This is a ground-breaking time in medical technology, and nowhere are the break throughs more evident than at the MedTech Innovator Showcase & Accelerator event.
At MedTech’s annual Showcase & Accelerator program, the 50 most innovative medtech startups from around the world are featured. The selection process is demanding, with only 3% being accepted as finalists, and 25 of the 50 receiving a place in the four-month MedTech Innovator Accelerator virtual program.
In the final round, five industry finalists and five execution award finalists are chosen, with one of those being the year’s winner. This year, Sana Health earned that honor for a neuro-modulation device that integrates a heart rate variability sensor for personalized chronic pain management.
MedTech Innovator has a vast and supportive network of industry-leading partners that help provide unparalleled resources and guidance to the most innovative startups in medical technology. Its founding partners are Johnson & Johnson and RCT Ventures. And annual program partners are AdvaMed, Amgen, Baxter, BD, BTG, EdgeOne Medical, Fujikura Ltd., Grant Thornton, Health + Commerce, Hoya Corp., MedTech Strategist, NIPRO Medical Corp., Nordson Medical, Olympus Medical Systems Group, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, W.L. Gore & Associates, Inc., and Ximedica.
We’re happy bring news of these breakthroughs to you by featuring the companies and products that were highlighted at the Showcase & Accellerator program this year. Here they are:
Industry Competition Finalists
Sana Health is developing a non-invasive neuro-modulation device that integrates a heart rate variabil-ity (HRV) sensor to treat patients with severe chronic pain. The Sana Sleep Mask, comprising a mask with ear buds, is worn when the user is ready for bed and pulses specific algorithms of light and sound to effect neuromodulation. With a skin-contact HRV sensor built into the forehead area, the device is designed to monitor minor fluctuations in a patient’s nervous system for tailored audio-visual stimulation to the nervous system’s unique responses to help patients achieve a deep, natural state of relaxation and reduce pain levels quickly.
Ablacare is developing a minimally invasive device and procedure to treat Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) related infertility. The one-time device uses an ultrasound-guided approach and aims to replace Ovarian Drilling (OD), a safe and effective, yet rarely performed, approach that corrects hormonal imbalances by destroying ovarian tissue, which often results in spontaneous ovulations and pregnancy. Compared to current options, Ablacare’s procedure in development is less invasive, less costly, less labor-intensive, and would not require a referral, as it can be performed by surgeons, reproductive endocrinologists, and general OB-GYNs alike.
Tricuspid Regurgitation (TR), a disorder that occurs in patients with heart failure due to dilation of the tricuspid valve, affects 550,000 people annually. Current medical therapies for TR are ineffective, and surgery is associated with high operative mortality, therefore performed only in 5% of patients. CroiValve is developing a minimally invasive device to repair the tricuspid valve and reduce re-gurgitation in high risk patients without the need for surgery. The device is designed to sit across the native valve and is held in place by a non-penetrating anchoring system to facilitate simple and predictable delivery using conventional techniques for improved clinical and economic outcomes.
Heart Failure (HF) is the second cause of death in the G20 countries. FineHeart is developing the ICOMS, a hybrid system that combines a Pacemaker and a Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD) designed to offer patients a new way to manage heart failure disease. Unlike other LVADs, the implantable ICOMS device does not involve heart bypass surgery, allowing for the preservation of innate heart contraction by implanting the device in a patient’s beating heart, a mini-surgical procedure that requires only a thoracotomy and two small incisions. Described as an electrical bicycle of the heart, the ICOMS will propel blood to support the native cardiac contraction by accelerating the blood at every beat with no external wiring, reducing the risk of severe infections and providing patients with an improved quality of life.
An estimated 40-45% of the 30 million Americans who have diabetes will contract diabetic retinopathy, an asymptomatic disease that causes rapid vision loss, but is treatable if detected early. Less than 40 percent of diabetics receive their mandatory annual eye screening due to cost, inefficiency, and lack of specialist availability. Spect is developing the EyeLogic platform, a point-of-care device intended to provide diabetics with a 15-second vision screening for no additional cost by bringing the eye exam to the primary care doctor’s office. The platform combines proprietary hardware with a machine-learning algorithm to capture high-quality images of the retina using a smartphone attachment for instant analysis and diagnostic capabilities.
