Author: admin

24 Sep 2022

Curated GI articles September 23rd, 2022: AI co Iterative Scopes receives FDA clearance | Cologuard co awards $525K in grants for CRC screening

Curated GI articles September 23rd, 2022:
AI co Iterative Scopes receives FDA clearance | Cologuard co awards $525K in grants for CRC screening
Employed vs. self-employed GI salaries in 15 largest US cities (Becker’s GI & Endoscopy)
New York City has the largest gap in pay between employed and self-employed GIs who have been practicing for 15 to 21 years, according to Medscape’s 2022 Salary Explorer.
Dr. Kosinski: “The GI space is more vulnerable today than it was before” (NextServices)
In this episode of The Scope Forward Show, Praveen Suthrum interviews Dr. Lawrence Kosinski on the risk of “colonoscopy factories”, private equity in gastroenterology, the threat of digital GI companies, and more.
Iterative Scopes Receives FDA Clearance for AI-Assisted Polyp Detection Device SKOUT™ (Business Wire)
SKOUT’s advanced computer vision capabilities enable physicians to detect pre-cancerous lesions in the colon with more accuracy.
Will the healthcare labor shortage fuel more consolidation? (Healthcare Dive)
J. P. Morgan’s head of healthcare corporate client banking lays out trends to consider as private equity firms snap up physician groups.
Exact Sciences awards $525K in grants to improve CRC screening (Lab Pulse)
Exact Sciences has awarded $525,000 in grants to eight federally qualified health centers focused on improving colorectal cancer screening rates in vulnerable populations.
Passive income for the astute gastroenterologist (MDedge)
Dr. Alli-Akintade, a gastroenterologist with Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento (Calif.) Medical Center weighs the benefits and the myths associated with passive income.
Medicare 8.5% payment cut could lead to reductions in services for patients (Medical Economics)
Reducing charity care, new Medicare patients, staff, and locations all are among the effects projected if Congress does not act on 2023 reimbursement levels, according to a new study by the MGMA.
Quiet Quitting: Are Physicians Dying Inside Bit by Bit? (Medscape)
In the past few months, “quiet quitting” has garnered increasing traction across social media platforms. The article highlights why quiet quitting is gaining prominence now.
5 Common GI Nutrition Myths (GI & Endoscopy News)
Noting that GIs don’t get much formal training in nutrition, Dr. Newberry stresses the need to talk about these topics that are so important to patients’ health.
‘Not a Dangerous Device’: EndoBarrier Helps Weight Loss (Medscape)
The beneficial effects of the duodenal jejunal bypass liner (EndoBarrier, GI Dynamics) may outweigh the risks for some patients with type 2 diabetes, new data suggest.
UCSF Develops First of Its Kind Robotic Surgery Trial in Partnership with FDA (UCSF)
UCSF Health is recruiting patients for the only FDA-approved study of the use of single port robotic technology for colorectal surgery in the United States.
New Crohn’s disease score improves monitoring among adults and kids (MHealth Lab)
A new bowel scoring tool to evaluate Crohn’s disease is reliable, easy to use, and ready for clinicians to put into practice, according to study.
Oral Capsule or Colonic Fecal Transplant for C. Diff: Is One Superior? (Medpage Today)
Fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) delivered via oral capsule or colonic delivery demonstrated similar safety and effectiveness for recurrent Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI) in a prospective study.
Fujifilm Upgrades ASGE’s Institute for Training and Technology with State-of-the-Art Endoscopic Imaging Solutions (Globe Newswire)
The IT&T features new Fujifilm endoscopes spanning gastroscopes, colonoscopes, duodenoscopes, therapeutic gastroscopes, endoscopic ultrasound endoscopes, and dual-channel endoscopes.
Researcher recommends tailoring colorectal cancer screening for 45-to-49-year-olds (Medical Xpress)
Regenstrief Institute Research Scientist Thomas Imperiale, M.D., issues a clarion call for individuals, clinicians and health care systems to encourage average-risk members of this age group to consider non-invasive screening alternatives.
AI Tool May Improve Prediction of Colorectal Cancer Recurrence (Medscape)
The tool is a deep-learning segmentation algorithm developed using 6468 digitized CRC images. It quantifies 15 features from a CRC image and uses them to improve prediction of recurrence.
How Gastro Health’s Women in GI Network is Challenging a Traditionally Male-Dominated Environment (PR Web)
Gastro Health has begun to take major strides to ensure that support for women in the workplace is top of mind by continuously seeking out opportunities to empower its female physicians.
5 gastroenterologists to know (Becker’s GI & Endoscopy)
The list compiled by Becker’s healthcare highlights five physicians to know who specialize in gastroenterology.

More Hot headlines in GI

Vessel and tissue recognition during third-space endoscopy using a deep learning algorithm (BMJ)

Working across industries to encourage colorectal cancer screening (AGA)

FDA approves Konvomep for benign gastric ulcers, risk reduction for upper GI bleeding (Healio)

Food sensitivity tests are all the rage. But do they really work? (Advisory Board)

GIMOTI Receives Nomination for 2022 Healio Industry Breakthrough Award (Globe Newswire)

Rainbows in Gastro, ASGE promote LGBTQ+ education, awareness in upcoming webinar (Healio)

Top Picks From DDW for GI APPs (GI & Endoscopy News)

AI-assisted colonoscopy improves cancer prevention with increased cost, patient burden (Healio)

‘Alarming’ CRC Screening Preferences Among Younger Patients Should Be Wake-up Call for Us (Medscape)

Videos: Interviews with GI Leaders  (NextServices)

