The Burden of Hypoxia

Every year, more than 340,000 premature, very-low-birth-weight (VLBW; ≤1500g) and low-birth-weight (LBW; 1500-2499g) infants are at increased risk for a life of brain impairment due to a lack of blood flow to the brain after birth, and there is currently no technique for easily, repeatedly and noninvasively monitoring or measuring cerebral circulatory adequacy.

The burden of hypoxic-ischemic brain injury costs the U.S. healthcare system over $7 billion per year, requiring an additional 16 days in neonatal intensive care, and comprising nearly a third of the cost of care for preterm neonates.

The Solution

With patented optoacoustic technology at its core, Noninvasix’s system pulses laser light into the brain to directly measure the amount of oxygen the baby is receiving in real time. Prompt recognition of low cerebral venous oxygenation can be used to guide therapeutic interventions and reduce adverse outcomes.

A sensitive, wide-band headstrap accesses the baby’s front and back fontanelles and pulsing frequencies of near-infrared light are sent into the brain’s Superior Sagittal Sinus vein. Hemoglobin in the blood absorbs the light at different frequencies depending on whether or not it is carrying oxygen. Absorption causes rapid thermal expansion of the hemoglobin resulting in a measurable acoustic wave.

In contrast to other purely spectroscopic techniques, such as near-infrared spectroscopy, this technology provides an absolute, rather than relative measurement, and can be targeted to specific blood vessels.

Value Proposition

Today, it’s not enough to improve patient outcomes; new technologies must also reduce costs. We recently commissioned a 3rd party value analysis that concluded that the value proposition for Noninvasix’s monitor is very strong. The analysis found that the typical 12-bed NICU would save $1.1 million per year by using Noninvasix's technology to reduce the complications associated with hypoxic-ischemic brain injury, not to mention significant reductions in neonatal mortality and morbidity.

Moreover, the analysis found that 3rd party payers would save $2.4 million to $6.2 million by reducing the lifelong direct medical costs for children with hypoxia-induced cerebral palsy.