Criticare Systems, Inc.
Address: N7 W22025 Johnson Dr., Waukesha
Innovation: Device that detects peripheral arterial disease.
Employees: approximately 300
Recent statistics indicate that more than 8 million Americans could be living with peripheral arterial disease (P.A.D.), in which arteries in the legs become narrowed or clogged with plaque and other fatty deposits. Clogged arteries in the legs can lead to poor circulation and blood clots and almost always means the patient is at risk or also suffering from coronary artery disease.
Waukesha-based Criticare Systems Inc. recently began offering Revo, a convenient one-touch solution to help physicians quickly and efficiently detect P.A.D. in their patients.
“We have a long-standing history of designing and manufacturing patient monitoring systems and noninvasive sensors for the medical profession,” said Ron Estrada, spokesman for Criticare Systems.
Criticare Systems Inc., has been in operation in Waukesha since 1984. The company recently relocated to a new 60,000-square-foot facility at N7 W22025 Johnson Drive. Criticare is a wholly owned subsidiary of India-based Opto Circuits Ltd., which also recently acquired Rhode Island-based Unetixs Vascular Inc., and Washington-based Cardiac Science Corp., Estrada said.
As a result of the acquisitions, Criticare Systems has more than doubled its number of employees from 140 people to about 300 and all research and development activity as well as manufacturing from Unetixs Vascular and Cardiac Science has been moved to Criticare Systems in Waukesha.
Unetixs specializes in vascular medical devices and is responsible for the development of the Revo device.
“The Revo system offers the exact same technology that our larger MultiLab systems offer, but in a smaller, more convenient and more affordable way,” Estrada said.
The Criticare MultiLab product is designed for use in a large, hospital lab setting, while the Revo system is smaller and is designed to be used in a primary care, or single physician facility, Estrada said.
Using traditional P.A.D. testing devices, a traditional test would usually be done in a hospital setting and would usually take 15 to 30 minutes, Estrada said.
“The new Revo system can walk a patient through the testing process in under ten minutes, typically,” he said.
“Physicians and technologists asked us to develop an automated but affordable system for diagnosing P.A.D.,” said Paul Nelson, regional sales manager for the company. “They wanted a touch screen user interface that was simple, efficient and could also generate automatic reports.”
In a traditional system test, patients experiencing leg pain or numbness would receive an ankle-brachial index test, in which physicians manually compare the blood pressure in a patient’s ankles with the blood pressure in their arms.
“If the blood pressure in your ankles is lower than the blood pressure in your arms it may indicate that blood flow to your legs is being either slowed or blocked,” Nelson said. “It can help detect situations of P.A.D. sooner because patients no longer have to wait to visit a hospital to receive the test.”
P.A.D. is particularly common among patients with diabetes and is a worldwide concern, Nelson said.
“Not only is P.A.D. detrimental to a person’s health on its own, it is almost always linked to a patient suffering from coronary artery disease of the heart,” Nelson said. “The Revo device can help detect P.A.D., and then physicians are able to issue further tests to help prevent potentially fatal ramifications of coronary artery disease such as heart attack or stroke.”