Deseret News:

As an orthopedic and spinal surgeon in training in 2004, Dr. Alpesh Patel knew there had to be a better way to detect when a surgeon accidentally nicks an esophagus or a bowel with a scalpel.

It is estimated that about 10,000 nicks and leaks happen in the United States each year. Patel came up with the idea of using a device to fill an esophagus or bowel with a fluid, either colored or clear. If nicked, the fluid leaking out can alert the surgeon to the problem before closing up.

Patel knew he had a great idea, and even wrote a research paper on it and created a prototype in 2006. But he was a surgeon, not a businessman, and he had no idea, beyond patent paperwork, on how to form a business or how to market his device.

Enter MBA students Nic Anderson, Michael Burr and Ryan Murri. Applying what they’ve learned at the business school, the entrepreneurial trio helped Patel create a business plan and get his company off the ground. Monitus Medical now has capital investors and is about to submit the device for preliminary FDA approval.

“This is a tremendous cost to the health care system. Currently there is no standardized method of leak and perforation detection, from hospital to hospital, or even doctor to doctor,” Burr added. “It is very exciting to have the opportunity to save lives, participate in lowering the economic burden to the health care system, and create jobs in the process.”

Photo by Spirit-Fire

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