By David Godkin, Staff Writer
TORONTO – Think of it. More than 14,000 facilities boasting 98% of the largest hospital chains across the U.S., two-thirds of skilled nursing facilities and hospice organizations and doctors’ offices. It’s that broad customer base Kent Imaging Inc. will have access to following its Jan. 26 agreement with medical software and analytics giant Net Health Inc., helping to expand the footprint of Kent Imaging’s Snapshot device for assessing non-healing wounds, notably those arising from diabetes.
“The business of treating wounds is really tricky, anyone who’s doing it knows it’s a complex task,” Kent Imaging CEO Pierre Lemire told BioWorld. “Our goal is to have all Net Health customers adopting this technology because it can significantly impact their ability to treat patients, reducing complications and improving outcomes.”
Follow the light
Talk to any doctor treating a diabetic foot ulcer and you’ll learn two things: poor oxygenation makes it extraordinarily difficult for the wound to heal. Second there is an enormous lack, a clear, unmet need across the globe of appropriate, ongoing medical assessment of non-healing wounds. Too many doctors are hamstrung by a lack of insight into specific, non-healing wounds such as those that arise from diabetic neuropathy of the foot.
The agreement with Pittsburgh-based Net Health’s Tissue Analytics Inc. unit will marry its recently announced application-programming interface (API) with Kent Imaging’s Snapshot, which utilizes near-infrared light to determine how much tissue oxygen saturation has, or has not occurred, in a wound. There are many ways to treat diabetic foot ulcers, for example, but absent a better way to understand this, doctors don’t know which therapy to use at any stage of wound development.
The answer, said Lemire, comes courtesy of a simple biological principle: Whenever a molecule encounters light, properties within that molecule determine how much of that light is absorbed and how much is reflected. The trick in wound care is to know what happens when oxygenated and de-oxygenated hemoglobin contained in tissue respond to light. Hence the development of Snapshot, said Lemire.
“We use different bandwidths of light, primarily near-infrared light and based on how that light is reflected from the tissue we can determine how much oxygenated and de-oxygenated hemoglobin is in the tissue. This is critical for understanding tissue damage in diabetic foot ulcers, for example.”
Back in 2017 researchers were wrestling with another problem, one shared, curiously enough, with Apple. The same properties of light that impeded the performance of the Apple Watch worn by people with darker skin or tattoos made it difficult for researchers at Calgary, Alberta-based Kent Imaging to build an imaging device for wound and tissue oxygenation measurement for the same group.
Today’s Snapshot is a major upgrade of the hand-held device that solved that problem in 2017, the KD203 multispectral imaging device. It measures the percentage of hemoglobin carrying oxygen along smaller blood vessels to the wound site, as distinct from pulse oximetry which measures oxygenation of much larger carrier vessels, but not of the surrounding tissues.
A brighter path to prosperity
It’s that kind of targeted efficacy and sales revenue backstopping continued development of the device that earned the attention. Kent Imaging’s Snapshot device measures the percentage of hemoglobin carrying oxygen along the smaller blood vessels and veins to the diabetic wound site.
©2021 BioWorld. Reprinted with permission from Clarivate.