A substantial concern often encountered as a pet owner is when the pet ingests foreign objects that should not be consumed. In many cases, immediate veterinary care must be taken to retrieve the foreign object before it causes gastrointestinal distress, which could harm or potentially even kill the animal. The most common offenders that require veterinary care to remove foreign bodies are dogs that range between 20-60 lbs, though other domesticated animals such as cats must also be considered. More often than not, these dogs eat objects ranging from coins, fruit pits, to balls of varying sizes. Several methods for retrieving these objects are readily available today, but endoscopic foreign body retrieval devices present a minimally-invasive surgical option with the potential for vast improvement in the veterinary clinical setting.
To that end, our group designed a universal device that will allow the user to effectively retrieve objects of various sizes that will be both reusable and will require minimal training from the current standard. We have worked in conjunction with Dr. Erika de Papp of the Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston to provide us with her clinical expertise. Together, we have created a device that will serve as the golden standard for efficient and precise extraction of foreign objects.
We did not expect our device to be as successful as we had originally anticipated. Through rapid prototyping, we were able to flush out more critical needs for an endoscopic retrieval device, ultimately allowing us to create something that veterinarians really want to use. We placed 1st and 2nd in two different business competitions, check out our business plan here.