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COVID-19: The Way Forward for Gastroenterology Practices
COVID-19 is a double whammy of both clinical and business disruption. This ebook will help you explore possible scenarios and be a guide in your plans for the future.
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22 Sep 2022

Dr. Kosinski: “GI is more vulnerable today than it was before” (SF interview)

Dr. Kosinski:
“GI is more vulnerable today than it was before” (SF interview)
Dr. Larry Kosinski needs no introduction. As a leader, he’s known for innovating, for breaking away from the norm and be a guiding light for the industry.  After a successful private practice career, he helped his group transition to a PE platform to work on SonarMD, a venture-funded company he founded. Now, he’s onto a surprising new startup, a stool-smelling e-nose called Voconomics (patent filed).
In this freewheeling interview, we chat about everything that GI doctors must pay attention to. The risks of running non-diversified “colonoscopy factories” (as he calls them). The shift to digital that would catch most of the industry by surprise. How doctors can find the time from their busy lives to innovate by mastering the basics. And finally his take on private equity.
This is such an important interview. It could quite easily alter the trajectory of many GI careers. It’s time to wake up to the vulnerability that private practice GI is in. Dr. Kosinski’s message is quite clear. Listen closely.
◘  Update on SonarMD
◘  Different initiatives Dr. Kosinski is involved with
◘  Is the average gastroenterologist aware of the impact of digital disruption in gastroenterology?
◘  Are GI practices still “colonoscopy factories?”
◘  A threat to GI
◘  “Right now, I don’t see the GI practices engaging with the digital health world”
◘  Are GI practices more vulnerable or less vulnerable to changes in the last couple of years?
◘  “The market will find the lowest cost way of providing services”
◘  Would disruption in GI appear to be all of a sudden?
◘  Thoughts on vulnerabilities within digital health trends (RNA test for cancer screening, AI, etc)
◘  “Patients will tell you that their IBD flare was associated with the change in the smell of their stool”
◘  Dr. Kosinski talks about his new e-nose startup: Vocnomics
◘  Dr. Kosinski’s advice to younger GI doctors on how to innovate
◘  “Master what you are trained to do, keep a focus, make sure you don’t overextend yourself and open up thinking time for yourself”
◘  “You have to understand your limitations, and not suffer from FOMO”
◘  “Master your revenue stream, so you can build new ones”
◘  “You can’t have a full time practice and be a full time CEO. One of the two is going to suffer”
◘  Thoughts on how private equity has played out in GI
◘  On second bites in GI
◘  “If these (private equity funded platforms) entities are going to succeed, their clinical infrastructure has to be as vertically constructed as their billing infrastructure is”
◘  Will private equity investments in GI continue?
◘  Venture Capital (VC) entering GI
◘  Dr. Kosinski’s advice to practices making a decision on PE
◘  “Don’t take a short-term payment and give up a long-term future”
◘  How to break away from a mindset that’s limited to the existing norm?

_
COVID-19: The Way Forward for Gastroenterology Practices
COVID-19 is a double whammy of both clinical and business disruption. This ebook will help you explore possible scenarios and be a guide in your plans for the future.
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17 Sep 2022

Curated GI articles September 16th, 2022: Waud Capital announces successful exit of GI Alliance, nation’s largest GI practice management company

Curated GI articles September 16th, 2022:
Waud Capital announces successful exit of GI Alliance, nation’s largest GI practice management company
Waud Capital Announces Successful Exit of GI Alliance Following Close of its Apollo-led Recapitalization (PR Newswire)
Waud Capital Partners announced it has completed its sale of a controlling ownership stake in GI Alliance, the nation’s largest gastroenterology practice management company.
Q&A –Transforming Gastroenterology (RamaOnHealthcare)
RamaOnHealthcare talks to Praveen Suthrum (President, NextServices) and Dr. Spencer Dorn (Vice Chair and Professor of Medicine, University of North Carolina) regarding profound changes happening within Gastroenterology.
Physician Practice Costs Grew 20% After Private Equity Acquisition (RevCycleIntelligence)
Private equity acquisitions may help practices improve technology and operations, but firms tend to have short-term financial goals.
Behavioral Therapy for IBD Has Multiple Benefits (GI & Endoscopy News)
Cognitive behavioral therapy and mindfulness substantially reduce work and activity impairments in patients with Crohn’s disease by reducing pain and fatigue.
Cost of 5 GI procedures at ASCs vs. HOPDs (Becker’s GI & Endoscopy)
Costs of procedures vary between ASCs and HOPDs, with GI procedures for those with original Medicare and no supplement being cheaper at ASCs.
AMA Study: Physicians Increasingly Adopting Digital Health Tools (Healthcare Innovation)
Over the past three years, practicing physicians have moved to adopt more digital health tools in their practice, according to the results of a study released by the AMA.
The Gut-Brain Axis: What it is, associated problems and new therapies (Talking Biotech)
CEO Nancy Thornberry from Kallyope describes her company’s novel approaches to studying signaling in the gut-brain axis to resolve health issues stemming from dysfunction in the “second brain”.
8 Tips for Stopping Gastrointestinal Bleeding (GI & Endoscopy News)
Gastrointestinal bleeding causes more hospitalizations than any other GI-related disorder, but there are strategies endoscopists can use to reduce the chances of periprocedural and post-endoscopy bleeding.
Employed Docs Find Steady Income, Better Work-Life Balance: Survey (Medscape)
Medscape’s 2022 Employed Physicians Report surveyed more than 1,350 US physicians employed by healthcare organizations, hospitals, and large group practices to find out what they love about their jobs and what they don’t.
“Fecal Calprotectin for the small intestine” Alex Menys, PhD and Aline Charbaty, MD on Motilent and using MRI to guide management in small bowel Crohn’s (GI Startup Podcast)
Alex Menys (CEO, Motilent) and Aline Charabaty, MD discuss the utility of MRI-derived motility analysis in IBD, approaching disruptive MedTech as a physician, MRI vs. Ultrasound for small bowel IBD, and more.
83bar and Virgo Team up to Launch new Constellation™ Platform for Patient Recruitment (PR Newswire)
The first-of-its-kind patient recruitment platform integrates Virgo’s ability to analyze endoscopy videos to identify patients using an industry-recognized artificial intelligence algorithm.
Physician burnout higher in 2021 than 2020, study shows (Healthcare Dive)
Multiple studies have shown the crisis is exacerbating the issues as physicians and nurses have had to face increased risk of harassment and violence on the job as well as staffing shortages.
Celebrity Actors Film Their Colonoscopies to Bring Awareness (WebMD)
Gastroenterologists are applauding the actors for using their status to show how colonoscopy can be both easy and lifesaving. There is a large amount of data showing that similar campaigns can improve colon cancer screening rates.
Takeda Launches CDPATH™, a Personalized Prognostic Tool, Advancing Innovation for Patients with Crohn’s Disease (Bloomberg) 
The CDpath tool uses a blood test to predict someone’s potential risk for developing serious Crohn’s disease-related complications within the next three years.
Data Support Adjusting ADR Targets For Patients With Positive FIT Results (GI & Endoscopy News)
A 10% improvement in ADR translated to a 50% reduction in the risk for interval post-colonoscopy colorectal cancer (PCCRC) in FIT-positive patients.
Top 25 hospitals for gastroenterology in 2023 (Newsweek)
Rochester, Minn.-based Mayo Clinic has been named the top hospital in the world for gastroenterology in 2023, according to the report from Newsweek.
SAGES Extends Partnership with Theator on Additional Video-Based Assessments (PR Newswire)
Theator’s Surgical Intelligence Platform is the only technology harnessing advanced AI and computer vision technologies to automatically capture and analyze previously untapped surgical video data.
Victory for GI patients: Prior authorization reform passes House floor (AGA)
The new legislation will reform prior authorization and streamline the process in Medicare Advantage plans.

