Imagine the threat from a diabetic ulcer that covers two toes and the entire bottom of a patient’s foot. Or the pain, discomfort, and danger caused by a bedsore larger than a salad plate. Or the anguish that an explosion victim feels from the raw burns covering his shoulders and chest.
Chronic wounds like these are life-threatening. They can take months and even years to heal. They require multiple, regular visits to doctors and hospitals. Bacteria can invade in a heartbeat and infection is always a risk.
Med-Compliance IQ, a Columbus startup with leading-edge technology licensed from The Ohio State University, is delivering an efficient and exciting new way to improve treatment for chronic wound patients and for the physicians and nurses who treat them.
Chronic Wound Treatment Depends on Visually Comparing Changes Over Time
In 2015, more than 6,500,000 patients suffering from 8,500,000 chronic wounds received treatment in the U.S. The treatment regimen involves weekly physician or hospital visits over months to have the wound examined and assessed as it heals (or doesn’t).
The process seeks to be very precise but medical professionals face challenges.
That’s because chronic wound treatment depends on visually evaluating how the wound has changed from one visit to the last—the color, the depth, area, and shape of the wound’s edges.
“Doctors look at the skin tissue texture and color and the area and depth of the wound and are especially interested in the progress and changes since the previous examination,” said Gary Ross, Founder and CEO of Med-Compliance IQ.
As blood vessels bring blood and oxygen, the site will turn reddish to pink. A little red means healing—too much could indicate infection. New skin will form and begin to pull the site back together. Scar tissue will form. A reduction in the overall area of the wound—even tiny—can be a good sign. No decrease in size is not good news. Progress can be slow. Infection can come fast.
“Nurses use rulers and swabs to measure the wound and, in some cases, are writing down measurements,” he said. “This is slow, sometimes inaccurate, and is not easy on the nurse or the patient. The calculation of the area is a square area and not a planimetric or true area of the wound as wounds are typically irregular in shape and have jagged edges.”
WoundWise IQ Improves and Saves Lives Through Better Capture and Analysis of Wound Data
WoundWise IQ is a system that improves all of this, and it’s fast! It has three components—mobile capture, cloud-based data storage and analysis, and an intuitive interface for nurses and physicians. The hosted operation is HIPAA compliant.
“Once we capture the image, we have an algorithm that measures the exact area of the wound and skin characteristics and the associated changes and trends from past visits,” Ross said. “What’s most amazing about this product, is it can not only prevent amputations, but it also can help save someone’s life.”
Med-Compliance IQ is planning to enter pilots with beta customers in first quarter and has received concept stage investment, from Rev1 and others.
“We are a startup, trying to solve a very important problem,” said Ross, who has founded and led multiple technology companies. “99 percent of our investors are from central Ohio which I believe says something to the vibrancy of the startup market here, and being fueled by Rev1 and the State of Ohio.”
Med-Compliance IQ started all of this by building a powerful team about a year ago.
“It’s an awesome team,” Ross said, “with the inventors of the algorithm and the developer of our product, and an Advisory Board made up of world-renowned physicians and Ohio State inventors, plus local business and technology leaders and health care industry experts. When we succeed, it will be in large measure due to this team and their commitment.”
With a CEO and CTO with commercialization experience, a product team that has developed and applied breakthrough patent-pending technology, and a team of physicians who are internationally recognized authorities in the treatment of chronic wounds, Med-Compliance IQ is positioned to improve the quality of life and patient care by providing better tools to physicians and nurses.
Ultimately, WoundWise IQ can help reduce the $1.7B annually that it costs to treat patients who suffer from chronic wounds.