the IV wedge underneath it. You could see that cavity there holds the hub of the catheter and it prevents any bilateral movement. Once you put the IV wedge underneath the catheter you would put a piece of tegaderm or a piece of semi-transparent dressing over the entire system to keep it secure there. But you can tell it’s really preventing any contact between the catheter and the patient’s skin. So it’s helping maintain the skin integrity and preventing any of that movement and holding the catheter secure.
Steve Melito: I’m like, say, gauze, which will loosen over time.
Brendan Laing: Exactly so you can imagine if this captor was in and you just had gauze supporting it. There’s nothing really preventing that movement. There’s tape over it, but there’ll be tape over the wedge as well. But it’s really not a secure solution. Gauze moves, gauze gets wet, gauze shifts positions when the patient moves so it’s a really unreliable solution.
Steve Melito: Right, and why is one part of this device colored pink and the rest of it’s a different color? Is that a color coding scheme? Good question.
Brendan Laing: So for the, the critical listeners, this is actually the IV catheter. Is the picked part? Okay, this is actually an extension, an extension piece. So they attach this to IV catheters. So if you have to change the medication or refill it, you don’t actually have to tug right where it’s injected or inserted into the patient. You use this I don’t know five inch piece of tubing to protect the insertion. Makes sense so the hub of it. The connection part is actually the part that securely fits into the wedge.
Okay, you can see the wedge kind of prevents any contact with the skin or acts as a really soft barrier between the catheter and the patient’s skin, which is another really big deal. These patients have the catheters in for weeks, sometimes months, and the skin will break down. It’ll be cause infection. It’s really uncomfortable. So having that soft barrier has been a big selling point with the clinical team.
Steve Melito: Sure, sure. And is that part made of silicone as well? The skin safe?
Brendan Laing: Yeah, skin safe. It’s sterilized 10 durometer silicone, so really soft, really can adhere to any patient anatomy. Sometimes the catheters can be injected into unique positions ankles, scalps and dialysis. They might have fistulas that have unique anatomy so it really can adhere to whatever that form is.
Steve Melito: Excellent, excellent. So to switch gears a little bit, we’re here at the Innovation Summit, and you were here in the past as a participant, a very successful one, I might add. So what advice do you have for startup companies in general about pitching, pitching?
Brendan Laing: The biggest thing I would say is to stick to the storyline. Don’t go down too many rabbit holes. Have a clear hook, a clear problem and a solution. I see a lot of the companies try to go into too many details about things that might be less, slightly less relevant. I help for my day job on by help a lot of clinicians with their pitches because I work in Albany Medical Centers business incubator. We’re Office of Translational Research and one of the more common issues we see is that these clinicians love their device. They’re clinicians, they’re data-driven and they want to talk about their solution Right and being their liaison into the business world. As you know, we don’t need that much information. You need to know the problem, the solution, but how? How’s it going to make the investors money? That’s right.
Steve Melito: That’s right.
Brendan Laing: Yeah, that in stage presence, just as authentic as you can be on stage, the more well received you’ll be. My experience.
Steve Melito: Sure, and did you present or pitch yourself, or was there someone with?
Brendan Laing: you.
Steve Melito: Did you do the whole? Thing?
Brendan Laing: solo. I pitched myself. Yes, I did have people help me prepare. I have a really strong mentor, Amy Johnson, and the rest of the back team, Steph and Dosik, so I learned from really knowledgeable people, but I was the only one up on stage.
Steve Melito: That’s excellent. Sometimes we’ll see there will be a technical person in a business person, but you did it all, which I think is really says a lot.
Brendan Laing: Thank you. I have a lot of hats, but a lot of help as well.
Steve Melito: Good, good, and so this year a lot more relaxed. You’re not pitching, you can just enjoy yourself. Walk around a little bit. What has been the most interesting part of the summit for you so far?
Brendan Laing: I’ve really enjoyed watching the other companies pitch, I think, some really exciting technologies this year. I think I learned a lot about the art of pitching from my job and from my first experience of FUSA pitching myself. So you know I want to see all the breakout sessions but I find myself still wandering back to the commercialization competition.
Steve Melito: Absolutely good. Well, I think they’re gonna be getting ready for a lunch here pretty soon, a day to the New York State Innovation Summit. Are you gonna come back next year when we’re?
Brendan Laing: in Syracuse.
Steve Melito: Absolutely Very good. So, on behalf of New York State manufacturing now, this is Steve Melito. I’m with Brendan Lang of IV Wedge. Dr Everton H Enriquez Everton, how are you?
Dr. Everton H. Henriques: Doing very well. I’m glad you remember the H, man.
Steve Melito: It’s a very important part. Otherwise you can just go by the name Everton and everyone knows who you are. I prefer that. Okay, very good, one name, you know.
Dr. Everton H. Henriques: Like Beyoncé, exactly, you know, except with my age I was kind of thinking more like Cher.
Steve Melito: Okay, very good, very good. So we’re here at the New York State Innovation Summit. It’s just wrapped up for the year 2023. What are your takeaways from this year? What did you see? What did you like? What are you going to remember?
Dr. Everton H. Henriques: Well, I’ll tell you, you know, we started doing this in 2019. And after that, of course, came the pandemic, and then we came back after that. This one is very special. It’s there’s so much excitement. I don’t know if it’s Saratoga Springs or what it is, but talking to some of the manufacturers, they were really happy. They were really excited about it and they said you know what? There’s so much energy here? We’re talking about innovation. Normally, people don’t associate that type of innovation.
You know I think they’re nerdy folks, but these people, they were different. So this is the sort of thing if we can carry this momentum forward into next year when we do it in Syracuse, it’s going to be really great.
Steve Melito: That’s right. That’s right, and so we want everybody to know who’s listening. Yes, you may have missed out for this year, but you can be part of the action. Next year, we’re going to be in Syracuse, New York, for the New York State Innovation Summit, October 28th and 29th, 2024. The best way to keep tabs is by keeping in touch with Fuse Hub. We’re on social media. Of course, you can subscribe to our email communications, but if you’re a manufacturer and you have a challenge, if you’re a technology company, inventor or entrepreneur, you don’t have to wait for an entire year to get help. Fuse Hub is online 24-7. Just go to www.fuzehub.com. Right on the homepage there’s a button Speak to an Expert. Click the button, fill out the form and you may even get to talk to Everton.
Dr. Everton H. Henriques: Oh yes, hey, I’m looking forward to that, willing to help at any time.
Steve Melito: Very good, so I’m back. Also, before we go, I want to thank our other podcast guests. We had Al, mike and Brendan. Their information is in the show notes. If you want to reach out to them, if you have questions for them, please do. We’re happy to provide you with the information to do so. So, on behalf of New York State Manufacturing, now I’m going to send Steve Melito with FuzeHub signing off.