Houstonians have been lauding the city’s economic diversity for months as the Bayou City has continued to feel the effects of low oil prices. Specifically, business leaders and economists have pointed to the health care and biotech industries as the lifeboat for the city’s downturn.

Money is not the most important thing in life. Time is. And if you think this is a platitude, you should spend a day in the shoes of the practicing physician who is trying to make the world better. Not only by his or her patient contacts, but by conceiving, nurturing and ultimately bringing to market technologies that — with intelligence, grit and a bit of luck — will impact larger numbers of patients than one will ever meet in an entire career.

Saranas, a Houston medical device company, expects to announce this week that it has raised $2.35 million to further develop a souped-up sheath that can detect blood leaks caused by catheters in real time. The funding came from existing investors, including members of the GOOSE Society, such as Vanguard Ventures co-founder Jack Gill, and Houston Angel Network members.

While catheter-based interventional procedures have major advantages, there’s always a chance that a vessel can get ruptured when introducing the sheath through which instruments are snaked to the treatment site. Undetected, this kind of bleeding can have serious consequences for patients, sometimes even leading to death. A new device from Saranas, a Houston, Texas firm, may soon be commonplace in cath labs for detecting bleeding due to ruptured vessels.

Product innovator Cambridge Consultants has been chosen by Texas biomedical start-up Saranas to help develop an early-warning system for bleeding complications during interventional catheter-based procedures. The device is aimed at medical procedures requiring access to a blood vessel – such as transcatheter aortic valve replacements (TAVRs), where the femoral artery is used to gain access to the heart.

This year about 20 million patients in the U.S. will undergo a procedure in which a doctor will thread a catheter into a blood vessel to treat a cardiac ailment, say, or provide dialysis or chemotherapy. But in five percent of these “vascular-access procedures,” the catheter accidentally punctures the vessel, causing a slow leak of blood that can be hard to detect—but which can wind up wreaking havoc. Houston medtech startup Saranas says it’s developed a device that can detect the bleeding within a matter of minutes.

The Houston Technology Center (HTC) has just revealed the winners of its 2013 Goradia Innovation Prize. This event of recognition, in collaboration with Opportunity Houston, awards nearly $150,000 in cash during the 2013 Innovation Conference and Showcase to individual finalists and starting companies that have yet to largely commercialize their innovations in the Texas Gulf Coast region. The winners are selected based on their discovery’s commercial potential, a sound business plan, potential to contribute to local job growth, and likelihood of success in the long run.

The Ken Kennedy Institute for Information Technology (K2I) is dedicated to the advancement of research in the fields of computing, data science and information technology. Our goal is to provide broad support for a strong community of research experimentation that challenges traditional disciplinary limits.