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April 29, 2019

MSU medical student's invention brings mobile devices into sterile settings

Doctors can now have access to critical information on their smartphones without compromising hospital health codes. A student from Michigan State University’s College of Osteopathic Medicine officially launched CleanCase, the first device-specific, fully FDA-compliant product that allows surgeons to safely bring mobile devices into the sterile surgical field.

Surgeons bring mobile devices into the surgical field for two main reasons: to capture media for medical records and to use mobile medical applications. The CleanCase cover, developed with investment from Red Cedar Ventures and Quantum Medical Concepts, uses patented technology so that surgeons can have full mobile device functionality without endangering patient safety.

“The CleanCase is a first-of-its-kind product that will empower physicians to use the best and latest medical technology on their mobile devices, without ever compromising safety,” said Rob Zondervan, PhD, chief executive officer at SteriDev, LLC, the Lansing-based medical device company that developed the technology. “Health care mobile applications are developing at a remarkable rate and in the hands of a great physician, they can make a real difference in the care of patients.”

Currently, mobile applications are improving the delivery of health care in non-sterile settings, but the CleanCase mobile device cover expands their usage into sterile environments so surgical patients can also benefit, said Zondervan, who is also a medical student at MSU's College of Osteopathic Medicine.

The CleanCase cover is built with a combination of established operating room techniques and new technologies that use a removable sleeve through which the device is passed. Once the mobile device is secured in the device-specific case, the sleeve is removed, and the case is closed and ready to use. The case is made of rigid plastic which features a touchscreen face and an unobstructed camera window, making the mobile device fully functional, protected and easy to manipulate, especially through gloved hands.

Zondervan, who has over a decade of clinical and academic medical experience, came up with the idea when assisting during an operation. In addition to his leadership role at SeriDev, he also serves as the Spartan Innovations Senior Fellow, providing medical advice to start-up companies.

"We are so proud of SteriDev's recent momentum and that we are able to celebrate this milestone achievement," said Jeff Wesley, executive director, Red Cedar Ventures. "From the company's launch to the development of its groundbreaking product to FDA approval of CleanCase, Rob and his team are taking SteriDev to the next level."

Launched in 2016, Red Cedar Ventures has deployed more than $3.5 million in pre-seed and follow-on capital into MSU-based startups and licensed technologies. Those dollars have gone on to be leveraged, raising over $100 million in outside venture capital.

"Startups are challenging," Wesley said. "I admire anyone with the grit and determination to take an idea and forge it into a reality. Watching Rob balance the challenges of a startup with the rigors of a medical residency — that's a feat. We're honored to invest in this Spartan startup team."

For more information about the CleanCase sterile mobile cover, please visit

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