IntuiTap Medical, a Texas-based medical technology firm, has secured clearance from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its VerTouch device, which is intended to enhance spinal puncture procedures.

The handheld imaging tool is specifically designed to aid healthcare providers, regardless of their level of expertise, in performing spinal punctures with consistent accuracy at the patient’s bedside.

The VerTouch device is said to offer a solution that eliminates the uncertainties associated with traditional spinal puncture methods.

By utilising a spinal mapping technology developed by IntuiTap Medical, VerTouch enhances the accuracy, efficiency, and predictability of patient outcomes for epidural, spinal, and lumbar puncture procedures.

The device employs novel imaging technology to enable real-time vertebral detection, akin to palpation, allowing healthcare providers to visualise spinal anatomy and identify insertion sites accurately and consistently.

According to IntuiTap Medical, the FDA clearance underscores the safety and effectiveness of the VerTouch device, which has undergone rigorous testing at renowned medical institutions across the US. These include Northwestern Memorial Hospital and the Texas Medical Center.

IntuiTap Medical stated that traditionally, healthcare providers have relied on manual palpation to locate vertebral landmarks for spinal punctures, leading to unpredictability and a high rate of first-attempt failures. VerTouch’s spinal mapping technology transforms this process by providing a clear 2D image of lumbar spinal anatomy, empowering healthcare providers to make informed decisions and guide needle placement with precision.

By enhancing procedure accuracy and efficiency, VerTouch can improve patient outcomes, reduce procedure-related anxiety, and minimise the need for referrals to radiology. This not only benefits patients but also significantly reduces healthcare costs associated with additional testing and procedures, said IntuiTap Medical.

IntuiTap Medical co-founder and CEO Jessica Traver said: “Receiving FDA clearance for our novel VerTouch device marks a crucial milestone in our team’s journey to making epidurals, spinals, and lumbar punctures more accurate and efficient.

“We are proud to have developed a device that can improve procedure experience and outcomes for providers and patients alike, while also saving healthcare systems the cost of failed attempts.”

IntuiTap Medical expects to make VerTouch available to patients during the course of the year.