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2023-12-05| PartnerR&D

Saving Lives Through Communication, Heroic Faith Medical Science Showcasing Novel AI Auscultation Tool for Procedural Sedation Patients in PGA 77

by GeneOnline
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Founded in 2018, Taiwan-based Heroic Faith Medical Science is dedicated to developing AI-assisted breathing sound monitors. The company’s proprietary Airmod system, an active noise-canceling electronic stethoscope that seamlessly integrates with AI, enables continuous monitoring of patients’ breathing sounds. In December, Heroic Faith’s team will participate in the 77th PostGraduate Assembly in Anesthesiology (PGA77) in New York. They plan to host a Research Symposium and product launch program with the goal of expanding into the U.S. market, as well as seeking investors and partners for further applications of their product.

Continuous Breathing Sound Monitoring Without Interference

Conventional stethoscopes face significant limitations, including an inability to continuously monitor patients’ respiratory conditions and issues such as environmental noises, echo, and privacy concerns. Additionally, a low abnormal sound ratio from clinical data and inconsistencies in judgments among different doctors pose significant obstacles for AI development. In collaboration with Taiwan’s major medical centers and teaching hospitals, Heroic Faith has collected over 1.6 million entries of breathing sound data for AI training.

The company has successfully developed the Airmod system, utilizing an FDA-cleared active noise cancellation electronic stethoscope to enable real-time monitoring of changes in patients’ breathing sounds and visualization of the data. In cases of airway obstruction or apnea, the system can immediately notify healthcare professionals (surgeons, nurses, anesthesiologists, etc.) for prompt intervention. Another key feature of Airmod is its ability to operate without being disturbed by external noises. The AI system removes irrelevant sounds, such as ambient noises, speech, and equipment operation, retaining only breathing sounds and clinically relevant breathing patterns that doctors and patients need to know.

Wide Range of Applications of Airmod

Currently, Airmod can be used in various non-operating room areas (NORA) including dental offices, cosmetic surgical centers, ambulatory hospitals, endoscope rooms, catheter rooms, and obstetrics examination rooms. It is also suitable for most open airway procedures such as minor surgeries, endoscopies, cosmetic procedures, and dental treatments that require procedural sedation. Unlike general anesthesia, patients in these procedures breathe on their own without intubation. 

The number of cases requiring procedural sedation is soaring globally, with hundreds of millions of such procedures performed annually. However, an estimated 64 million of these cases may involve prolonged apnea, where patients do not breathe for more than 30 seconds after the administration of sedative drugs. This condition is typically caused by central inhibition or obstruction of patients’ airways during the process. If unnoticed, patients may suffer from a drop in blood oxygen, which can be fatal in serious cases.

Heroic Faith’s Airmod comes in handy here to monitor patients’ breathing, and notify healthcare professionals for quick intervention when such conditions arise. Notably, compared to a matching solution on the American society of Anesthesiologist (ASA) guidance: capnography, which is commonly used in respiratory management, Airmod demonstrates an equivalence ability of respiratory rate and apnea detection. It also exhibits a much lower incidence of instrument failure while monitoring patients’ breathing than capnography products from competing manufacturers.

Airmod system, an active noise-canceling electronic stethoscope that seamlessly integrates with AI, enables continuous monitoring of patients’ breathing sounds.

Participation in PGA77 and Milestones in Patent Applications

Since its debut two years ago, Airmod has been adopted in nearly half of the medical centers in Taiwan. Its applications range from gastroscopy and colonoscopy to pediatrics and plastic surgeries. Also, Heroic Faith is currently working with 10 dental training centers in the U.S. to adopt Airmod in pediatric and special needs dentistry.

Heroic Faith’s Airmod and electronic stethoscope has received medical device regulatory clearance from the Taiwan FDA. In 2023, Airmod also obtained 510(k) Clearance from the U.S. FDA. Besides, Heroic Faith has been granted multiple patent families to protect Airmod’s hardware, software and AI algorithms. In mid-November, another patent (US-11813109-B2) was granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for this AI-powered auscultation tool.

Heroic Faith’s new General Manager, Yuan-Ren Cheng, has recently updated the company’s motto from ‘Saving Lives Through Innovation’ to ‘Saving Lives Through Communication.’ This change reflects a heightened emphasis on leveraging AI to facilitate communication among patients, doctors, and family members. The goal is to minimize errors, enhance mutual understanding, and ultimately reduce friction in medical services, all contributing to saving more lives. 

During PGA77, held in New York from December 8 to 11, the team plans to conduct a research symposium, sharing insights from a multiple-center study. In addition, they will invite the Vice Chair of the Outcome Research Center at Cleveland Clinic to share the importance of sedation safety with the public and young faculty in the anesthesia community. Heroic Faith also actively seeks new partnerships to explore new indications, initiate new clinical studies, and expand the application of their products to operating room settings in the future. 

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