More Hot headlines in GI

ICYMI: SF Show- Erik Duhaime, CEO of Centaur Labs: Networks of people & computers will work together (NextServices)

AI-based pathology diagnosis tool in development detects 7 types of gastric cancer (News Medical)

Sleeve gastrectomy selection soared nearly 2000% following Medicare coverage change (Healio)

Results of TINYPOLYP Trial Support Use Of Cold Forceps for Nonpedunculated Polyps
(GI & Endoscopy News)

Lupin receives US FDA approval for kit used in colonoscopy preparation (Business Standard)

AI-enhanced colonoscopy now offered at UT Health East Texas (KETK)

Microbiota transplantation as a possible therapeutic tool: deciphering how the technique is successful in different diseases (EurekAlert!)

Jonathan Ng, MBBS, Founder and CEO of Iterative Scopes, Named to PharmaVoice 100 (Business Wire)

Floris de Voogd on Intestinal Ultrasound for Tracking Response in UC (Medpage Today)

Are Parkinson’s and IBD Linked by Inflammation? (GI & Endoscopy News)

Videos: Interviews with GI Leaders  (NextServices)

_
COVID-19: The Way Forward for Gastroenterology Practices
COVID-19 is a double whammy of both clinical and business disruption. This ebook will help you explore possible scenarios and be a guide in your plans for the future.
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10 Sep 2022

Curated GI articles September 9th, 2022: Future of physician compensation | Patients prefer FIT? | 6 developments in GI tech

