Last month we brought you a story about Memphis startup Handminder and what they are doing for stroke victims. Handminder has a technology that re-teaches the brain to interact with the hands of stroke victims so they can relearn motor skills. Handminder was part of Memphis’ Zeroto510 accelerator that prepares medical device companies for their 510K FDA approval.
Last week it was announced that TECH ForthWorth startup Ampcare just received their 510K approval from the FDA for their technology that also helps stroke victims.
Ampcare’s Rx3E series of electrodes applies external stimulation to the muscles needed for swallowing. This is also a technology that directly impacts the lives of stroke victims, and those suffering from Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, ALD (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) and Muscular Dystrophy.
Russ Campbell, Rick McAdoo and Ronda Polansky, the three therapists that founded Ampcare, envisioned the device as a treatment option to treat swallowing problems.
“At Ampcare, we understand that eating and drinking affect quality of life. This product will offer healthcare professionals, specifically speech language pathologists, a technologically advanced treatment approach to address swallowing difficulties,” said Russ Campbell, President & CEO.
Dysphagia, or difficulty with swallowing, affects 18 million people in the U.S. Without proper management, dysphagia can lead to choking, malnutrition, dehydration, weight loss, muscle attrition, aspiration pneumonia, increased rate of infection and death.
“For example, people with strokes often lose their ability to protect their airway when eating and drinking,” McAdoo said. “Our device rehabilitates the muscles that move the airway to keep it protected during swallowing.”
Ampcare’s technology is just as important for comfort as it is for patient safety.
Ampcare is a startup resident at the TECH Fort Worth Incubator in Texas.
“Since May, when Ampcare won our Impact Award, the team has been pressing hard for this next milestone, the clearance of its product for the market,” said Darlene Ryan, Executive Director of TECH Fort Worth. “The Ampcare founders have their heart in this product. Their motivation is the patients who will have a higher quality of life because of their work. It is clients like this that inspire me to do everything I can to help them and others continue to bring new products to market that really matter.”