Many patients in the US need to have a peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC) for long-term IV access. The indications for PICC line insertion include chronic infections, chemotherapy, or frequent blood draws. Patients usually go home with these PICC lines and are administered their treatment at an outpatient clinic. IV drug users (IVDU) are especially susceptible to blood stream infections and require PICC line placement when they are hospitalized for infectious conditions related to drug use. The main concern for these patients with a PICC line is abuse of the port access for drug use when they are at home, which is a major cause of morbidity and mortality for IVDUs.

What it does

The PICClip clamps around the IV access lines to passively deter patients from abusing their lines at home. In addition, it contains circuitry to measure the number of times the clip is removed, attached, removed, reattached, etc. It also measures the amount of time between removals. For example, if the patient removes the clip and does not reattach it, the device can distinguish this instance from an accidental removal.

How I built it

Solidworks was the main tool used to create a physical model of the PICC line and device. Ideally, there would be a very simple circuit inside the clip that detects when the device is closed (i.e. the contact points on either side of the clip are touching, completing the circuit), but a proof-of-concept model was created using an IFTTT applet. This applet would record the number of times a button is pressed (to mimic the removal of the clip) and display this information via SMS.

Challenges I ran into

  • Inherent design constraints of not being able to modify the PICC line itself
  • Figuring out how to identify PICC line tampering

- How to create a proof-of-concept with minimal coding knowledge or access to actual hardware

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

Creating an accurately size Solidworks model of a device that can be easily 3D printed Figuring out how to use IFTTT

What I learned

How to use IFTTT Design is hard

What's next for PICClip: Tamper-Evident IV Guard

3D print the physical clip Design the circuitry with the RFID module Device verification on a real PICC line Device validation with interventional radiology/internal medicine/home care and real patients

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