Dr. Bruce Levy, a Mayo Clinic orthopedic and sports medicine surgeon, and his wife Heather Levy have developed the first and only medical-grade privacy garment available that fully covers the genital area, allows procedural access, and meets strict FDA guidelines for use in the operating room and other healthcare settings. Dr. Levy discusses the issue of patient privacy and shares more about COVR Medical garments as well as tips to ensure patients feel comfortable.
Dr. Bruce Levy is an Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Surgeon at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester MN, one of the top-ranked orthopedic hospitals in the world. He completed his Fellowship at the Minneapolis Sports Medicine Center, his Orthopedic Surgical Residency at the Mayo School of Graduate Medical Education; and his Medical Degree at the University of Montreal. Dr. Levy is a Professor of Orthopedics, a published expert in knee and hip arthroscopy, a member of the Arthroscopy Association of North America, the American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine, and the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery.
Neal Howard: Welcome to this Health Supplier Segment here on Health Professional Radio. I’m
your host Neal Howard, thank you for joining us. We are going to have a conversation with Dr. Bruce Levy. He’s at the Mayo Clinic, he’s an orthopedic and sports medicine surgeon and he’s joining us on the program today to talk about modesty garments – one that he has developed – actually one of the first and only medical grade privacy garments available that fully cover the entire genital area. He’s going to talk with us about that and talk a bit about the industry of modesty garments and privacy. Thank you for joining us on the program today Doctor.
Dr. Bruce Levy: Thank you for having me.
Neal: Well as I said you’re at the Mayo Clinic, you’re a sports medicine surgeon. What about your background? Is that what you do exclusively in sports medicine?
Dr Levy: Yes. So basically my practice is related to sports medicine injuries and my focus is on hip and knee surgery.
Neal: You’ve developed a privacy garment or modesty garments. What are modesty garments for our listeners who may not be familiar with the term?
Dr Levy: Sure. So basically I do a lot of hip surgery and one of the operations I do is called a hip arthroscopy. And when we do that operation, patients are essentially spread-eagled and completely exposed in the operating room. And what we normally do is cover their genital areas with a blue towel and unfortunately, the blue towel is just completely inadequate. So put the blue towel on and the blue towel moves, blue towel is on the floor and I’m yelling at the residents “Blue towel! Blue towel!” And the blue towel is on the floor and there’s just no good way to sort of keep it in place.
Dr Levy: And so I found this quite frustrating, it didn’t feel right to me. And so I looked online and I couldn’t find any product that would essentially cover people’s genitals and give them some privacy and modesty during the procedure and still allow me access to the area to do the operation. And I came home to my wife Heather and I just said “We have to solve this problem.” There has to be something better than the blue towel that have a dual function – one, protect the patient’s privacy and two, give access to the medical providers to do the procedures around the groin. And so that’s basically the genesis of this modesty garment.
Neal: What you developed, you are calling COVR – is that an acronym for something?
Dr Levy: It’s just basically, we’re covering. Yeah, we thought that the COVR was a very sort of catchy 2016 term. Everybody short hands with Texas and tweets and such and it was actually my brother – my brother has a marketing company in Canada – and he was the one that came up with the name. This is an FDA regulated class 1 medical device and it was an incredible process to get something, to get the materials, get the testing and get this to meet all of the guidelines, all the FDA regulated guidelines for use in healthcare and medical centers and basically we had to go through allergy testing, cytotoxicity testing … this garment, our COVR garments meet all of the FDA regulations for any drape and gown that would be used in a hospital setting. And as you can imagine, that’s a lengthy process. The garments are not made with natural rubber latex, they’re also radiolucent and they meet all of the guidelines which are very strict as you know.
Neal: And what type of feedback are you getting in the ER from your colleagues as they work with this as well?
Dr Levy: Well the feedback, quite frankly, has been overwhelmingly positive. And not just from patients, but the patients’ families. And I tell you, we had a girl that traveled from quite far away, a younger teenager and we were doing her surgery and we introduced her to the COVR garment and asked her if she would want to wear this and the mom said “Well what do you normally do?” And we said “We normally, we do our best with the blue towel.” And the mom’s like “Well of course we want this.” So the families, the patients, the feedback has been really overwhelmingly positive. And what surprised us Neal, was it wasn’t just the patients and the families that this was important to. We found that the medical providers were also very happy to have this because there was a level of uncomfortableness on their part. So exposure is a big issue for everyone involved and if there’s a way for us to decrease their exposure and still give access to do the procedures and the surgeries, we feel that that’s our main value proposition.
Neal: I’m not familiar with how many procedures require a patient to spread-eagle. I always assumed that any procedure where you’re under anesthesia and you’re you’re naked would would have you exposed. I guess this garment is useful across the board on any type of surgery, unless the surgery is actually being done on the genitals themselves.
Dr Levy: Absolutely. And what what started with hip arthroscopy has now branched out to countless departments and countless procedures. So let’s say you are having vein ablation surgery or you are having a catheterization or a stem place in the Cath Lab or you are having kidney surgery or any operation around the hip, pelvis, groin area where the medical provider needs access to that area but not the actual genitals, you can be covered with the COVR medical garment.
Neal: When you say that it felt wrong to you, it felt like something needed to be done and you were talking with your wife Heather. Is she by the way a medical professional as you are?
Dr Levy: So my wife’s background is in medical sales and so she she worked 12 years in medical sales and she has extensive understanding of what’s needed in the operating room and it really became her passion to develop these products. So when we looked and found nothing, I mean it put a drive in her like there is no tomorrow. And everyday I would come home and there would be another cut and paste, cut and sewn something for me to put on and try on. And we went through a very extensive period where we tried all kinds of different prototypes until we finally found what we feel is the perfect garment. They’re super soft, there’s baby velcro, baby elastic materials. When people see them, they don’t understand how soft they are until they put them in their hands. And once they actually fee them and put them on, they just can’t believe how soft and comfortable the materials are. And so it really became her passion, I can remember saying “Well I think this is good.” And she’s like “No, it can’t be good. It has to be perfect.” And she was right and we really feel that we have a very innovative creative design now that is super super comfortable and obviously very well received by the patients and the staff.
Neal: Well where can we go online and get some more information about COVR?
Dr Levy: Well you can visit our website at covrmedical.com
Neal: Doctor, it’s been a pleasure talking with you and looking forward to maybe getting a sample and seeing how these things maybe work in action.
Dr Levy: Well I appreciate you having us on today Neal.
Neal: You have a great rest of the day and I’m hoping to talk with you again.
Dr Levy: Thank you so much, you too.
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