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Wearable device could bring “huge” savings to healthcare

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Bernard Ross, CEO of Sky Medical

The CEO behind a wearable device designed to reduce the risk of blood clots has said that the technology could provide “huge” financial savings to healthcare institutions.

Sky Medical Technology’s geko device, which is the size of a wristwatch and straps to a patient’s knee, uses electrical impulses to stimulate blood flow at 60% the rate of walking. This reduces the risk of blood clots and consequent heart attacks or strokes.

The geko is recommended by NICE and is the first bioelectronic muscle pump activator of its kind to be cleared by the FDA for VTE prevention across all patients, including non-surgical patients.

CEO and founder Bernard Ross said: “We’re the only technology that eliminates stasis of blood in the deep veins of the calf, so we’re much more efficient at reducing the risk of blood clots.

“If you increase blood flow or maintain healthy blood flow, there are many different patient groups that are benefiting, and we do believe that ultimately, this technology will become pretty much ubiquitous in hospitals and post discharge.

“The focus of us as a company is working with clinicians in very specific therapy areas to improve patient outcomes and reduce the costs to health systems so that every pound we spend on patient care becomes a pound extraordinarily well-spent.

Ross believes that using the geko device to treat wounds could relieve financial pressure on health institutions across the globe, with the NHS spending £5.3bn on wound care each year.

Using the device to treat wounds “has now been adopted in Ontario in Canada, and we’re currently doing a randomised control trial that will confirm how much better we are at reducing the time it takes to heal wounds.

“The savings that you can provide to health systems are huge.

“The normal measure of something that becomes a problem wound is if something hasn’t healed 30% in the first four weeks of treatment, that becomes an advanced wound. We are very effective in advanced wounds.

“So, if we target the 700,000 advanced wound patients in America, and we see the kind of cost savings and the accelerated recovery we believe we are seeing, then we should save the American health system about $4.5bn a year. And that is true of all health systems all over the world.”

Ross also touched on the acceleration of innovative technology within healthcare as a result of COVID-19.

“One thing that has happened as a result of COVID is that the clinical leadership at a localised level has had to react very quickly to the extraordinary risks they saw in patient wellbeing because of this massive pandemic.

“I think the clinicians are more empowered now to react differently to new opportunities in patient benefit than perhaps in any time in the past 30 years. Hopefully, that is going to be maintained in the post-COVID period.”

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