Firefly Medical is taking illness and injury recovery to the next level with the IVEA, a revolutionary product that aims to help hospital patients get out of bed quicker, become stronger faster and go home sooner.
The IVEA is a huge step up from the traditional IV pole, adding patient care equipment that can include an IV pump, oxygen tank, catheter drainage bag, feeding tubes and a cardiac monitor.
Fort Collins, CO-based Firefly released the IVEA in April 2015, and since then nurses and physical therapists in hospitals across the nation have been embracing the new technology.
“We haven’t had any struggle at all getting the nurses to embrace it – they love it,” says Darrell Schoenig, Firefly’s engineering director.
But hospital administrators have been slower to invest in the new device, although Firefly is certain the market is shifting in its favor.
“It just takes time,” says Schoenig. “It’s a paradigm shift. Typically, the physical therapists are their own department and the the nurses are their own department, and this kind of bridges the gap between them.”
Helping get the IVEA into the marketplace has been Loveland, CO-based Avid Product Development, whose owner – Doug Collins – was one of the design engineers hired to develop the IVEA.
“Basically, I hired six different contract engineers,” says Schoenig. “We decided rather than staff up with employees that hiring contract engineers was the right way to go.”
Hiring Collins was a decision Schoenig says Firefly has never regretted.
“I will say out of the six, Doug was by far the best of the engineers we hired because of the quality of his work. He gets it and he’s quick on the uptake.
“I can transfer what’s in my mind to his mind.”
Collins says he’s proud to have been part of bringing the IVEA into reality. “Avid was a member of the design team that was tasked with the mechanical design of the IVEA Patient Mobility Solution. Tasks included a lot of brainstorming and development of ides to functional designs and prototypes.
“The IVEA is on the market today and making positive impacts in patients’ lives every day.”
Boon to industry
Indeed, The IVEA was immediately seen as a boon to the patient mobility and recovery industry, receiving the Silver Medal at the Edison Awards shortly after its release.
In September 2015, California-based Atlas Lift Tech agreed to incorporate the IVEA as part of Atlas’ comprehensive safe patient handling and mobility programs for hospitals and other healthcare providers.
And last December, Firefly announced it was partnering with Ontario-based Canadian Hospital Specialties to have the exclusive rights to sell the IVEA across Canada.
Despite a slower-than-expected adoption of the IVEA, Schoenig says all signs are now pointing upward when it comes to Firefly’s future.
“The adoption has been slower than we hoped it would be, but the signs are there that we’re in the right place at the right time.”
And that might not have been the case without the participation of Avid and Doug Collins.
“(Doug) was efficient, he was timely,” says Schoenig. “I don’t remember him missing a deadline and the quality of his work was excellent.”
It’s a relationship that’s likely to continue into the future, Schoenig says.
“(The IVEA) is our only product currently in production. We’ve got other stuff in the hopper for down the road, looking at other accessories for it.
“Doug and Avid would be one of the first we’d call if we need outside help.”
Meantime, Schoenig says things are looking brighter every day for the IVEA and Firefly Medical following a great 2016. “We’re learning a lot about selling in hospitals and that it can be an extremely long sales cycle. But we’re getting traction and re-orders, which is what we want to see, and 2017 is looking like it could be even better for us.”