Nikomed USA Inc. has unveiled a non-metal disposable and universal lead wire system, BioWire. Thanks to a construction of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and a printed conductive silver ink, the lead could be recycled.
“The idea for a recyclable lead came from seeing the extremely high volume of inexpensive disposable metal lead wires being thrown away by hospitals,” Stephen Epstein, Nikomed’s president, told MD+DI. “In order to help fight cross contamination, hospitals began looking for alternatives to cleaning/reprocessing traditional, reusable lead wires and turned to inexpensive metal wires from China. These wires are very well made and cost substantially less than reusables. This, too, can be an issue for hospitals and in turn patients—many times these ‘disposable’ lead wires are re-used without any reprocessing simply because they look good.”
For an alternative, Nikomed made BioWire with only silver and silver/silver/chloride inks printed on a PET substrate, Epstein said. “At this time, there is no need for extra preparation or processing—simply throw away or incinerate,” he said.
The printed lead wire compares well with traditional metal lead wire in terms of performance and use. “BioWire has the same electrical characteristics as traditional metal wires and can carry an ECG signal as well as traditional metal leads,” he said.
BioWire can be used with most monitoring equipment and all ECG electrodes, he added. “The weight of BioWire is a very big benefit to the patient and should enhance trace quality,” Epstein said. “Because BioWire is thin and flat like paper, patient information can be written” on it.
The company expects to begin filling orders in the last quarter of 2019.