Execution Award Finalists
AtaCor Medical is developing a novel pacing system that will deliver temporary and permanent bradycardia pacing therapy without the need for vascular access or device placement within or on the heart. The implant procedure uses a custom delivery tool and can be performed within five minutes by eliminating the need for fluoroscopically-guided lead placement in the heart or veins and allowing physicians to rapidly deploy pacing therapy in the patient’s existing bed location. Current cardiac pacemakers inevitably involve invasion of the vasculature and heart, with significant short- and long-term complications. AtaCor’s pacing lead is designed to reside in the tissue above the heart and can be inserted without medical imaging, reducing the time to deliver treatment for patients and saving cost for hospitals.
Ablation success in Longstanding Atrial fibrillation
Atrial Fibrillation (AF) is the most common heart rhythm disorder in the world, and treating patients with long-standing persistent atrial fibrillation (LSPAF) is expensive, time-consuming, and most often ineffective, significantly increasing the risk of stroke in patients. AuriGen is developing a cardiac implant designed to electrically and physically isolate the left atrial appendage (LAA), a leading source of arrhythmia generation, making it the first minimally invasive implant that would reduce both arrhythmia and stroke risk in patients with long-standing AF.
Percu Sense aims to improve outcomes and reduce the cost of sepsis, the primary diagnosis in more than 1.2 million hospitalizations in the U.S. The company’s device, SIRSDx, is being developed for the early identification and treatment of sepsis to prevent its progression in patients. The low-cost, minimally invasive sensor device is designed to continuously measure lactate, glucose, tissue oxygenation, tissue perfusion and temperature to enable rapid feedback for therapy optimization in a disease where time is critical, thus improving sepsis mortality and saving patient lives. The device can be placed on at-risk patients not only in the hospital, but also in ambulatory settings for early monitoring and diagnosis of sepsis risk.
Ear infections occur in four out of five children, yet care providers have had no choice but to make subjective diagnoses based largely on the surface appearance of the eardrum due to outdated technology, and resulting in misdiagnoses of up to 50%, over-prescription of antibiotics, and unnecessary or delayed surgeries. PhotoniCare’s handheld ear imaging tool uses an advanced light-based technology designed to see through the eardrum and into the middle ear. The non-invasive imaging technology is similar to the ultrasound, except that it uses near-infrared light waves instead of sound waves to provide 3D views inside living tissue to eliminate guesswork, replacing subjective diagnosis with objective data.
Pneumonics is developing PneuMotion, a respiratory monitor for the detection of opioid-induced ventilation impairment, a serious and potentially lethal adverse side effect of prescription opioids. The sensor device is specifically designed to detect an airway obstruction, a critical sign of impending opioid overdose, by monitoring a patient’s breath sounds and diaphragm motion. When critical parameters are met, an immediate alert would be sent to a care provider’s mobile device, facilitating early life saving intervention. The PneuMotion platform was developed to merge with the hospital’s existing network infrastructure, allowing mobile alerts, EMR integration and opioid-use data collection for a cost effective and reliable solution to opioid safety in hospitals.
Emovi stands for Emotion, Movement, Vision. The company develops solutions to better assess and treat human joints. It has completed the development of the KneeKG, a proprietary and innovative weight-bearing 3D High-Tech Dynamic Knee Assessment tool for patients. This non-invasive tool provides objective kinematic information critical to diagnosing a specific pathologic pattern and developing a focused treatment strategy to restore optimal knee function. The KneeKG or “Knee Kinesiography”, transforms the knee care pathway, enhance patients’ care, maximizing their satisfaction and reducing costs. KneeKG is now present in eight countries with thousands of satisfied patients and is FDA cleared, HPB approved (Canada) and CE marked.