With engineering assistance from Avid Product Development, Firefly Medical has taken illness and injury recovery to the next level with the launch of the IVEA – a revolutionary device to help hospital patients get out of bed quicker, become stronger faster, and go home sooner.
A huge step up from the traditional IV pole, the IVEA incorporates patient care equipment like an IV pump, oxygen tank, catheter drainage bag, feeding tubes, or cardiac monitor. Helping get the IVEA into the marketplace was Avid Product Development, whose founder – Doug Collins – was one of the design engineers hired to develop the IVEA.
“Basically, I hired six different contract engineers,” stated Darrell Schoenig, Engineering Director at Firefly Medical. “We decided rather than staff up with employees that hiring contract engineers was the right way to go.”
“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.”
Hiring Collins was a decision Firefly has never regretted. In addition to providing quality work, Schoening could not recall Collins missing a deadline.
As a member of the design team tasked with the mechanical design of the IVEA Patient Mobility Solution, Collins took part in brainstorming sessions and developed these ideas into functional designs and prototypes.
Boon to the Industry
Since its release in April 2015, nurses and physical therapists in hospitals across the nation have welcomed the new technology. “We haven’t had any struggle at all getting the nurses to embrace it – they love it,” stated Schoenig.
Although hospital administrators have been slower to invest in the new device, Firefly is certain the market is shifting in its favor. “It just takes time,” added 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.”
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, Atlas Lift Tech agreed to incorporate the IVEA as part of their comprehensive safe patient handling and mobility programs for hospitals and other healthcare providers. Additionally, Firefly partnered with Ontario-based Canadian Hospital Specialties (CHS) to have the exclusive rights to sell the IVEA across Canada three months later.
Despite a slower-than-expected adoption of the IVEA, 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,” stated Schoenig.
The IVEA remains on market today and continues to make positive impacts in patients’ lives. Things are looking brighter every day for the IVEA and Firefly Medical. And that might not have been the case without the participation of Avid and Doug Collins.
As Firefly Medical continues to innovate, the relationship between Avid Product Development and Firefly Medical is likely to continue into the future.
“We have 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.”