Fortune Small Business Tech Edge

Coming soon: Electric bandages

Want to get ahead in the bandage business? Just add voltage.

EMAIL  |   PRINT  |   SHARE  |   RSS
 
google my aol my msn my yahoo! netvibes
Paste this link into your favorite RSS desktop reader
See all CNNMoney.com RSS FEEDS (close)

prosit.03.jpg
Vomaris Innovations' Prosit costs hospitals $25 for a two-by-four inch bandage.

(Fortune Small Business) -- It may sound like quack medicine, but electricity can help cuts and wounds heal faster. Studies published in the journal Nature in 2005 confirmed it: Our cells work like tiny chemical batteries. Wounds short-circuit them, and a jolt of voltage helps heal them.

Now a small medical company hopes to cash in, with the world's first over-the-counter electric bandage.

Vomaris Innovations, based in Chandler, Ariz., recently went to market with the Prosit adhesive bandage, which uses microscopic batteries mounted on a flexible membrane to pass a tiny amount of electricity - 1.2 volts - over the affected skin. Though the process isn't understood entirely, Vomaris founder Jeff Skiba, 55, won FDA approval for use of the Prosit in hospitals after an impressive array of clinical trials showed that it jump-started healing for all patients.

"There's no question it works," says James McCoy, a professor of surgery at the Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta. Using the Prosit, McCoy saved one patient from a potential amputation and healed another's severe burns.

Skiba, a former medical consultant, founded Vomaris in 2004 after experimenting with the concept in his garage. By 2006 he had the FDA's go-ahead for a prescription version. Several major hospitals are now using the Prosit, including Walter Reed Army Medical Center and the Mayo Clinic. One big draw is that the electric bandage saves money: Healing a wound using standard dressings costs an average of $1,000 per wound per patient. The Prosit costs hospitals an average of $140 per patient.

Vomaris, with eight employees and sales of less than $500,000 a year, expects to win FDA approval for an over-the-counter version later this year. That seems like a stretch to medical experts such as McCoy, who doesn't think patients should be self-medicating with the Prosit until more research has been conducted. Still, Skiba hopes to distribute the Prosit alongside traditional bandages in pharmacies and big-box retailers.

No retail price has been set yet, so it remains to be seen whether Vomaris can electrify the market.  To top of page

To write a note to the editor about this article, click here.




QMy dream is to launch my own business someday. Now that it's time to choose a major, I'm debating if I should major in entrepreneurial studies or major in engineering to acquire a set of skills first. Is majoring in entrepreneurship a good choice? More
Get Answer
- Spate, Orange, Calif.

More Galleries
These 10 food trends could dominate 2015 So long, kale. Here's what's expected to shake up the food industry next year. More
Beyond Russia: Geopolitical hot spots in 2015 Investors beware: These 5 global crises are likely to rattle the stock market and world economy. More
These 20 antique guns could fetch big bucks Morphy Auctions in Pennsylvania is putting nearly 1,000 old guns on the block. Here are just a few. More

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer.

Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved.

Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2014 and/or its affiliates.