Curated GI articles September 9th, 2022:
Future of physician compensation | Patients prefer FIT? | 6 developments in GI tech
Study raises red flags about corporatization of health care, researcher says (Science Daily)
New research reveals private equity firms that acquire physician-owned medical practices appear to be imposing measures to squeeze out more profits.
The gastroenterology workforce: 7 stats (Becker’s GI & Endoscopy)
There are 13,465 GIs in the U.S., according to the Merritt Hawkins physician revenue calculator. Here are six more gastroenterology workforce statistics.
SF Show- Erik Duhaime, CEO of Centaur Labs : Networks of people & computers will work together (NextServices)
In this episode of The Scope Forward Show, Praveen Suthrum interviews Erik Duhaime (CEO Of Centaur Labs). Watch the interview to get a glimpse into the future of medicine and gastroenterology.
The future of physician compensation (Advisory Board)
Amid high demand for physicians, many organizations are adjusting their compensation structures, including moving toward value-based care or offering new incentives, to better attract and retain new workers.
Patients aren’t always offered the CRC screening method they want (AGA)
While colonoscopy is the top performed screening test, most respondents prefer the annual FIT.
Podcast: Laurie Keefer, PhD GI health psychologist (The Scope with Dr. K)
Dr. Lawrence Kosinski sits down with Laurie Keefer, PhD, a GI health psychologist at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, inventor of the GRITT Method and co-founder of Trellus Health.
Guidelines on the Use of Endoscopy in Eosinophilic Esophagitis (Practice Update)
The guidelines utilized a modified Delphi consensus process to offer 20 recommendations on the use of endoscopy in the diagnosis, prognostication, and treatment of patients with EoE.
Precision physical activity prescriptions improve survival in colon cancer (Mirage News)
Physical activity may be associated with improved outcomes for patients undergoing postoperative treatment for colon cancer.
Walmart + UnitedHealth Group, CVS Health + Signify — the Current Flurry of Big HealthCare (Health Populi)
With two huge deals announced in the past week, the fast-morphing era of U.S. health care re-organization has accelerated even further.
Algorithm Reduces Risk for Piecemeal Resection Of Rectal Polyps (GI & Endoscopy News)
The study found that implementation of the algorithm not only yielded a variety of benefits, but also mitigated the risk for piecemeal resection of cancers.
6 developments in GI tech (Becker’s GI & Endoscopy)
From leadership appointments to partnerships, here are six updates from gastroenterology medtech companies.
Living in the Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease Silent Epidemic (Medscape)
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) affects one-fourth of the global population. Yet, the care of these patients is limited and awareness of NAFLD remains low in the general public.
Understanding GERD phenotypes (MDedge)
The mechanisms driving symptoms vary across patients, phenotyping patients via a step-wise diagnostic framework effectively guides personalized management in GERD.
A Revised Hippocratic Oath for the Era of Digital Health (JMIR)
In an era of rapid change in medicine, the article’s authors believe it is time to update the Oath with meaningful additions to reflect 21st-century healthcare optimally.
Novel Blood Test for Early-Stage Liver Cancer Shows Promise (Medscape)
Researchers have developed a blood test that can detect hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) at an early stage, increasing the likelihood of potentially curative therapy and improved patient prognosis.
The Role of Diet in IBS: Reviewing AGA Clinical Updates (Reach MD)
Dr. Peter Buch welcomes Dr. William Chey, Professor of Medicine and Chief of Gastroenterology at the University of Michigan, to talk about the latest clinical updates from the AGA.
Diversity, equity, and inclusion in gastroenterology training: a call to action (The Lancet GI & Hepatology)
Although institutions are making concerted efforts to create programmes that are reflective of the populations that they serve, equity and inclusion go beyond tracking race and ethnicity data.
Freenome kicks off study melding multiomics blood test, real-world data for cancer screening (Fierce Biotech)
Freenome has already proven its flagship liquid biopsy’s ability to detect cancer as early as possible, thanks to a homegrown platform that uses computational biology and machine learning techniques.

More Hot headlines in GI

Sleeve gaAre Parkinson’s and IBD Linked by Inflammation? (GI & Endoscopy News)

IBD patients should ‘not delay their infusion’ if stable with COVID-19 infection (Healio)

U of Mississippi awards pediatric gastroenterology honor (Becker’s GI & Endoscopy)

Women in Medicine Summit offers in-person, virtual attendance options (Healio)

New Drug for Gastric Ulcers; Linzess for Kids’ Constipation; IBD Meds Safe in Utero (Medpage Today)

Location, Location, Location: It Matters for Gut Health Too (Medscape)

Endoscopy experts review training, assessment evidence (MDedge)

Recommendations Call for COVID-19 Vaccinations for IBD Patients (HCP Live)

LG selects 4 digital health startups for innovation accelerator (Becker’s Hospital Review)

New issue of AGA Clinician’s Companion now available (AGA)

Videos: Interviews with GI Leaders  (NextServices)

_
COVID-19: The Way Forward for Gastroenterology Practices
COVID-19 is a double whammy of both clinical and business disruption. This ebook will help you explore possible scenarios and be a guide in your plans for the future.
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09 Sep 2022

Erik Duhaime, CEO of Centaur Labs: Networks of people & computers will work together (SF Show)

Erik Duhaime, CEO of Centaur Labs:
Networks of people & computers will work together (SF Show)
Data is indeed the new oil.
Consider the strangeness of the scenario. GI doctors are supplying the fuel everyday that’s going to set the old norm on fire but don’t realize it. Because they are too busy generating the data!
The wrong approach to this scenario is to fear this shift to digital and block it. You really can’t. It’s multiplying exponentially. The right approach is to figure out how to play the game or prepare for this changing scenario. Educate yourself on the future of GI and go there before the industry gets there.
Erik’s company Centaur Labs helps AI medical companies cleanup and annotate the data that GI and other specialties generate. They do so by taking a crowdsourced approach. Thousands of medical students from around the world label polyps and other medical information via a gamified app. Centaur gives that labeled data back to Medical AI companies. Those companies in turn feed that data to the AI so that the AI learns the right approach to care.
I  kept asking Erik how much time we have before AI becomes mainstream in GI. He initially said, we are early in the cycle. It’s still far out. I persisted. Finally, he said we are possibly 5 years away.
As Erik refers to a quote on AI, it’s not about the AI replacing doctors. But the future belongs to doctors who will understand the AI and replace those who don’t.
Don’t miss this one. Your future self will thank you for it.
◘  The journey of Centaur Labs
◘  “If you want an algorithm spots polyps, you need data to train the AI” (helping medical AI companies develop new technologies)
◘  “We have a large network of medical students, doctors, and other professionals who are playing a gamified competitive app”
◘  The legal aspects involved in annotating medical data
◘  How does the data labeling platform work
◘  “MD vs AI”
◘  What are Centaur’s clients doing with the annotated data?
◘  “The fact that we are getting multiple opinions on a case means we know which problems people find confusing”
◘  “Doctors who understand AI will replace those who don’t”
◘  “Most doctors will be helped by AI for certain tasks very soon”
◘  “I think a lot of GI docs are going to be using AI for colonoscopy”
◘  How can GIs, private practices monetize the data they are generating every day?
◘  What is the future of medicine from Erik’s view?

