Crafting a prototype for success

December 10, 2020

Pete Sandor holding the ClearView Tracheostomy Trainer

Like many great entrepreneurial success stories, it began with solving a problem for Pete Sandor `97, MHS `01, MBA `20. The physician assistant and Quinnipiac adjunct professor needed a way to teach colleagues how to safely care for tracheostomized patients.

Sandor wanted to make sure that his colleagues at Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center in Hartford knew how to care for these patients.

“People don’t think much about it,” Sandor said, “but if you make a mistake with a tracheostomy, it’s life-threatening.”

Sandor never imagined the simple teaching model he crafted from hardware store parts would lead to the founding of ClearView Simulation, a company that is revolutionizing tracheostomy management and education.

“At first, I had no intention of building a company around it, but my colleagues kept telling me, ‘Pete, you really should patent this,’” he said.

So Sandor took the plunge. He began building his company and refining his prototype while earning his MBA in the health care management track at Quinnipiac. He credits the program with teaching him how to develop and implement a business strategy, as well as accounting and budgeting practices, key skills for a first-time entrepreneur.

“It really gave me the confidence and motivation I needed early on,” Sandor said.

Before long, he’d completed ClearView’s flagship product, the ClearView Tracheostomy Trainer. The anatomically correct simulator helps medical personnel visualize what happens inside and outside of a patient with a tracheostomy — a device surgically placed into the windpipe that provides an alternate airway for breathing.

“Our goal is to reduce complications related to tracheostomy mismanagement,” he said.

Sandor officially unveiled the ClearView Tracheostomy Trainer in January at the annual International Meeting on Simulation in Healthcare. He received positive feedback from several major health care companies, including Kaiser Permanente. In the ensuing months, a surge of COVID-19 patients who required tracheostomies — or experienced tracheostomy complications — increased the need for ClearView’s product. By July, the company enjoyed its first major sale, shipping 30 units to Medtronic, a global medical technology company.

Going forward, Sandor envisions ClearView Tracheostomy Trainers in the  offices of every ear, nose and throat specialist. He also sees them being used in the clinical education of first responders and emergency room caregivers.

“If I didn’t come to Quinnipiac, there’s no way I’d be where I am right now,” Sandor said. “It opened a path to opportunities I never thought were available.”

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