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Guest blog post by: Expert Tech Blogger - The Clover Heart

Technological advancements have ushered in a new dawn of health and fitness, where tracking our well-being can be done via our smartphones and tablets. Today, we have thousands of health applications for Android and iOS devices that allow us to immediately count the calories we have burnt and the distance we have ran, walked or cycled. In a 2014 report entitled, mHealth App Developer Economics, it revealed that the worldwide revenue for mobile health app reached $2.4 billion in 2013, and they expect that it will grow to $26 billion by the end of 2017 But, apart from mobile applications, there are other health-related technologies that are also garner a lot of press within the tech domain. We have listed some of the buzz tech devices that you should seriously consider purchasing in the coming months.

Wearable devices

The demand for wearable devices is expected to skyrocket in the coming years, with the United States and Australia leading the way in commercial sales. Research firm Telsyte revealed in a report that the smartwatch market in Australia will exceed $400 million by 2018, replacing nearly 17 million smartphones as the go-to device for many consumers. The demand for wearable devices strengthens as it promises to provide accurate, fast, and real-time health data to its users, through its sensors that track heart rate, stress levels, sleeping patterns and a whole host of other variables that aim to improve one’s overall wellbeing. The latest wearables are said to have focused on assisting patients with specialized medical needs. A good example of this is the SurroSense Rx™ system, which is a three-piece wearable device that helps avoid the devastating complications as a result of diabetic peripheral neuropathy, including blisters, infection, ulceration and ultimately amputation. The other wearable devices currently on the market are more focused on providing heart rate, rate of activity, and distance data to its users opposed to the specific, meaningful health data that the SurroSense Rx™ offers.

Smartphones with built-in health apps

Prior to wearable devices, mobile apps assisted people in tracking their health vitals. Today, mobile companies such as Samsung and Apple have released their latest flagship handsets with built-in health tracking apps that provide real-time data to its users. In particular, the new Galaxy S6 Edge features a “re-imagined” version of their propriety health application, the S Health that provides more accurate and real-time tracking of the health.

Smart scales

The smart and wireless trend is really taking off. Old bathroom scales tend to get replaced with digital, smarter, or Wi-Fi capable weighing scales that can calculate not only your weight, but also your body mass index (BMI) and body fat percentage. Known for releasing wearable devices, Fitbit has expanded their range of products to give way for their Aria Wi-Fi Smart Scale that can monitor the weight of up to seven different users. All the data gathered by the smart scale is uploaded directly online to the Fitbit account of the user or it can also be accessed in real-time via the Fitbit’s iPhone app. In Engadget's review of the product, they gave it a 90/100 score, with the following concluding statement: "We like it!" It’s inevitable that there will be more revolutionary health tracking items, as consumers become proactive in monitoring their fitness and wellbeing. What other revolutionary health technologies do you expect to see released soon? Or even better, what do you feel we need to see to help us maintain our health better?

Orpyx® Receives Award for "Coolest Technology"

Calgary, AB April 21, 2015 - Orpyx Medical Technologies Inc. (“Orpyx”) participated in the pitch competition at the 48 Hours in the Hub event, an annual intensive two-day program in Cambridge/Boston. Orpyx’s President, Lew Turnquist, competed against other Canadian companies in the Life Sciences/ Health IT stream and was awarded the prize for “Coolest Technology”. The award was delivered by Gaurav Jain, who was recently named one of Forbes’ 30 under 30 in Venture Capital 2015.

The Consulate General of Canada in Boston and the Canadian Entrepreneurs in New England (CENE) selected 24 innovative Canadian companies to participate in the 48 Hours in the Hub event. It is an opportunity for Canadian companies to gain visibility in the local Boston business and investment community.

ABOUT CENE:

The CENE (Canadian Entrepreneurs in New England) is a non-profit, member-driven organization dedicated to supporting Canadian technology and life science entrepreneurship. It is comprised of a select group of Canadians based primarily in the U.S., including executives of leading technology and life-sciences companies, experienced start-up entrepreneurs and venture capital investors. 


ABOUT ORPYX MEDICAL TECHNOLOGIES:

Orpyx is a wearable pressure sensor technology company focused on medical applications. To start, Orpyx’s primary intention is to address the world’s growing epidemic of diabetes and its associated complications, most notably, lack of circulation, numbness, infection and ulcers in the feet, also known as peripheral neuropathy. This problem affects upwards of 60% of diabetics over the course of their disease and costs the health care system over $14 billion annually.

