Salt Lake City, Utah
Salt Lake City
Owned by Biomerics LLC
Employees: 10 (plus shared resources from Biomerics)
"Our specialty is ultrasonic sensing and delivery and fluid delivery and control," says Ritchotte.
Ultrasonic sensing "is not new technology," says Crandall. "That's been the preferred method for years." It's typically used to sense bubbles in tubing and levels in applications ranging from eye surgery to catheter removal, as well as in a number of surgical and therapeutic devices.
"There are a lot of new things on the horizon," says Crandall.
With this bright future in mind, the Biosonix team has a wealth of ultrasonics experience and is ready to partner with device manufacturers of all kinds. "We have a team of people who have been doing this together for 15 years, all of us," says Ritchotte. "Our branding is expertise."
It follows that Biosonix has improved on industry standards considerably. "We wanted to put out a product that would leapfrog the technology on the market," Ritchotte says. Higher-resolution technology allows biosonix to detect bubbles as small as 1 milliliter, versus 20-milliliter bubbles for legacy ultrasonic sensors.
Crandall says another innovation is "much more robust" circuitry that reduces variability in sensing.
"With all of those different hospital environments, there are a lot of variables," says Ritchotte. "We're able to compensate for that variability. You want to limit the number of nuisance alarms when you're working with these sensors."
Higher-power therapeutic devices demand different features. Some need to be inexpensive disposable devices, and others call for small runs of very expensive products. "The innovation is sometimes done through materials that are off the shelf," says Ritchotte.
Next in ultrasonic sensing: "Many of the medical device companies are looking to get closer to the patient, and maybe inside the patient," says Ritchotte. "The big picture here is we want to improve patient care."
Biosonix has quickly transitioned from research entity to a contract manufacturer taking orders from large OEMs. "We started as R&D and grew from there," says Ritchotte. "We've now got manufacturing and R&D together." The operations were consolidated in a 14,000-foot-space in Salt Lake in early 2015.
Offering services for both sensing and surgical/therapeutic applications is "a nice product mix," he adds. "We've tried to balance the business."
A Salt Lake City-based contract manufacturer, Biomerics merged with Utah Plastics Group in 2010. Biosonix is one of three companies in its portfolio; the others are Minnesota-based Biomerics Advanced Catheter and HTP-Meds, a maker of extruded tubing in Rhode Island.
"We have a lot of resources available to us," says Ritchotte. "It's nice to have your own plastic injection molding house. We leverage our sister companies as much as possible."
Challenges: "We often get involved past the point of idea phase," says Ritchotte.
"Often people come to us and say, 'Can this be done?'" adds Crandall. "A lot of things can be done, but not in production.
This often means the most important choices Biosonix can help customers with are around materials.
Opportunities: Improving on existing ultrasonic technology for therapeutic and surgical devices as well as "unique sensors," says Ritchotte. "A lot of it is following the market."
Needs: Good people, says Ritchotte. "We'll be hiring people and adding equipment. . . . You're going to see a lot of growth here on the manufacturing side."