Ampcare, a TECH Fort Worth Acceleration Client, has received U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clearance to market its Rx3E series of electrodes that apply external stimulation to the muscles necessary for swallowing.
The electrode device is used in conjunction with exercises to assist those that have lost the ability to protect their airway when eating and drinking, most notably those suffering from strokes and progressive neurological diseases, including Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease) and Muscular Dystrophy.
Ampcare was founded in 2007 by Russ Campbell, President and CEO, Rick McAdoo, Vice President-Sales and Ronda Polansky, Vice President-Marketing. The three therapists envisioned the device as a treatment option to contribute to better practices to treat swallowing problems in 1995 while working in an in-patient rehabilitation facility.
"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."
The electrode device is used with a physician's prescription only and would be administered most likely by speech therapists working in hospitals, long-term care centers and home health agencies. Additionally, the end user must complete adequate training, which will be provided by Ampcare, before administering this modality.
"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."
TECH Fort Worth is a nonprofit business incubator that helps companies commercialize their technologies, with particular emphasis on technologies that potentially have a major impact in the areas of the environment, health and community.
More information about Ampcare can be found at www.ampcarellc.com.
TECH Fort Worth is a nonprofit technology incubator with offices at the James E. Guinn Complex in Fort Worth South and at the UNT Health Science Center's Center for BioHealth. For more information, call Darlene Ryan, Executive Director, at (817) 339 8968, email her at Darlene@techfortworth.org or go to www.techfortworth.org.