The SurroSense Rx system is a tool to help actively prevent the complications associated with peripheral neuropathy and track progress. The system is comprised of pressure-sensing inserts that wirelessly transmit feedback to the user via smartwatch or mobile application. The display alerts the user as to when pressure-induced damage is occurring so that behaviour can be proactively changed and devastating complications avoided.

In addition to the benefits of having real-time feedback, the system also tracks compliance and performance metrics over time so that the patient and primary care team and monitor progress and adjust care recommendations accordingly.

For more information, please contact:

Stephanie Zakala
Marketing & Inside Sales Manager, Orpyx Medical Technologies Inc.
stephanie.zakala@orpyx.com
403-460-0216

It’s no secret that diabetes is a difficult disease to manage with many co-morbid conditions associated with it. One of the most common complications related to the disease is peripheral neuropathy. Patients with diabetes can lose sensation in their feet, which can lead to ulcers, infection and in many cases amputation.

We often hear that the best way to protect your feet is to get off them. If you are living in a bubble then yes, this may work just fine. But for the majority of people, being sedentary is not an option.

On the other hand, increasing activity levels is programmed in many doctor/patient visits to encourage healthy, active lifestyles.

These varying recommendations can be very confusing – how can we manage dosage of activity while protecting the feet?

Imagine now…the best of both worlds! Managing activity while protecting the feet.

Trends from consumer electronics tend to carry over into healthcare. If you look at wearable technologies over the past decade, there has been exponential growth. It’s apparent that people are starting to get and desire wearable technologies that monitor themselves and their biometric data. Moving from consumer activity tracking and athletics products to a medical device/products makes a lot of sense.

So what does this mean for patients with diabetic peripheral neuropathy?

There are implications here that can significantly impact foot health. Integrating practical sensory substitution technologies that monitor activities related to foot health and notify the user of harm during daily living can and will impact the way we manage foot health today.

In fact, interim data with the SurroSense Rx system, a mobile health-offloading device, suggests that users score the device high on satisfaction and perceived benefit ratings. Most notably, we see about a 95% adherence rate with this device suggesting that patients are devoted to personalized offloading.

It’s clear that technology has become ubiquitous in our activities of daily living – it’s now time that we empower people to manage activity while protecting their feet.

"An Ounce of Prevention....

January 14, 2015

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...is worth a pound of cure." - Benjamin Franklin.

As we remember the now famous quote from Benjamin Franklin its clear to see that the idea of “Prevention” is not new. It’s an excellent idea and always has been. 

“He who cures disease may be the skillfulest, but he who prevents it is the safest physician.” -Thomas Fuller

The CDC has a National Prevention Strategy posted on its website: America's Plan for Better Health and Wellness (http://www.cdc.gov/features/preventionstrategy/). As the strategy states, it’s an effort to move the nation away from a healthcare system focused on sickness and disease to a system now focusing on wellness and prevention. Don’t get me wrong, the advances in medicine, treatment options and medical devices have been nothing short of amazing. But the questions still remains: How can we achieve better outcomes and reduce the overall healthcare cost? The answer may be as simple as one word…Prevention. 

“If people are constantly falling off a cliff, you could place ambulances under the cliff or build a fence on the top of the cliff. We are placing too many ambulances under the cliff.” - Denis Burkitt 

In healthcare today we are witnessing a shift towards preventive medicine as the reimbursement structure is changing. Healthcare providers are now incentivized to keep patients healthier – out of their offices and hospitals. This is evident by the lack of hospital reimbursement for readmissions within 30 days for the same condition and payment for managing diseases and/or conditions a patient may acquire while in the hospital.

We are moving towards accountable health care. Prevention. Communication. Collaboration. Accountable care organizations (ACOs) are a joining of payers, providers and health systems all working together for the patient. The focus of ACOs sure does make sense when you think about it…reduce costs, improve quality outcomes and to better both patient and physician satisfaction. Sounds good to me!

The patients are also an important piece of the accountable health care model. Patients are tasked with working more closely with their health care providers to manage their care. And, today more than ever before, it’s easier for the patients to get involved in their care. Patient portals and wearable medical devices are just two recent advancements gaining a lot of traction aimed at getting the patient involved.

