Written by Kymberlie McNicholas, Founder of The Way to My Heart
“We can’t efficiently reach the 34 million Americans with diabetes in time to prevent avoidable complications like diabetic wounds, without rethinking our way forward,” explains Adrianna Cantu, Revealix Founder/CEO.
As part of our ongoing Vascular Innovation Series in conjunction with The Way to My Heart, Emmy Award-winning Journalist Kym McNicholas interviews Revealix Founder/CEO Adrianna Cantu.
Limb loss due to complications from diabetes and PAD is a burdensome and growing global epidemic. Prevention is paramount to stopping this disturbing trend. Strategies that block the formation of ulcers, 25% of which will lead to amputation, is one approach. Many innovators are developing thermal sensor technologies that can be used not only by clinicians in the office but also by patients at home. One example of how this technology can be applied is in diagnostic mats to stand on, currently being developed by Podimetrics. Another example is attaching a thermal camera to a smartphone or tablet to evaluate a wound, such as is being developed by Revealix. Revealix Founder/CEO explains in this week’s Vascular Spotlight that there is room for multiple players to tackle this problem. She says that, as the market is sizable, it’s critical to have options that meet everyone’s needs in order to create mass adoption and reduce amputations.
What is the story behind the technology? Where did it originate?
I’ve been on the frontlines as a longtime executive in industry and a board-certified wound specialist. In some ways, the Revealix origin story is really just an evolution of my professional career. Early in my career as a clinician, I built a solid foundation of knowledge, pattern recognition and clinical expertise working directly with patients. Years later as a senior executive, I led a distributed team of clinicians where we were able to impact so many. This experience showed me the limits of trying to impact more and more patients, through hiring more and more clinical experts. The sobering reality is that clinical experts are greatly outnumbered by chronic wounds. We built our technology to scale that clinical pattern recognition and clinical expertise. We are challenging convention — we’re taking a cloud-down strategy. That’s how I believe we’re going to reach the masses. We can’t efficiently reach the 34 million Americans with diabetes in time to prevent avoidable complications like diabetic wounds, without rethinking our way forward.
What need does it address?
It’s hard to understate the enormity of the problem and the growing burden that diabetic limb complications place upon our healthcare systems, our clinical teams and most importantly, patients and their caregivers. Preventable diabetic limb complications are a leading cause of emergency department and inpatient hospital admissions. These patients often require some of the longest inpatient stays due to wound infection or even worse, amputation. At discharge, wound care patients could face ~5-8 months of outpatient or home health to reach closure. And still, even at wound closure, many will go on to re-ulcerate. This complicated journey to preserve limb health costs the US healthcare system nearly $79 billion each year. What’s astonishing is that 85% of these amputations were the result of a preventable diabetic foot wound. Said differently, we are spending 85% of our time, effort, and resources trying valiantly to save people’s limbs and lives, AFTER the wound, is present.
What is the potential for patient impact?
Our goal at Revealix is to make this data super simple to capture and to share right from the point-of-care. In this way, providers and their patients can readily capture, review and visualize thermal signatures as part of their routine foot assessments. We think this can positively impact patients in 2 ways:
- Help identify risk in the foot and lower limb. Routine temperature monitoring is a well- recognized way to identify and track impending inflammatory foot conditions such as diabetic foot wounds, infection or other acute conditions (e.g., a Charcot episodes).
- Improve patient participation in their own care self-care. Early indications are that patients are engaged when their provider uses Revealix. In fact, some patients asked clinicians for Revealix the imaging and asked what steps they can take to avoid wounds (or deterioration).
Where is the technology in development and what is next for the company?
We currently have Podiatry, Primary and Wound Care practices enrolled in our private beta program and who are using Revealix with their patients. We’re getting positive feedback from these users and, in fact, we’ve been told it’s a ‘game changer’ for podiatry. This is certainly an exciting time for our team. Next up for Revealix is our public launch. Stay tuned!
How can patients or advocates get involved?
Go to our website – www.revealix.com and join our waitlist to get early access or leave a message through the intake form. We love to hear directly from patients and providers on how we can support your diabetic foot health goals. If you’d like to connect with me directly, please send a direct message to me via: Twitter, LinkedIn, or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Anything else we should know?
I’d like to call attention to the plight of the communities of color who are disproportionately impacted by diabetic limb complications. They experience amputation rates nearly 33-43% higher than that of other similar but White cohorts. In addition, patients who are socioeconomically disadvantaged (e.g., on Medicaid) are also at higher risks for amputation vs similar patient cohorts on Medicare. To reach our most vulnerable and underserved patient populations and to improve quality of services overall, we have taken a new approach. If this is you, and our focus aligns with your goals, all I ask is… how can we help?
This interview was produced by The Way To My Heart in partnership with Vascular Cures. Neither The Way To My Heart nor Vascular Cures endorse any specific products, entrepreneurs, companies, organizations, drug or device trials, and/or healthcare professionals, including diagnosis or treatment programs. The information, advice, and views shared in this interview are that of the individual speakers and are offered for educational and informational purposes only.
This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Don’t act on any information provided in this interview without the explicit consent of your own healthcare provider who knows your situation best.
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