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Computer Program to Quantify Pharyngeal Residue after Swallowing

Organization:WVHTC Foundation, WV, US
I.P. Brief:The subject technology has potential research application in the study of dysphagia, as well as potential clinical application in the diagnosis and treatment of patients with swallowing difficulties. The subject technology could be marketed as stand alone image analysis package for use in swallow studies performed on general fluoroscopy systems.
Summary of I.P.:The subject technology is a computer program that quantifies pharyngeal residue, thereby enhancing the primary method for swallow imaging, called the videofluoroscopic swallow study (VFSS) or the modified barium swallow. The computer program compares digital videofluorographic (X-ray) images of the neck before and after a swallow to quantify pharyngeal residue. A clinical study is currently underway to determine the validity and reliability the computer program. Dysphagia is associated with many conditions, such as stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cervical spinal cord injury, Parkinson’s Disease, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, head and neck cancer, lung infections, and aging.
Patent:U.S. non-provisional patent application 11/153,907 filed 06/16/05, U.S. provisional patent application 60/580,382 filed 06/18/04
Keywords:Swallowing disorder, dysphagia, modified barium swallow, food bolus, lung infection
Primary Industry:Health & Medical Devices
Specific Market:Diagnostic fluoroscopy and related imaging tests
Market Size:The size of the imaging diagnosic market is very large. With about 50% of all Parkinson\'s Disease patients having some form of dysphagia, the software could provide a cost-effective tool to evaluate the degree of swallowing disorder.
State of the Art:The current technologies include: * Nuclear Imaging * Modified barium swallow (MBS) * Fiberoptic endoscopic evaluation of swallowing (FEES) * Oral motor exercises and voice strengthening exercises * Diet modifications and nutrition counseling
Competition:None at this time.
Figures of Merit:The subject technology could be marketed as a stand alone image analysis package for use in swallow studies performed on general fluoroscopy systems used for imaging various body parts and organs. Alternatively, the software could be marketed as a component of a digital imaging system designed specifically for swallow studies.
Tech.  Obstacles:There are two technical obstacles; clinical acceptance and equipment validation. A large scale clinical trial needs to be perform to validate the findings of a pilot study. In addition, the softaware has only been used with one equipment manufacturer. Additional manufacturers and models of equipment is needed.
Market Obstacles:The potential commercial challenges include: * DRG coding and other reimbursement issues * Clincial acceptance for standards of care * Public awareness
Patent Landscape:Related Patents include: * US 5,976,084 * US 6,461,589 * US 5,024,240
Publications:* Gross, RD, Atwood, CW, Grayhack, JP, Shaiman, S.2003, Lung volume effects on pharyngeal swallowing physiology, Journal of Applied Physiology, 95, 2211-2217 * Gross, RD, Mahlmann, J. Grayhack, JP, 2003, Physiologic Effects of Tracheostomy Tube Occlusion on the Pharyngeal Swallow, Annals of Otology, Rhinology & Laryngology, 112 (2), 143-152 * Gross, RD, Eibling, DE, 1998, Tracheotomy/Endotraheal Intubation, Comprehensive Management of Swallowing Disorders, Eds. Carrau and Murry, Singular, San Diego
Research Team:Primary Investigator - Roxann Diez Gross


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