_
COVID-19: The Way Forward for Gastroenterology Practices
COVID-19 is a double whammy of both clinical and business disruption. This ebook will help you explore possible scenarios and be a guide in your plans for the future.
button_download
03 Sep 2022

Curated GI articles September 2nd, 2022: Gastro Health acquires Virginia practice | Vibrating pill gets FDA nod | GI robot at hospital

Curated GI articles September 2nd, 2022:
Gastro Health acquires Virginia practice | Vibrating pill gets FDA nod | GI robot at hospital
Gastro Health Finalizes Partnership with Charlottesville Gastroenterology Associates (Gastro Health)
Charlottesville Gastroenterology Associates is joining with six physicians and four advanced practice providers. This will be Gastro Health’s sixth partnership within the state since late 2019.
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation supports Bactolife with $5M capital in its fight against Gastrointestinal infections (Tech Funding News)
The company will use the funds to accelerate its technology platform’s impact to develop Binding Proteins, a novel biologic solution to reduce the risk of gut infections.
GI Outlook roundup: Leadership, diversity, staffer retention (Healio)
Topics new to 2022 include the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion in practice, tips for being a great boss, succession planning and more.
Value-Based Physician Revenue Still the Exception, Not Norm: Report (Medscape)
“Value-based” contracts still generate a low percentage of revenue for physician groups, according to the latest report by the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA).
The Next Generation GI Physicians are Ready (and they are excited about the future) (Gastro Broadcast)
Dr. Naresh Gunaratnam interviews Dr. Justin Forde about what GI fellows are focused on and what innovations they may bring to the organizations they join.
Vibrant Gastro passes vibrating constipation pill through FDA review (Fierce Biotech)
Vibrant Gastro’s vibrating capsule aims to resynchronize the biological clock via the gastrointestinal system.
What role does social media have in GI? (MDedge)
Dr. Stephen Chris Pappas and Dr. Mohammad Bilal discuss the risks and benefits of social media for the practicing gastroenterologist.
Not the Usual Suspects: Don’t Overlook NAFLD in Lean Patients (Medscape)
The article highlights why it’s important for clinicians not to overlook NAFLD in their lean patients, how to identify them, and what interventions might prove most useful in treating them.
Biomerica Plans Launch of InFoods® IBS Test; Names Robert Carlson as Chief Commercial Officer (Globe Newswire)
Biomerica has received significant interest from Gastroenterology physicians who would like to order the InFoods IBS test for their patients immediately.
Brigham and Women’s adds gastrointestinal robot (Becker’s GI & Endoscopy)
Boston-based Brigham and Women’s Hospital is adding EndoQuest’s surgical robot capable of providing minimally-invasive gastrointestinal surgery using trans-oral or trans-anal methods.
Earlier CRC screening with colonoscopy, FIT cost-effective ‘irrespective of BMI’ (Healio)
Regardless of patient sex or BMI, initiating CRC screening with colonoscopy at age 45 years or with fecal immunochemical testing at age 40 years was cost-effective, according to new research.
High-quality Studies of Artificial Intelligence in Colonoscopy Illuminate a Next Important Step (AGA)
This issue of Gastroenterology focuses on the relevance of adenoma per colonoscopy (APC) as a novel endpoint in AI-related research.
Newest Digital Health Programs Address Digestive Disease Management (Healthcare IT Today)
There are smartphone apps for tracking everything, but gut health has largely been left in the digital dust. Bill Snyder (CEO of Vivante Health) highlights how that’s changing.
Exclude or Expose? The Paradox of Conceptually Opposite Treatments for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (Medscape)
The review addresses the paradox of conceptually opposite exclusion diets and exposure-based CBT for IBS.
Ergonomics in Endoscopy (ASGE)
In this podcast, Amandeep Shergill, MD, MS and Jonathan Buscaglia MD, FASGE discuss ergonomics in endoscopy.
COVID patients with GI symptoms experience worse in-hospital complications (AGA)
Older age, higher comorbidity scores and use of PPI and H2RA are associated with poor outcomes in these patients.
Takeda ends microbiome alliance with Finch Therapeutics after pipeline review (Medcity News)
The agreement termination means that two preclinical microbiome therapy candidates for inflammatory bowel disease will now return to Finch Therapeutics.
10 gastroenterologists to know (Becker’s GI & Endoscopy)
The list compiled by Becker’s Healthcare highlights 10 physicians who specialize in gastroenterology.

More Hot headlines in GI

Sleeve gastrectomy beneficial, but with greater risk for self-harm, substance use disorder (Healio)

Reassuring Data on NSAIDs in IBD Flares (Medscape)

Indica Labs, iCAIRD partner on AI for colon cancer (Lab Pulse)

ESD Linked to Improved Outcomes for Large Colorectal Epithelial Neoplasms (GI Advisor)

Shrujal Baxi, MD, MPH, Joins Iterative Scopes As Chief Medical Officer (Business Wire)

Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis: Identifying High-Risk Patients (GI & Endoscopy News)

Mixed Results on Trainees Involvement With Colonoscopies (HCP Live)

Liver transplantation ‘remains the standard of care’ for HCC patients, regardless of age (Healio)

AGA to host women’s regional workshops across the U.S. this fall (AGA)

California Bill: Docs Spreading Misinformation Is ‘Unprofessional Conduct’ (Medscape)

Congressman’s Wife Died After Taking Herbal Remedy Marketed for Diabetes and Weight Loss (KHN)

Videos: Interviews with GI Leaders  (NextServices)

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COVID-19: The Way Forward for Gastroenterology Practices
COVID-19 is a double whammy of both clinical and business disruption. This ebook will help you explore possible scenarios and be a guide in your plans for the future.
button_download
27 Aug 2022

