FDA approval may mean big things for this small device

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FDA approval may mean big things for this small device
FDA approval may mean big things for this small device
Now that the Food & Drug Administration has approved Smith & Nephew's PICO device for the treatment of wounds, the firm is hoping the pocket-sized device delivers a big payoff.

The portable single-use negative pressure wound therapy can be used for acute and chronic wounds, high-risk surgical incisions and skin grafts. It consists of a disposable, one-button pump, attached to a dressing which allows for fluid to be absorbed through the dressing. Canisters are not needed and the dressing can be worn up to seven days.

The PICO unit costs about $180, the company says, which compares favorably to the $500 or $600 it costs for other negative pressure treatments. The device can be used at home or in a long-term care setting. The patient can change the dressing without the help of a nurse.

PICO is the most notable negative pressure wound therapy device to hit the market in the past few years. Negative pressure works by using gentle suction to drain chronic wounds and surgical incisions.

Negative pressure has become increasingly common. However, the application is often expensive and can require additional medical care. That helps explain why Smith & Nephew opted to use the small PICO unit to help break into the negative pressure device market. The company also has two other non-portable negative pressure devices that have been in use for more than four years.