At just 22 years old, Casey Grage ’19 became CEO of a startup set on revolutionizing neurosurgery. As an undergraduate, Grage earned a spot in NUvention Medical, a graduate-level course offered through the Farley Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation that challenges students to solve problems faced by physicians.
Grage’s team launched Hubly Surgical, and together they invented a lightweight neurosurgical drill that Grage says offers key advantages over conventional drills used to gain access to the brain in cases of stroke, aneurysm, trauma or other emergencies. The battery-powered Hubly Electric Drill System automatically stops upon breaking through the skull in order to prevent accidental drilling into the brain. The system offers catheter guidance, allowing surgeons to precisely place a catheter to drain fluid from the brain (a procedure known as a ventriculostomy). Grage says the Hubly drill is also easier for surgeons and can be used with just one hand. “That’s really important because when this procedure is done in an emergency setting, the patient is actually awake,” she says. “It’s helpful if the surgeon can place one hand on a patient’s shoulder to stabilize them as they drill into the skull.” Clinical trials of the Hubly drill are now underway.
Hubly Surgical recently won the $50,000 Human Health Prize at the Arizona State University Innovation Open.