Curated GI articles August 26th, 2022: GI remains solid investment option | Blood test for 50 cancers | Pros/cons of large GI groups

Curated GI articles August 26th, 2022:
GI remains solid investment option | Blood test for 50 cancers | Pros/cons of large GI groups
The benefits, drawbacks of gastroenterologists joining large groups: 1 CEO’s perspective
(Becker’s GI & Endoscopy)
Jerry Tillinger, CEO of U.S. Digestive Health in Exton, Pa., spoke with Becker’s to discuss what larger organizations have to offer gastroenterologists.
Medicare Reimbursement – Is the Process Rigged Against Physicians? (ACG)
ACG Legislative & Public Policy Council Chair Dr. Louis Wilson discusses Medicare cuts & possible changes to the Medicare Economic Index, affecting pts & GI practices.
Your biggest questions about private equity investment in physician practices, answered (Advisory Board)
As PE becomes an even more compelling capital partner for practices, the Advisory Board team answers some of the biggest unanswered questions about this investment trend.
Medical Malpractice and Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (Medscape)
The review explores trends in malpractice facing gastroenterologists and offers strategies to deliver high-quality and safe patient care.
Gastroenterology remains ‘solid, steady’ investment option (Becker’s GI & Endoscopy)
Gastroenterology and urology remain steady investment opportunities in 2022, according to an Aug. 14 article in JDSupra from the law firm Bass, Berry & Sims.
New guidance: NAFLD management for lean patients (AGA)
Experts share 15 pieces of best practice advice for managing NAFLD in lean individuals, who are at increased risk of cardiovascular, liver and all-cause mortality.
VIDEO: Recognize generational differences to foster connection, retention in GI practice (Healio)
Anne Marie Lennon, MD, PhD, FASGE, discusses how to attract and retain the next generation of gastroenterologists as the specialty faces ongoing physician shortages.
Comparison of Colonoscopy, Fecal Immunochemical Test, and Risk-adapted Approach in a CRC Screening Trial (CGH Journal)
Directing people to either stool tests or colonoscopies based on their risk factors offers a viable alternative to screening for colorectal cancer, researchers say.
Mayo Clinic study shows AI may improve prediction of colorectal cancer recurrence (EurekAlert)
In a multinational study led by a Mayo Clinic research team using artificial intelligence (AI), investigators developed an algorithm to improve the prediction of colorectal cancer recurrence.
Barrett’s Neoplasia Often Missed (GI & Endoscopy News)
“Just like colon lesions can be missed after colonoscopy, Barrett’s neoplasia can be missed after upper endoscopy. We know that these cancers and neoplasias are being missed at the index endoscopy,” Prateek Sharma, MD said.
Geneoscopy Completes Pivotal Colorectal Cancer Trial Enrollment with Diverse Participant Population (PR Newswire)
Geneoscopy Inc announced completed enrollment of the CRC-PREVENT pivotal trial for its noninvasive, at-home diagnostic screening test.
Phage combination therapy can precisely target IBD-related gut bacteria without harming helpful microbes (Microbiome Times)
For the first time, scientists have designed a phage combination therapy that can precisely target and suppress gut bacteria associated with inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD).
Assessing Gastroparesis & Functional Dyspepsia: Should We Use Gastric Emptying Tests? (Reach MD)
Gastric emptying tests may be used for assessing patients with symptoms, but is it time to discard these tests? Find out with Dr. Peter Buch as he speaks with Dr. Reena Chokshi, Assistant Professor at Baylor College of Medicine.
Discovering ERCP with Peter B. Cotton, MD (Gut Talk)
In this podcast episode, Peter B. Cotton, MD, professor of medicine at the Medical University of South Carolina, discusses the development and invention of the ERCP procedure, the innovation of digestive disease centers and more.
Blood Test for Cancer Available, but Is It Ready for Prime Time? (Medscape)
The Galleri blood test can detect up to 50 different cancers from a single blood draw, but there is concern among clinicians that widespread clinical use of the test may be premature.
Doctors pioneer non-invasive ‘string test’ for sedation-free upper gastrointestinal monitoring 
(Medical Xpress)
Children’s Hospital Colorado has announced a new, care-changing test designed by its physicians to monitor inflammation of the GI tract by painlessly collecting samples while the patient remains awake and alert.
San Diego Startup Turns To Custom Probiotics To Solve Health Issues (Forbes)
Gut health is the key to healing a lot of diseases, says Sunny Jain, founder of Sun Genomics, a San Diego-based health startup that makes customized probiotics for customers.
Digbi Health and Novo Nordisk pilot testing Genetic and Gut Microbiome-based Digital Solutions for Prevention of Obesity and Related Cardiometabolic Conditions (PR Newswire)
Digbi Health, leader in gut microbiome and genetic-based connected care solutions is enrolled in Novo Nordisk’s Global Prevention Accelerator Program.

