Tokyo (September 14, 2020) – Konica Minolta, Inc. (Konica Minolta) has partnered with University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Benioff Children’s Hospitals to support an initiative helping newborns in response to the COVID-19 crisis. Konica Minolta is providing handheld transcutaneous bilirubin1 meters to UCSF Newborn Telemedicine Program enabling remote newborn jaundice2 assessment and management.
Konica Minolta launched the world’s first non-invasive Jaundice Meter in 1980, which can be measured by flashing light on the chest or forehead without sampling blood from newborn. The latest model, JM-105, displays the level of jaundice2 by bilirubin1 concentration corelative value in the blood. Since it reduces the number of blood sampling, it has attracted attention in the world, and has contributed to the promotion of transcutaneous bilirubin measurement in neonatal care worldwide.
JM-105, a Jaundice Meter, is sold under the Dräger brand worldwide except in Japan, Taiwan and China. Dräger is Konica Minolta’s strategic partner on promotion and academic activities for product development of Jaundice Meters as a legal manufacturer.
In the UCSF Neonatal Telemedicine Program, parents of newborns at high risk of jaundice complications will be given transcutaneous bilirubinometers for home jaundice monitoring during the first week of life and UCSF will collect and analyze the data to improve the Program. Konica Minolta’s transcutaneous bilirubin meters will be used in a clinical trial that UCSF is launching to evaluate the effectiveness of a telemedicine program.
Konica Minolta, a leading manufacturer of non-invasive hyperbilirubinemia screening devices for newborns commonly known as Jaundice Meter, has partnered with UCSF to support the Telemedicine program by loaning devices to UCSF for home use and evaluation.
“We are excited about the opportunity to collaborate with UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals and to assist in developing new solutions for UCSF’s patients,” said Kiyotaka Fujii, Senior Vice President and Executive Officer, Division President of Healthcare Business Headquarters, Konica Minolta, Inc. “We are looking forward to assessing the results of this trial and for expanded future collaborations.”
The partnership has been made available through a collaboration between the Konica Minolta Business Innovation Center - North America (BIC-US), located in Silicon Valley, and Dr. Seth Bokser, a Professor of Pediatrics at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals. Dr. Bokser is a long-term HealthCare Advisory Council member of BIC-US and the leading PI on the Telemedicine Program.
JP Parmley, Vice President of the BIC-US said “The opportunity to assist UCSF with their clinical trial not only will produce valuable feedback to improve the telemedicine program, but could also lower the risk of COVID-19 and other infection spread by minimizing the need for parents and newborns to return to the healthcare facility.”
In response to the COVID-19 crisis, UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals, with support from the UCSF Foundation, rapidly implemented a telemedicine program to perform the standard of care post-nursery-discharge visit within 48 hours of discharge. This program has provided convenient, connected care for mothers and newborns during the time of the pandemic and will continue to expand through and beyond the COVID-19 crisis. This newborn telemedicine program has been implemented at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospitals in San Francisco and Oakland.
UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals will undertake a clinical study to determine the effectiveness of the telemedicine program for mothers and newborns and specifically to evaluate measures of process, equity, and outcomes to improve the program and share lessons learned.
The Konica Minolta Group will continue to look into ways and provide support for communities and people on the frontline of COVID-19.
1: A yellow pigment that is formed when red blood cells (hemoglobin) in the blood decompose and is normally metabolized by the liver. High concentrations of bilirubin often cause damage to cerebral nerve cells.
2: A phenomenon in which a newborn's skin turns yellow in the first few days after birth. It is found in most newborns and usually disappears after 1 to 2 weeks of age, but early pathologic treatment may occur if pathological jaundice can cause brain damage.