Vendors in the MSU Space
There aren’t many mobile stroke units on U.S. streets yet, and not a lot of ambulance manufacturers who have yet established a footprint in the area. Frazer, Excellance and Medical Coaches are among those who have led the way.
Frazer owners John and Janice Griffin were instrumental in helping bring America’s first MSU, based in Houston, to reality. More than three years ago they approached program architect James Grotta, MD, after he’d first presented the idea to members of the UTHealth Development Board. Grotta, director of stroke research at the Clinical Institute for Research & Innovation at Memorial Hermann-TMC and director of the local MSU consortium, had discovered the German model and wanted to bring it to the U.S. The Griffins offered to help.
“We really liked the possibilities of moving medicine forward,” Laura Griffin Richardson, the company’s president and CEO, told UTHealth media reps. “Our company likes to push the limits, and this had never been done before… Once everyone sees the possibility of putting a CT scanner in an emergency vehicle, the question is what else can we do?”
Because of the stroke unit’s unique needs, Frazer engineered it from the ground up. It also built models that debuted in 2015 for the Mercy Life Flight program in Ohio and UCHealth in Colorado. Learn more about Frazer’s MSU at www.emsworld.com/ 11647059.
Meanwhile, Excellance was developing a model for the Cleveland Clinic, which also hit the streets in 2014 (for more: www.emsworld.com/product/11569671), and Medical Coaches would do one for the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. Medical Coaches actually built the first mobile head scan CT unit for EMI Medical in the 1970s, and continued until EMI left the market (see www.medcoach.com/products/lithotripsy/). Canada’s Tri-Star Industries is also soon to enter the game.
The most popular CT scanner about MSUs thus far is the CereTom from Samsung subsidiary NeuroLogica. The University of Tennessee Health Science Center’s model uses the more powerful SOMATOM Scope from Siemens; Tri-Star is working with Siemens as well.
InTouch Health has been the telemedicine vendor for the Cleveland, Mercy and Colorado projects; its RP-Xpress is a portable device that uses standard 802.11 Wi-Fi. In Houston, UTHealth is using Max Life’s system, which users can test at EMS World Expo, October 3–7 in New Orleans.