More Hot headlines in GI

ICYMI- Scope Forward Show: Greg O’Grady, CEO Of Alimetry: “As Clinicians, Some Of Our Skills May Become Relatively Obsolete” (NextServices)

Amazon Care is shutting down at the end of 2022. Here’s why (Fierce Healthcare)

Physician Real Estate Capital Advisors announces $15.2 million sale of gastroenterology and endoscopy property in Naperville (RE Journals)

23 gastrointestinal drugs facing shortages (Becker’s GI & Endoscopy)

Patients With IBD More Likely to Have IBS-Type Symptoms (HCP Live)

Study Finds Lean NAFLD Patients Have Higher Risk for CVD (GI & Endoscopy News)

FDA Warns on Potential for Monkeypox Spread via Fecal Transplant (Medpage Today)

Signaling pathway ‘key needle within the haystack’ driving Barrett’s, esophageal cancer (Healio)

Targeted intervention to achieve waste reduction in gastrointestinal endoscopy (BMJ)

Gastroenterologist joins Nebraska’s General Surgery Associates (Becker’s GI & Endoscopy)

Addressing Barriers That Make Black Americans More Vulnerable to Colorectal Cancer (Everyday Health)

Videos: Interviews with GI Leaders  (NextServices)

_
COVID-19: The Way Forward for Gastroenterology Practices
COVID-19 is a double whammy of both clinical and business disruption. This ebook will help you explore possible scenarios and be a guide in your plans for the future.
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20 Aug 2022

Curated GI articles August 19th, 2022: GI Alliance valued at $2.2 bln in Apollo-backed deal

Curated GI articles August 19th, 2022:
GI Alliance valued at $2.2 bln in Apollo-backed deal
Industry Payments Among GI Docs Fell After Open Payments: Study (Medscape)
Industry payments to U.S. gastroenterologists and hepatologists increased from 2014 to 2016 before beginning to steadily decrease after 2016, according to new research.
GI Alliance valued at $2.2 bln in Apollo-backed deal (Reuters)
Apollo Global Management Inc (APO.N) said on Friday it had invested $785 million in GI Alliance, as part of a deal that values the gastroenterology-care platform at $2.2 billion.
30 stats on the gastroenterology industry (Becker’s GI & Endoscopy)
The gastroenterology industry is constantly evolving — here’s where it stands today through the lenses of salary, ASC case mix, procedure costs and other statistics.
VIDEO: Consolidation ‘not just about getting bigger — it’s about getting better’ (Healio)
In a Healio exclusive, Jim Leavitt, MD, FASGE, director of clinical quality and outcomes at Gastro Health in Miami, discusses the trends, benefits and risks of consolidation in GI practice.
Should You Sell Your Practice to a Private Equity Firm? (Medscape)
While the potential profit may seem alluring, physicians have mixed feelings as to whether this will be a boon or a disappointment.
How to Implement the 3-Phase FODMAP Diet Into Gastroenterological Practice (JNM)
This review aims to discuss ways to optimally use the FODMAP diet in practice in a wide range of cultures, directed at gastroenterologists from a dietitian’s perspective.
Erica Barnell, Ph.D. and Aasma Shaukat, MD on Geneoscopy, RNA-based stool testing, and CRC screening (GI StartUp Podcast)
A discussion with Aasma Shaukat, MD, MPH and Erica Barnell, PhD on RNA-based stool testing, how Geneoscopy is thinking about patient recruitment for trials, the future of CRC screening, and more.
Strengths and weaknesses of an AI polyp detection program (AGA)
A high-detecting endoscopist tests and assesses the first FDA-approved CADe program.
‘Every one of us should be thinking about succession planning,’ GI expert says (Healio)
“Succession planning is simply a strategy or process for identifying and developing future leaders,” Joseph J. Vicari, MD, MBA, FASGE, a gastroenterologist at Rockford Gastroenterology Associates.
Risk-Adapted Screening for CRC Comparable to Established Strategies (Medpage Today)
A personalized risk-adapted screening approach that prioritizes colonoscopy for those at high risk for colorectal cancer (CRC) was effective and affordable, a randomized trial has shown.
EndoQuest Robotics Endoluminal Surgical (ELS) System Wins 2022 Surgical Robotic Challenge (PR Newswire)
ENDOQUEST Robotics, enables therapeutic endoscopists and surgeons scar-free and less invasive surgical procedures.
Gastroenterology Consultants PA (GCPA) data breach class action settlement (Top Class Actions)
Houston-based Gastroenterology Consultants PA has agreed to settle consumer claims that the practice failed to protect consumers from a data breach last year.
Pancreatic cancer screening in new-onset diabetes appears cost effective (MDedge)
A risk-tailored early-detection strategy for pancreatic cancer that targets patients with new-onset diabetes could be cost effective, according to a recent study.
AI Appears Destined to Be Standard In Barrett’s Esophagus Surveillance (GI & Endoscopy News)
Compared with expert endoscopists, AI was found to be more than twice as accurate and sensitive in a data pool that evaluated the use of different AI strategies and methodologies.
Will Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Changes Drive Value-Based Care? (RevCycle Intelligence)
The proposed changes in the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) for calendar year (CY) 2023 may offer incentives for provider groups to consider alternative payment models.
Evoke Pharma and EVERSANA Expand Patient Access to GIMOTI® With New Telehealth Solution (Evoke Pharma)
Patients with symptoms of Diabetic Gastroparesis now have direct-to-patient treatment support powered by UpScriptHealth.
An endoscopy is worth more than a thousand labs (AJG)
The August Issue features a new ACG Clinical Guideline on Gastroparesis, the need of ending disparities in liver transplantation. Know why an endoscopy is worth a thousand labs and more.
Targeted therapeutics and novel signaling pathways in non-alcohol-associated fatty liver/steatohepatitis (NAFL/NASH) (Nature)
The review discusses recent developments in prospective therapeutic targets, as well as pharmacological candidates in pre/clinical trials, with a focus on diabetes, hepatic lipid metabolism, inflammation, and fibrosis.

