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The AHA! Moment.

After an incredibly frustrating tap, an AHA! moment struck for Dr. Alverson and Dr. D'Cruz.


Brian, a nationally recognized Hospitalist and Ravi, an ex-Architect turned Doctor, teamed up to solve the multiple challenges and stressors inherent in Infant Spinal Taps. Like all great ‘in the room’ stories, this one is best told first person.


Our mission is to increase the success rates and improve the experience during infant spinal tap procedures.


Meet the Team

The power of the SMöLTAP idea was self-evident to thought leaders from across clinical, operational, and patient experience domains. The project now enjoys the support, insight, and development expertise of a highly interdisciplinary team.

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Robert Cooper 


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Dr. Brian Alverson, MD

Co-founder & Clinical Advisor

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Dr. Ravi D’Cruz, MD  

Co-founder & Clinical Advisor


Dan Nelsen

CEO, Nelsen Product Development

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Aidan Petrie

Board Member  

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Eric Biondi, MD 

Board Member

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Tom Hutchison

Quality & Regulatory Expert

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Lydia Shin Schroter 

Business Advisor

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Maey Petrie 

Business Support

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Al Huang 

Product Development Support 


Sondra Pierson

Operations Manager

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Tom Hickey

VP Business Development


Dr.  Frances C. Regas

Science Advisory Board

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Embracing the smallest patients.

The word “smol” began as an internet meme that started circa 2018 as a web short-hand for “small.” In online parlance the word has come to mean not just small, but ‘adorably small’ in stature. It can relate to things, pets, people, and concepts, like SMöLTAP. We embrace its warm, welcoming sensibility to signal the transformative change we bring to a procedure with an outsize impact on our smallest patients.

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New England Medical
Innovation Center

New England Medical Center (NEMIC) is a Med Tech venture hub that provides expert support, education, funding connections, and specialized expertise to innovators and entrepreneurs in the medical technologies space. We support the growth of startups by connecting teams to SMEs, facilitating clinical access, and providing a creative, productive co-working space where they can transform their medtech ideas into fundable and sustainable solutions.

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The Charles H. Hood

The Charles H. Hood Foundation serves as a catalyst for positive change by funding emerging research that transforms the lives of children. By identifying innovative pediatric advancements and providing funding in the critical phases of development, we are able to expedite high-impact breakthroughs that improve the health and lives of millions.

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Brown Biomedical Innovations Impact Fund

The Brown Biomedical Innovations to Impact (BBII) fund is an academic accelerator fund dedicated to supporting academic biomedical technologies—with potential for high impact—to become well-defined product opportunities that are attractive to industry partners and investors. 

A collaboration between the Brown Technology Innovations group and the Division of Biology and Medicine, BBII achieves its goals by funding translational research projects, advising and coaching teams, managing consulting and research collaborators, and exploring commercial development opportunities as initiatives progress



We enjoy the early-stage backing of leading biomedical innovation investors from the region and the world.

your department.

Our mission is to increase 1st stick success rates and improve the infant spinal tap procedure experience - for all involved! We are actively working with teams across various departments including ED/ER, PICU, NICU, Cancer Centers, OR, Wards and IR.  If you are interested in learning more, please reach out via our “Contact Us” page!

Image by Daniel Thomas
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