Frostbite patients may benefit from innovative fluorescence imaging technology

Major advancement allows physicians to visualize blood flow with handheld device at bedside

Physicians at Hennepin Healthcare have a new tool to help make life and limb-saving decisions in patients being evaluated for frostbite injury and other tissue perfusion concerns. Stryker’s SPY-PHI is a hand-held device that was made to be used in a surgical setting to visualize the quality of blood flow in vessels and micro vessels that provide oxygen to organs. HCMC is the first hospital in the state to implement this advanced technology in an acute setting.

“We’ve already realized SPY’s benefits when evaluating exposure patients for frostbite injury,” explains HCMC emergency physician Dr. Thomas Masters. “It may help physicians determine when the use of clot-busting medications is indicated, as well as when it’s not.”

SPY-PHI uses a near-infrared low powered laser light source to stimulate a fluorescent imaging agent that has been injected into the blood stream. The fluorescent agent binds to the proteins in blood and circulates through the body. When stimulated by near infrared light, the protein-bound agent emits a fluorescence signal which enables visualization of blood flowing through vessels and into tissue. The fluorescence is captured by a special camera, is processed and is displayed on a video monitor for the physician to review. Since the agent is bound to blood, where blood goes, it goes. If there is no fluorescence, it can mean that there is compromised blood flow.

“We hope that eventually it may have applications for crush injuries, necrotizing fasciitis, and other types of wounds,” said Dr. Masters.

Unlike traditional bone scans, which can be time-consuming to perform in an emergent situation, SPY technology does not involve ionizing radiation and utilizes a fluorescence imaging agent with a short half-life thus allowing surgeons to repeat perfusion assessment as needed.  

HCMC is a nationally recognized Level I Adult Trauma Center and Level 1 Pediatric Trauma Center with the largest emergency department in Minnesota. It is operated by Hennepin Healthcare System, Inc., a subsidiary corporation of Hennepin County. The comprehensive academic medical center and public teaching hospital and clinic system includes a 484-bed acute care hospital, primary care and specialty clinics located in Minneapolis and surrounding suburban communities, as well as home care and hospice services.

Hennepin Healthcare’s NICU Adds New Technology to Keep Parents Connected to Their Fragile Newborns

AngelEye Cameras watch over infants when parents can’t be in the hospital

Technology plays a critical role in keeping premature and fragile newborns. Now it’s also keeping the babies’ parents connected when they can’t be in the NICU. It’s called AngelEye Health, and Hennepin Healthcare is the first hospital to offer this in the Twin Cities.  

“Nobody wants to leave their baby behind,” says Laura Gary, RN, MSN, Nurse Manager of the Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Hennepin Healthcare. “But these new cameras give parents the peace-of-mind that they can check-in on their little ones whenever they want to. While it’s not the same as holding them in your arms, at this time, it may be the next best thing.”

With AngelEye’s secure, live-stream video, families can see their child’s progress 24/7 using their phone, computer, or tablet. The camera is at the bedside, capturing their every movement in real-time. The easy-to-access App also includes a One-way Patient Update tool that allows the clinical staff to send parents vital updates and precious moments through text, photo, or recorded video, further engaging parents in their infant’s care.

“Moms can share this streaming service with whomever she chooses,” explains Gary. “So if grandparents live overseas, or aunts and uncles live in other states, this platform brings them all together to see their newest family member.”

“It’s my new favorite TV show!” said Dominique Nelson, who recently gave birth to premature twins. “I love it.”

This AngelEye Technology offered by Hennepin Healthcare keeps parents actively involved with their infant’s care team, and can prepare them to care for their fragile little one when it’s time to take their baby home.

Thanks to generous supporters of the Hennepin Heroes fund, Hennepin Healthcare Foundation was able to launch the AngelEye service in the NICU last week, the day before Christmas.

About Hennepin Healthcare
Hennepin Healthcare is an integrated system of care that includes HCMC, a nationally recognized Level I Adult Trauma Center and Level I Pediatric Trauma Center and acute care hospital located in downtown Minneapolis offering a full spectrum of inpatient and outpatient pediatric care, including The Birth Center.

About AngelEye Health
AngelEye’s HIPAA-compliant TeleEngagement Solutions are now supporting staff and families in over 90 facilities nationwide. Solutions include an advanced Camera System, bringing live-streaming patient video to families to reduce stress and anxiety, and support bonding when they cannot be at the hospital.  One-way Patient Updates that allow care teams to share patient status updates and memorable moments with real-time texts, pictures, and recorded videos. And, a customizable Parent Education Portal where hospitals can provide essential education and monitor parents’ progress on their infant’s path to discharge. These Solutions support care team workflows and give families a view into the treatment plan and progress their baby is making from any connected device.

Angel Eye is located in Nashville, Tennessee and Little Rock, Arkansas.  For more information, please visit