In the last decade, just 4% of women-only investors were issued patents, while Michigan ranks 45th among states that issue patents to women. The founder and CEO of Grand Rapids-based SxanPro, Ashlea Souffrou, stands out as one of the few after her cutting-edge technology was awarded a patent in 2021 after more than two years of pending approval.
Souffrou secured a patent for SxanPro’s mobile scanning technology of unique device identification (UDI) barcodes for more than 3 million medical devices. SxanPro can extract data from the barcode including expiration date, lot number, reference number, product description and manufacturer.
In 2013, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration required manufacturers to put UDI barcodes on all medical devices to avoid medical errors resulting from misidentification or confusion surrounding the use of a device.
“We created an app that can scan that barcode … so that when we scan it, it gives you the visibility into the part number, the description, the manufacturer — all the data that hospitals currently rely on a multimillion-dollar inventory software system to use. So, what we try to do is create an easy-to-use, cost-effective tool that gives hospitals and surgery centers access to this data without needing a multimillion-dollar software system,” Souffrou said. “Hospital systems have very sophisticated inventory management systems, but they don’t capture expiration. So, (if) the product isn’t being used, it could sit there and expire.”
The technology also saves health care facilities and their supply chain systems countless hours of manual counting by effectively managing products and inventory from a mobile device while reducing waste by providing visibility of current stock and expiration dates.