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VentriPoint Diagnostics' boss pumped up about firm's heart device

The device can give accurate and rapid volumetric information about all four chambers of the heart
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Ventripoint's technology allows analysis of all four chambers of the heart

Chief executive Dr George Adams has high hopes for his firm's ground-breaking heart diagnostic device the VMS Plus which will potentially revolutionize the way doctors treat heart patients.

The firm is VentriPoint Diagnostics (CVE:VPT) and the device can give accurate and rapid volumetric information about all four chambers of the heart - the whole heart.

All four chambers....

This is significant because it is the only technology in the world that can perform such an analysis of all four chambers using data from a conventional 2D (two dimensional) eco-cardiogram (in other words an ultrasound test).

The heart is of course a pump so when there is a problem it is not always easy to know where exactly the fault lies, so analysis of each chamber is essential.

Before VentriPoint's tech came along the only way to get ejection fraction data (in simple terms how the blood is moving) about all four chambers was to send someone off to have an MRI scan, but that of course doesn't always happen, is costly and time consuming, and as  Adams points out, not always particularly accurate because radiologist are not heart experts.

"They (the doctors) need numbers and they don't get the numbers ..," he tells Proactive.

Accuracy and precision...

"This is going to revolutionize the way people get treated because of its high accuracy and precision - equivalent to an MRI.”

So rather than the doctor trying to decipher the 2D ultrasound image, the VMS Plus gives hard data about the pump's function and deterioration rates, or improvements, which means the treatment can be much more accurate and fitting.

A graduate student 12 years ago at the University of Washington came up with the idea in principle - of knowledge based reconstruction, so it could present the same accuracy as an MRI.

VentriPoint licensed it in 2005 from the university and has been refining, funding and improving it since then and only recently reached the "all four chamber stage".

Cash to kick-start sales and marketing..

"Now, we're ready to go," says scientist and entrepreneur Adams, referring also to the recently raised  $3.36mln, which he says, will give it all the cash it needs to kick start the sales and marketing process.

He aims to hire three sales people, one responsible for International sales, another Latin America and the USA, and a third for Europe and Canada, where the device already has 'home country' approval.

By the end of this year, he says he would like to see 10 to 20 people or groups using the device, with half using it on a 'per use' basis, which is a model the firm is now moving towards.

In effect, the device will be rented out at a low monthly fee and VentriPoint gets paid each time it is used.

And the momentum is already gathering. Recently,  the firm has received three serious inquires - two from Canada and one from a major US hospital, says Adams.

Two seasoned sales people hired..

The group has now hired two seasoned sales executives. Brian Leck has been hired as vice-president of direct worldwide sales, while Mehran Mehrtash becomes vice-president, worldwide distributor sales.

It has also commissioned a market survey in Canada  to refine the positioning of the VMS-PLUS prior to formal marketing efforts in September.

The VMS is approved for right ventricle (RV) analysis in the United States, Canada and Europe, while the VMS-PLUS(TM) was recently approved in Canada for the other  three chambers.

Huge market potential...

Of course, it's extremely early days for this firm but the potential market for such a device is huge. There are 40mln eco-cardiograms performed  each year alone in the US, points out Adams.

At $100 a pop, that's $4bn of revenue going into the pot, of which VentriPoint reckons it can get 25%.

That would send the firm, which still has a market cap of only $25mln even after the fundraise, into orbit.

Adams says the group’s valuation is  still very low  for a company with approved products in a multi-billion dollar market.

Next on the horizon is to develop the device sufficiently to monitor 3D and 4D ultrasound images - something which big firms like Philips, Samsung and Simens have been working on for 15 years, says Adams, without success.

The other big market is cancer, he adds, explaining that the VMS technology would be able to accurately measure the size of a tumor, and whether it had shrunk or not.

"That's becoming very important because even now in the USA , you don’t get paid for doing a procedure any more in cancer, you get paid if you have a positive outcome," he notes.

So there's no doubt VentriPoint is at a critical point and at the start of  a potentially extremely exciting journey. It will be a very interesting stock to watch.

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