Hyperfine, Inc. and SEKISUI KYDEX have joined forces to address sustainability in the medical device industry.
Bloomsburg, PA, USA—January 30, 2024—Hyperfine, Inc. and SEKISUI KYDEX have joined forces to address sustainability in the medical device industry.
The journey began in early 2015 when Hyperfine, Inc. incorporated KYDEX® Thermoplastics into early prototypes of their Swoop® system. The Swoop system, FDA-cleared in 2020, is the world's first portable ultra-low-field MR brain imaging system capable of providing brain imaging at multiple points of care. This design addresses the limitations of current imaging technologies and aims to bring MR brain imaging within reach, reflecting the dedication of Hyperfine, Inc. to solving critical issues in the medical industry. This partnership has now expanded to embrace sustainability, with early Swoop prototype and research system housings being recycled in cooperation with SEKISUI KYDEX and their in-house recycling center, Ultra-Poly, showcasing how medical device and materials companies can champion a greener future.
Hyperfine, Inc. measures success beyond clinical achievements—it prioritizes its environmental footprint and aims to do so in the context of industry-leading fast iteration and innovation in the medical device capital equipment sector. Consequently, due to the growing number of prior generation prototypes built during the system’s rapid development iterations and retired research systems, they sought a partner committed to the entire life cycle of the Swoop system’s PVC housing, ensuring the material stays out of landfills. With few industry examples to lean on, Hyperfine, Inc. proactively established relationships with suppliers, vendors, and other resources, creating a recycling program for the Swoop system.
In 2022, Hyperfine, Inc. took significant strides by initiating efforts to collect outdated prototype and research system housings for recycling. Leveraging their existing relationship with SEKISUI KYDEX, Clara Dewey, a mechanical engineer for Hyperfine, Inc., reached out to discuss their in-house recycling program with Ultra-Poly. Clara described their journey: "At first, it seemed like a daunting task with no examples to follow, but SEKISUI KYDEX and Ultra-Poly were instrumental in simplifying the process."
SEKISUI KYDEX has long embraced sustainability by recycling KYDEX® materials. As a result of their in-house recycling and partnership with Ultra-Poly, they are currently recycling over 20 million lbs. of regrind annually. Their collaboration with Hyperfine, Inc. marks a milestone, with housings from used medical devices finding new life through recycling and avoiding landfill waste. Mark Denning, Medical Market Business Manager for SEKISUI KYDEX, emphasized their dedication: "We don’t want these housings to be discarded in a landfill when we can recycle them. The Hyperfine, Inc. initiative to return retired housings enables a full life cycle."
In an era where "greenwashing" is a common practice—empty talk about sustainability with no tangible action—the proactive attitude of Hyperfine, Inc. sparked a collaboration focused on sustainable solutions. This partnership exemplifies how medical device companies can positively impact the environment. Clara reinforced their enthusiasm about the future: "We're excited about the prospect of being a medical device company focused on bettering the world and showing it is possible to achieve sustainability success on top of our clinical success."
In the grand scheme of industry practices, it's worth noting that the development and research-related waste generated by Hyperfine, Inc. is consistent with that typically seen in medical device companies and other innovative industries. However, what sets Hyperfine, Inc. apart is its proactive approach to addressing this waste and ensuring sustainability long before commercial systems begin to reach the end of life.
Though their relationship spans almost a decade, the recycling partnership is still in its early stages. Hyperfine, Inc. has developed an in-house program to disassemble retired Swoop prototype and research systems for recycling. They collect and forward the housings to SEKISUI KYDEX South Campus in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania. There, Ultra-Poly grinds and pulverizes the housings, creating resin that offers these materials a second life in new applications.
As this collaboration gains momentum, Hyperfine, Inc. and SEKISUI KYDEX are committed to expanding recycling efforts and exploring additional sustainability initiatives. Their shared vision of a greener future sets a positive example for the medical device industry. Hyperfine, Inc. and SEKISUI KYDEX demonstrate how companies can integrate responsible manufacturing practices into groundbreaking medical advancements. Their dedication to sustainability inspires hope for a better planet and encourages other organizations to follow suit, nurturing a more sustainable and environmentally conscious future.
About Hyperfine, Inc. and the Swoop® Portable MR Imaging® System
Hyperfine, Inc. (Nasdaq: HYPR) is the groundbreaking medical technology company that has redefined brain imaging with the Swoop® system—the world’s first FDA-cleared, portable, ultra-low-field, magnetic resonance brain imaging system capable of providing imaging at multiple points of care. The Swoop® system received initial U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clearance in 2020 as a portable magnetic resonance brain imaging device for producing images that display the internal structure of the head where a full diagnostic examination is not clinically practical. When interpreted by a trained physician, these images provide information that can be useful in determining a diagnosis. The Swoop® system has been approved for brain imaging in several countries, including Canada and Australia, has UKCA certification in the United Kingdom, CE certification in the European Union, and is also available in New Zealand.
The mission of Hyperfine, Inc. is to revolutionize patient care globally through transformational, accessible, clinically relevant diagnostic imaging and data solutions. Founded by Dr. Jonathan Rothberg in a technology-based incubator called 4Catalyzer, Hyperfine, Inc. scientists, engineers, and physicists developed the Swoop® system out of a passion for redefining brain imaging methodology and how clinicians can apply accessible diagnostic imaging to patient care. Traditionally, access to costly, stationary, conventional MRI technology can be inconvenient or not available when needed most. With the portable, ultra-low-field Swoop® system, Hyperfine, Inc. is redefining the neuroimaging workflow by bringing brain imaging to the patient’s bedside. For more information, visit hyperfine.io.
Hyperfine, Swoop, and Portable MR Imaging are registered trademarks of Hyperfine, Inc.
About SEKISUI KYDEX
SEKISUI KYDEX innovates and creates sustainable thermoplastic material solutions for the next generation of product design. SEKISUI Chemical’s corporate commitment to Speed, Service, and Superiority is realized through the KYDEX® Thermoplastics’ business model of manufacturing bespoke materials with short lead times in small quantities. This Quick Response Manufacturing (QRM) model at three manufacturing campuses expands beyond thermoplastic sheet. The KYDEX® portfolio also includes injection molding resins, proprietary Infused Imaging™ technology, integral special effects, unique textures, and custom products and design. The SEKISUI KYDEX appLab™ and designLab® Innovation Centers are collaborative spaces for clients and customers to bring the supply chain together for rapid prototyping and design development. These spaces are the bridge between engineering and art. More than 300 dedicated professionals in Bloomsburg, PA, and Holland, MI, working with a global network of sales and distribution partners, are committed to delivering more than their customers can imagine. Visit www.kydex.com for more information.