MESH Portfolio Company FastLine Aims to Make Placing Vascular Lines More Efficient

October 23, 20215 Minutes

Since 2016, the MESH Incubator has been helping clinicians with ideas iteratively prototype and accelerate their idea towards licensable intellectual property and new companies. FastLine is a company formed out of the MESH Innovation Teams Program (2020 cohort), with technology developed on-site in our prototyping laboratory, the MESH Device Accelerator. You can find them in our MESH Incubator Portfolio Companies and Technology Directory.

We caught up with the innovators behind FastLine below:

How did you come up with the idea?

Two of our co-founders, Hilary and Graham, are physicians who practice at MGH. Hilary, an anesthesiologist, frequently performs central line procedures. After witnessing multiple instances of iatrogenic injury from central line placements gone wrong, she thought ā€œthere has to be a better way to do this.ā€ After sharing the pain point with Graham while they were both on call, they started to research and ideate together. They found that 1 in 10 central line procedures result in mechanical complications thatĀ harm the patient, and that these complications cost over $2BN per year to manage. The addition of ultrasound has reduced the complication rate somewhat, but the procedural techniques and tools have largely remained unchanged for decades and was never designed to fully incorporate ultrasonic guidance. Recognizing the opportunity to innovate and improve patient outcomes, FastLine was born.

In a nutshell, what does your product do?
FastLine allows the user to perform all the steps of percutaneous access for central line placement with one hand using a consolidated single-hand device to improve the safety and efficiency of central line placement.

How did you find and form your team?
FastLine was formed through the MESH Innovation Teams program.

What progress have you made to date?
To date, weā€™ve created 14 prototypes, conducted over 30 interviews with both users and potential customers, been accepted to present at the American Society of Anesthesiologistsā€™ annual meeting, and been named semi-finalists for several upcoming med tech competitions. We are currently working on filing a patent.

What advice do you have for aspiring innovators?
Two pieces of advice. First, take advantage of the plentiful resources and opportunities that are available by virtue of being situated in a biotech hub. Not only will these open doors in terms of funding and feedback, but they will also energize and motivate your team to keep moving. Second, aim on finding solutions to problems rather than ways to build your idea. Problem-based design with inexpensive, rapidly iterated prototypes is usually more likely to generate a useful technology than a high-quality prototype of an idea that has not been thoroughly vetted and tested multiple times.

What role did the MESH Incubator play in your project?
The MESH incubator played a pivotal role for us. In addition to bringing our team together, MESH has also given us access to critical resources needed for our team to progress, such as a 3D printer for prototyping. MESH has also given us the opportunity to plug into a broader health care innovation ecosystem within Boston, including investors, clinicians, and founders.

The FastLine Team: April Anlage, Hilary Gallin (MGH anesthesia), Amy Hao, Graham Lieberman (MGH urology)


About MESH Innovation Teams

TheĀ Medically Engineered Solutions in Healthcare, Innovation Teams Program is a collaborative year-long program connecting Mass General Brigham clinicians to engineers, MBA candidates, and entrepreneurs to solve critical clinical problems. Collaborating with Harvard Innovation Labs, candidates will join a MESH Team and obtain real world experience and first-hand exposure to generating healthcare innovations and creating companies in the complex medical environment throughout the academic year. MESH provides team members with access to MGH and Harvard physicians, residents, faculty, experienced entrepreneurs, venture capital networking, and Mass General Brigham Innovation along with formal training courses in healthcare entrepreneurship with the ultimate goal of patenting innovations and/or forming start-up companies.Ā  To date, Innovation Teams has formed 9 companies and produced numerous intellectual property disclosures or patents.

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