Care of the mechanically ventilated patient is costly and associated with risks and preventable errors. Now known as Ventilator-associated events this preventable event is a major cost driver and a major determinant of hospital and ICU related morbidity and mortality. Ventilator associated pneumonia is considered a life-threatening complication occurring in 10-25% of mechanically ventilated patients and can be accompanied by mortality rates of 33-50%. On average a VAP event lengthens stay by 10 days and increases costs by $40,000.
Inhaled medications are considered foundational to the management and treatment of a multitude of lung diseases. Paramount to the pharmacologic treatment of most respiratory diseases is proper inhalational drug delivery. In the ICU this challenge of inadequate drug delivery is magnified immensely for patients that are maintained on mechanical ventilation. To address risks related to ventilator medication administration protocols now dictate that medication is administered by a MDI device.
Observation of poor technique and errors related to the manual administration of MDI therapy per protocol on mechanically ventilated patient led to the realization for a need for automation. Thus the GoPilot was initially conceived in 2008 as a hands-free controller device for dispensing medications from a MDI device to mechanically ventilated patients. It is a simple idea for a simple problem that lends itself to a changing role in the future of precision medical care in the ICU.