A Diagnostics & Imaging Week

The Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania's (BFTP/NEP; Bethlehem, Pennsylvania) board of directors has approved the investment of $567,245 in support of regional economic development. BFTP/NEP is a state-funded economic development organization that links early-stage technology companies and established manufacturers with experts, universities, funding, and other resources to help them prosper through innovation.

BFTP/NEP plans to invest $42,941 in InfraRed Imaging Systems (Bethlehem), maker of the FDA-cleared VascularViewer, an imaging device designed to allow clinicians to better visualize veins and arteries in the human body in accurate detail, in real-time, and non-invasively; According to the company, the device is intended to enable clinicians to "more painlessly and efficiently" insert needles and catheters. It is now being placed in hospitals, the company noted.

BFTP/NEP also plans to invest $30,000 in Third Eye Diagnostics (Bethlehem) to conduct prototype development and clinical studies for its Cerepress non-invasive intracranial pressure (ICP) monitor. According to Third Eye, the monitor gathers pressure measurements externally from the eye of patients with a head injury or who have suffered a stroke. Existing standard-of-care devices that monitor ICP are invasive and require drilling a hole through the patient's skull to measure pressure, which can expose patients to significant complications and poses a significant and preventable cost to the healthcare system, Third Eye noted.

Ben Franklin also plans to invest $32,494 in Puritan Products's (Bethlehem) university partner, Lehigh University, to assist Puritan in attaining "Current Good Manufacturing Practices" compliance from the FDA. This will allow the company to expand in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology markets. Puritan custom formulates chemicals to customer specifications.

The rest of the investment will be made in several Pennsylvania companies outside the area of healthcare.