In the end, a team approach (payers, providers, health systems and patients) focusing on prevention may be the simplest and most effective way to improve outcomes and reduce costs in todays healthcare environment. Again, it’s not that these are new ideas and haven’t been thought of before – it’s that our current model can clearly be improved upon.

Orpyx® presented to a funding panel in Edmonton, Alberta and was awarded top honours.  The Fundica Fundraising Roadshow is an opportunity for companies to pitch their innovative product to an esteemed panel of VC, banks and government organizations.  Read about the event here.

US-Based Executive to Lead Launch of SurroSense Rx™

Calgary, AB November 17, 2014 - Orpyx Medical Technologies Inc. announced today that John Jahrstorfer has joined the team as Vice President of Sales & Marketing.  In this role, Jahrstorfer will lead the company’s sales and marketing team and drive Orpyx’s launch of the SurroSense Rx system worldwide. Jahrstorfer will be based in New England.

“We couldn’t be more excited to welcome John on board as our VP Sales & Marketing,” said Orpyx Founder and CEO, Dr. Breanne Everett. “John has an exceptional track record of success in developing long-term relationships in medical device companies and growing sales. He will be instrumental to the company’s success as we introduce the SurroSense Rx system to the world.”

Jahrstorfer has spent close to 15 years leading medical sales of healthcare-related products in pharmaceutical, medical device, wound care and medical IT companies, such as Pfizer and International Computerware.

“I’m thrilled and honoured to join the team at Orpyx – a talented group of leaders with not only a passion for innovation in medical technology, but a passion for bringing true advancements to patient care and preventive medicine,” states John Jahrstorfer. “It’s no wonder why Orpyx is the leader in sensor-based wearable technology for diabetics with peripheral neuropathy”.

About Orpyx Medical Technologies:
Orpyx is a wearable pressure sensor technology company focused on medical applications. To start, Orpyx’s primary intention is to address the world’s growing epidemic of diabetes and its associated complications, most notably, lack of circulation, numbness, infection and ulcers in the feet, also known as peripheral neuropathy. This problem affects upwards of 60% of diabetics over the course of their disease and costs the health care system over $14 billion annually.

The SurroSense Rx system is a tool to help actively prevent the complications associated with peripheral neuropathy and track progress. The system is comprised of pressure-sensing inserts that wirelessly transmit feedback to the user via smartwatch or mobile application. The display alerts the user as to when pressure-induced damage is occurring so that behaviour can be proactively changed and devastating complications avoided.

In addition to the benefits of having real-time feedback, the system also tracks compliance and performance metrics over time so that the patient and primary care team and monitor progress and adjust care recommendations accordingly.

For more information, please contact:
Stephanie Zakala
Marketing & Inside Sales Manager, Orpyx Medical Technologies Inc.
stephanie.zakala@orpyx.com
403-460-0216 ext. 501

Download the PDF Press Release here.

Five Canadian Organizations Join Forces in Support of Applied Sport Science Research

VICTORIA, B.C. October 23, 2014 - Mitacs, Own the Podium, Orpyx Medical Technologies (“Orpyx”), the University of Victoria and the Canadian Sport Institute Pacific have joined forces to provide a new opportunity for applied sport science research. These forward-thinking organizations are collaborating on a project with PhD candidate Samuel Blades from the University of Victoria’s Department of Exercise Science, Physical & Health Education.

Originally, Dr. Breanne Everett of Orpyx reached out to Sport Technologist Samuel Blades of the Canadian Sport Institute Pacific to get his expert advice on potential uses of their medical pressure sensing insoles for measuring sport performance. Through some initial discussions between Orpyx, Blades and his graduate supervisors, it became apparent to Blades there is a major technology gap for simple unobtrusive pressure insoles that can be used while running to provide feedback to athletes looking to improve performances and prevent injuries.

Blades’ team, which includes the Canadian Sport Institute Pacific, the University of Victoria, and Orpyx, agreed it was worth exploring further. Own the Podium then facilitated the opportunity for collaboration with Mitacs’ Accelerate program, which pairs businesses and graduate students, allowing them to apply their expert research skills and knowledge in a way that creates innovative solutions.

