The tomographic ultrasound robot intends to make diagnostics substantially more powerful by creating 3D tomographic ultrasound outputs (similar to MRIs/CTs) in addition to boosting the efficiency and consistency of 2D ultrasound.
FREMONT, CA: Vexev, a Sydney-based medical startup is solving a major difficulty that healthcare systems worldwide are facing: enhancing patient access to high-quality care while lowering costs. The firm recently developed one of its kind Tomographic Ultrasound Robot (TUR) to make diagnostics dramatically more affordable, accessible, and insightful after spending two years in stealth mode. In the following months, the TUR will be evaluated in clinical trials at Sydney's Eastern Suburbs Vascular Imaging, which is located on the Prince of Wales Hospital campus. Dr. Shannon Thomas, A/Prof Ramon Varcoe, Dr. Andrew Lennox, and Dr. Tom Daly are among the notable Australian vascular surgeons who have backed the trials.
"This device is step one in our broader mission of building the future of medical imaging and diagnostics for everyone. Our vision is a world where anyone, anywhere, is empowered to see, understand, and maintain optimal health. This information should be seamlessly accessible in peoples everyday lives, whether thats through local GP clinics, workplaces, or even homes," said Dr. Eamonn Colley, Co-founder, and Co-CEO, Vexev.
2D ultrasound, performed by a sonographer, is the primary diagnosis technique for cardiovascular disease, the world's leading cause of mortality. While 2D ultrasound is one of the most cost-effective imaging diagnostic modalities and does not expose patients to hazardous radiation, it has various drawbacks, including cost, inconsistency, and the capacity only to produce 2D scans. Skilled sonographers are in higher demand than ever before, and their careers are frequently cut short due to RSI after years of running 2D ultrasound machines.
"Vexev's device has the potential to evolve the role of Vascular Sonographers, minimizing low skill, high volume aspects of typical workflow. It may also assist in combating the well documented shortage of skilled Vascular Sonographers in the workforce, and high incidence of repetitive strain disorder. With extra time on their hands, this highly skilled group of healthcare professionals may have the chance to expand their scope of practice—whether that be in education, research or therapeutic intervention," said Matt Adams, Senior Vascular Sonographer from the Australian Sonographers Association.
The Vexev's technology is projected to automate the ultrasound operation completely. The TUR intends to make diagnostics substantially more powerful by creating 3D tomographic ultrasound outputs (similar to MRIs/CTs) in addition to boosting the efficiency and consistency of 2D ultrasound. Thus, clinical settings where 2D ultrasound was previously uneconomical, such as dialysis clinics and regional clinics, can now add imaging diagnostics to their offerings.
"For value based healthcare models to reach their full potential, we will need diagnostic technologies that are as powerful as MRIs, but more affordable than 2D ultrasound. Vexev's device achieves this, and it is exciting to see them reshaping what's possible in this industry," said Michael Tolo, Principal, Blackbird.
Sonographers will gain additional diagnostic capabilities with the Vexev's device, including providing 3D diagnostic outputs similar to CT scan and MRI radiographers, completing more scans per day, and avoiding RSI.
Dr. John Carroll and Dr. Eamonn Colley co-founded Vexev in 2018 after finishing their PhDs at UNSW. During their research, John and Eamonn discovered that the present method of monitoring vascular accesses—the conduit via which renal failure patients receive life-saving hemodialysis treatments—was inadequate and inconsistent. As a result, the co-founders realized that current diagnostic imaging capabilities were too expensive and inaccessible in many clinical settings. The notion of designing a device that was as economical as 2D ultrasound but provided 3D scans like an MRI or CT scan attracted the co-founders. This concept piqued the interest of Blackbird Ventures, Australia's leading venture capital firm, which led Vexev's initial financing and whose Principal, Michael Tolo, sits on the board.
The TUR will be revealed and tested in an external context for the first time in the next clinical trial at Eastern Suburbs Vascular Imaging. The trial's focus will be on cardiovascular disease diagnostics, namely peripheral vascular disease. After demonstrating the device's capability with vascular scans, the goal is to expand into additional diagnostic ultrasound domains, including musculoskeletal and echocardiography.
"The device has the potential to revolutionise the diagnosis of circulatory conditions such as DVT and arterial blockages. In the upcoming testing, I am confident the TUR device will readily and reliably produce ultrasound results with better accuracy and efficiency," said Dr. Shannon Thomas, Vascular Surgeon, Eastern Suburbs Vascular Imaging.
While the introduction of the TUR is a significant step forward, it is simply the start of Vexev's ultimate strategy to revolutionize imaging diagnostics.