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Online Video Sharing and Collaboration Speeds Up Medical Device Development

Wed, 12/02/2009 - 4:25am
Victor Cruz
The Project: A system was being sought that would enable a company to speed up the process of receiving medical procedure videos and efficiently share them with the entire team.
The Solution: An online video collaboration tool was employed that allowed doctors to easily upload videos, comments to be shared at specific points in the video, and for the entire development process to be significantly improved.


Victor Cruz is a Web 2.0 consultant and writer living in Boston who has published numerous articles in leading publications. He can be reached at cruzESL@gmail.com.

The journey from medical product candidate to full-scale production and marketing is neither quick nor easy. The critical path for medical devices includes basic research, prototype design or discovery, preclinical development, clinical development, and then FDA filing/approval and launch preparation. In 2006, GI Dynamics first began conducting trials at multiple clinical sites across three continents for a device to help diabetes patients. GI Dynamics needed a way to speed-up the process of receiving medical procedure videos from each of the clinics and sharing the videos internally as well as with other clinics across the world. An online video collaboration tool from Wistia empowered GI Dynamics to move quicker along the crucial path for medical devices product development.

Candid Camera Produces Video Record
In development at GI Dynamics, EndoBarrier is a gastrointestinal liner that acts as an impermeable barrier to prevent food from coming in contact with the wall of an intestine. This can have a positive effect on a patient's uptake of both nutrients and calories and may produce significant weight loss and resolution of type 2 diabetes. When conducting tests of EndoBarrier, a tiny video camera is delivered and retrieved from patients endoscopically so that doctors can diagnose conditions within a patient's digestive system. A video record of each procedure is collected at clinical sites and sent to GI Dynamics for review and analysis by engineering as well as clinical groups to help make device refinements. Timely reviews of the clinical procedures are critical for facilitating EndoBarrier design improvements. GI Dynamics also needs regular input from its scientific advisory board based on video reviews of the procedures. Furthermore, the clinical sites testing EndoBarrier require access to the videos for training on the latest device techniques and for resolving patient problems.

When GI Dynamics first developed EndoBarrier, it would usually take days and sometimes weeks for GI Dynamics to receive the videos from the clinics using the device. The process involved getting the doctors to copy the videos onto a DVD and ship them, which took extra time. Overall, the time lag made it more difficult to discuss the results of the procedures with the doctors since the experience was not as fresh in their minds. This made communication exchanges less effective. It also hampered the feedback process and delayed the development of improvements for the EndoBarrier device.

To address the challenge, GI Dynamics began conducting research to see if there was a way for clinical surgeons to immediately upload videos as well as a way to efficiently exchange comments on the videos among physicians, engineers, and scientific advisory board members. The challenge was made even greater considering that clinics that use and test EndoBarrier are located across the world in different time zones.

GI Dynamics found that with Wistia, surgeons upload video directly from clinical sites without IT assistance. Wistia allows engineers and advisers to view procedures performed from any clinic in the world within hours of surgery. GI Dynamics' engineers and surgeons attach comments to specific moments within a video. Superior discussion, analysis, and collaboration were the results.

Secure Viewing and Tracking
"Deploying the Wistia solution, clinical procedure reviews that previously took months to complete are now completed in days. This capability has significantly accelerated the product development process," says GI Dynamics president and CEO Stuart Randle. "We were also impressed that the Wistia solution meets all privacy and security compliance requirements for clinical trials. This is a critical feature for any company in the medical device industry."

Wistia's online video collaboration tool enables an enterprise to:

•  Track exactly how people interact with the videos second-by-second, where they fast forward, rewind, or stop watching.
•  Capture every individual's viewing session, location, organization, and IP address.
•  Determine which videos have been referenced most often.
•  Have greater control over how private viewers can access content.

"When we began clinical trials in 2006, we knew we needed to find a secure, online video-sharing solution to help the EndoBarrier device keep moving forward," says Randle, President and CEO of GI Dynamics. "The need for such a service has always been there for the medical device industry, but until Wistia came along, there wasn't an efficient solution."

Online
For additional information on the technologies and products discussed in this article, see MDT online at www.mdtmag.com and the following websites:

•  www.gidynamics.com
•  www.wistia.com


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