The study will use Orpyx’s pressure-sensitive insole, which is capable of providing real-time feedback to patients with peripheral neuropathy. With minor modifications, the insoles could be used to address the measurement needs of runners. This project will provide hardware recommendations to Orpyx to optimize their insoles for running. Further, this project will assess the day-to-day reliability of the Orpyx SurroSense Rx™ insole by comparing them to gold standard measures. Upon completion of this research, Orpyx will have the necessary technical information to expand their SurroSense Rx™ technology from its current application to the running world, significantly increasing their potential sales market and product diversification options.

This new technology could be used to make training more efficient and prevent injuries in high performance athletes from sports that directly involve running, such as triathlon, endurance race events, rugby and soccer, while also proving beneficial to any sport that use running as an integral part of their training.

“The collaboration among Mitacs, Canadian Sport Institute Pacific, University of Victoria, Own the Podium and Orpyx demonstrates the importance of multi-partner research projects in advancing innovation in Canada,” said Dr. Rob Annan, interim CEO and Scientific Director at Mitacs. “This research will help further sport science technology.”

"We designed the SurroSense Rx™ system to be a platform technology for the collection of plantar pressure data for a wide variety of applications and verticals," said Dr. Breanne Everett, Orpyx founder and CEO. "This partnership is a giant step forward in realizing that vision."

“This is an excellent example of multiple partners coming together to support a great applied sport science research project that will have an immediate impact on the training of high performance athletes training here in British Columbia,” said Dr. Trent Stellingwerff, Innovation & Research Lead at the Canadian Sport Institute Pacific. “Samuel has been in the trenches providing performance analysis service to national sport organizations for the past five years; he knows what is missing and the research will be extremely useful within the sport science community”.

Blades is excited about the opportunity and appreciative of the partnerships. “Being able to better incorporate technology into the daily training and competition environments within high performance sport is what’s needed to get ahead. In order to have a true competitive advantage over our international competitors we need to be incorporating innovation, research and technology into our daily routines. I believe this project provides the opportunity for us to do that and I am excited to be at the helm.”

About Mitacs: Mitacs is a national, private not-for-profit organization that develops the next generation of innovators with vital skills through a suite of unique research and training programs: Mitacs Accelerate, Elevate, Step, and Globalink. In partnership with companies, government and universities, Mitacs is supporting a new economy using Canada’s most valuable resource — its people.

About Own the Podium: Own the Podium, a not-for-profit organization, prioritizes and determines investment strategies to national sport organizations in an effort to deliver more Olympic and Paralympic medals for Canada. Own the Podium's largest contributor of funding is the Government of Canada with additional funding provided by the Canadian Olympic Committee and its Canadian Olympic Foundation, the Canadian Paralympic Committee, along with the corporate community.

About Orpyx Medical Technologies: Orpyx has created a wearable sensor platform to enable life-changing health tools and empower the user through data analytics. Orpyx is becoming a world leader in innovating and developing wearable sensor-based technologies that provide consumers with quality solutions to better cope with disease and improve overall quality of life.

About University of VictoriaMotion Mobility and Rehabilitation Laboratory is a multipurpose research laboratory at UVic developed by Drs. Marc Klimstra and Sandra Hundza. The focus of the lab spans from the study of neuromechanics in sport as it relates to performance and injury prevention to the study of gait, posture, and balance in older adults and other clinical populations, with the ultimate goal of developing and enhancing effective rehabilitation strategies to promote functional locomotion and fall prevention. The lab employ neurophysiological (electromyography and reflex responses to stimulation), biomechanical (3-D motion capture, pressure sensing walkways, force plates and inertial motion sensors) and motor behavioural measures.

About Canadian Sport Institute Pacific: The Canadian Sport Institute Pacific is a world class Olympic and Paralympic training environment. Through the support of our national and provincial partners, our team of sport scientists and medical experts provide programs and services to athletes and coaches to ensure they have every advantage to win medals for Canada.

Orpyx® has been announced as one of the twenty-seven companies in western Canada to receive funding under the WINN initiative.  WINN is a government program committed to creating jobs, promoting economic growth, and maintaining Canada's competitive advantage in the global marketplace.

Read more here.

Western Innovation (WINN) Initiative Helps Foster Commercialization of Western Canadian Projects

Calgary, AB July 2, 2014 - Orpyx Medical Technologies Inc. has been announced as one of the twenty-seven companies in western Canada to receive funding under the Western Innovation (WINN) Initiative. WINN is a government program committed to creating jobs, promoting economic growth, and maintaining Canada’s competitive advantage in the global marketplace.  In Alberta, WINN will be funding eleven projects totaling $6.81 million to support the advancement of a healthy economy.

This investment will help support development of Orpyx’s predictive data analytics for new markets like athletics.  “We are thrilled to receive the support from WINN.  This allows us to innovate faster toward a broader footprint of uses for our wearable technology platform,” states Lew Turnquist, President of Orpyx.

The Honourable Michelle Rempel, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification said, “I am proud to support programs such as the WINN Initiative, which will assist small and medium-sized enterprises in Western Canada in bringing their ideas into the global marketplace.  Through WINN we are filling a funding gap identified by Canadian business and re-affirming our government’s commitment to providing opportunities for jobs and growth.”

About Western Innovation (WINN) Initiative:

Over its 5-year span WINN will provide up to $100 million in repayable assistance to western small- and medium-seized enterprises (SMEs).  Under WINN, SMEs can apply for funding for a variety of tasks that are essential in taking a product from the research and development stage to the market, such as: product testing and technology demonstrations, equipment purchases and installation, regulatory approval, marketing, and intellectual property protection.

About Orpyx Medical Technologies:

Orpyx’s primary intention is to address the world’s growing epidemic of diabetes and its associated complications, most notably, lack of circulation, numbness, infection and ulcers in the feet, also known as peripheral neuropathy.  The diabetic foot ulcer is one of the most devastating side effects of diabetes, occurring in upwards of 15-25% of all diabetic patients over the course of their disease.  The inability to sense and respond to tissue damage can lead to the development of blisters and ulcers, which can lead to surgical amputation.  Orpyx was born out of a profound desire to find a preventative rather than reactionary solution to this problem.

Orpyx develops sensor-based technologies that address the growing demand for self-monitoring devices to better manage chronic medical conditions.  Our products focus on patient empowerment and prevention for better outcomes.

For more information, please contact:

Stephanie Zakala
Marketing & Inside Sales Manager, Orpyx Medical Technologies Inc.
stephanie.zakala@orpyx.com
403-460-0216

Download the PDF Press Release here.

Technology Veteran to Lead Commercial Operations

Calgary, AB March 17, 2014 - Orpyx Medical Technologies Inc. announced today that Lew Turnquist has been appointed as president, effective immediately.  Turnquist has served in an advisory capacity at Orpyx since 2012 but will now lead its operations as the company executes its growth strategy to develop a strong portfolio of wearable pressure sensor technologies for healthcare applications.

"Lew is an optimal fit for Orpyx and we are profoundly honoured to have him join the team.  He shares our values and our focus on innovation," states Orpyx co-founder and chief executive, Dr. Breanne Everett.  "Lew has shown himself to be a leader throughout his career and has a proven track record of success, especially with scaling early-stage technology companies."

Turnquist has over 25 years of operational and transactional experience in technology companies.  He was most recently the senior managing partner at Kirchner Private Capital Group, a US-based boutique merchant bank, where he led the firm's transactions (M&A) and operational advisory practices.  Prior to this role, Turnquist led the growth or turnaround of several early-stage technology companies including: VX Technologies Inc., a 3D measurement product company; J-Commerce Inc., a retail point-of-sale software company; and Cell-Loc Inc., a wireless location technology and services company.

"I am truly excited to be a part of a dynamic, young company at the convergence of wearable technology, neuroplasticity, and the growing problem of diabetes," said Turnquist.  "It's an opportunity to change many people's lives for the better."

Dr. Everett will maintain an active role with the company as chief executive officer.

About Orpyx Medical Technologies:

Orpyx's primary intention is to address the world's growing epidemic of diabetes and its associated complications, most notably, lack of circulation, numbness, infection and ulcers in the feet, also known as peripheral neuropathy.  The diabetic foot ulcer is one of the most devastating side effects of diabetes, occurring in upwards of 15-25% of all diabetic patients over the course of their disease.  The inability to sense and respond to tissue damage can lead to the development of blisters and ulcers, which can lead to surgical ampuatation.  Orpyx was born out of a profound desire to find a preventative rather than reactionary solution to this problem.

For more information, please contact:

Stephanie Zakala
Marketing & Inside Sales Manager, Orpyx Medical Technologies Inc.
stephanie.zakala@orpyx.com
403-460-0216

Download the PDF Press Release here.

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