More Hot headlines in GI

ICYMI- Scope Forward Show: Greg O’Grady, CEO Of Alimetry: “As Clinicians, Some Of Our Skills May Become Relatively Obsolete” (NextServices)

4th Global Gastroenterology & Artificial Intelligence Summit (ASGE)

Mayo Clinic researchers study rare genetic condition to tackle colorectal cancer (EurekAlert)

Gastric Bypass Linked to Younger Onset of Severe Alcoholic Hepatitis (GI & Endoscopy News)

Goldberg and Sussman Dissect Disparities in Gastric Cancer Mortality Rates (OncLive)

ImmunogenX and Mayo Clinic Celiac Disease Study Published in Gastroenterology (Business Wire)

New Method Detects Gut Microbes That Activate Immune Cells (Newswise)

Duodenoscopes: Throw Them Out? Or Put Them in the Wash? (GI & Endoscopy News)

Global Prevalence of Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease on the Rise (Gastroenterology Advisor)

Liver Disease Expert Dr. Raza Malik Joins Albany Medical Center as Chief of the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology (Albany Med)

Videos: Interviews with GI Leaders  (NextServices)

_
COVID-19: The Way Forward for Gastroenterology Practices
COVID-19 is a double whammy of both clinical and business disruption. This ebook will help you explore possible scenarios and be a guide in your plans for the future.
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13 Aug 2022

Curated GI articles August 12th, 2022: Digital GI startup launches with $10.5M | BMS bets up to $1.9 billion for IBD | A $10 million GI malpractice trial

Curated GI articles August 12th, 2022:
Digital GI startup launches with $10.5M | BMS bets up to $1.9 billion for IBD | A $10 million GI malpractice trial
Greg O’Grady, CEO Of Alimetry: “As Clinicians, Some Of Our Skills May Become Relatively Obsolete” (NextServices)
In this episode of The Scope Forward Show, Praveen Suthrum interviews Greg O’Grady. In the interview, Professor Greg O’Grady reaffirms how exponential technologies could make current clinical skills relatively obsolete.
Physicians warned of the pitfalls behind private equity promises (AMA)
PE funds can help spur innovations or provide stable funding, but investor expectations for a quick return on investment may clash with a practice’s long-term sustainability.
Digital gastrointestinal care startup Salvo Health launches with $10.5M (Mobi Health News)
The company offers a virtual clinic for people with chronic gut conditions like irritable bowel syndrome and gastroesophageal reflux disease.
ACG updates gastroparesis guidelines for diagnosis, treatment amid ‘ongoing innovation’ (Healio)
The American College of Gastroenterology has issued a new guideline for the diagnosis and management of gastroparesis.
BMS Bets up to $1.9 Billion on GentiBio’s Treg Platform for IBD (Biospace)
Bristol Myers Squibb is doubling down on treating the condition with a nearly $2 billion partnership with GentiBio to develop Treg therapies for patients with IBD.
Virgo and Satisfai Health Bring AI to Life in Gastroenterology (Newswire)
The exclusive partnership enables advanced AI-fueled video capture, decision support, and clinical research tools for endoscopists worldwide.
Medtronic’s Dr. Austin Chiang discusses Amazon partnership, cancer screening equity
(Becker’s GI & Endoscopy)
Dr. Chiang is hopeful that Medtronic, and other GI practices, will continue to embrace AI and collaborations with “unconventional partners” like Amazon web services to continue to improve the field.
GI Doc’s Malpractice Lawyer Gloats at Win, Then Puts Foot in Mouth (Medscape)
During the closing arguments in a $10 million malpractice trial, attorney Robert McKenna III told jurors the claims against his client, a gastroenterologist, were baseless and equivalent to “extortion.”
AI system diagnoses IBD more effectively than human experts: Study (Becker’s GI & Endoscopy)
The AI tool was able to make diagnoses with 64.5 percent sensitivity, 89.5 percent specificity and 80.6 percent accuracy.
Commonwealth Diagnostics International (CDI) Named Among the Top Healthcare Technology Companies of 2022 (CDI)
CDI is an innovative GI health company providing diagnostic tests and tools to help physicians identify and diagnose common sources of digestive distress.
The U.S. Physician Shortage Is Only Going to Get Worse. Here Are Potential Solutions (TIME)
America is experiencing a physician shortage, and it’s only expected to get worse—a concerning situation that could lead to poorer health outcomes for many patients.
Gastroenterologists’ Urgency in Treating Celiac Disease Increases as the Number of Viable Pipeline Candidates Dwindles, According to Spherix Global Insights (PR Newswire)
Spherix recently surveyed 100 US gastroenterologists and conducted eight qualitative interviews to assess the current and future management of celiac disease.
Patient advocate Melodie Narain-Blackwell founder of COCCI.org (The Scope with Dr. K)
Dr. Lawrence Kosinski sits down with Melodie Narain-Blackwell, a passionate health advocate, educator, mobilizer, and the founder of Color of Crohn’s & Chronic Illness.
Higher ADR continues to show ‘strong, consistent’ link with lower interval CRC (MDedge)
Higher adenoma detection rates (ADR) during colonoscopies were associated with lower rates of interim colorectal cancer (CRC), and the relationship held true along a broad range of ADR values.
Podcast: Diagnosing Gastrointestinal Conditions with the Hydrogen Breath Test (Reach MD)
Dr. Peter Buch takes an in-depth look at breath testing with Dr. Mark Pimentel, Professor of Medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and Associate Professor at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.
Crypt Dysplasia in Barrett’s Esophagus: An Update (GI & Endoscopy News)
Endoscopic surveillance of Barrett’s esophagus can help diagnose cellular changes and prevent progression to esophageal adenocarcinoma.
Hepatologists, gastroenterologists lead NASH diagnosis yet ‘underdiagnosis’ persists (Healio)
Gastroenterologists and hepatologists were leaders in NASH diagnosis and viewed as primary coordinators of care, but the condition is still underdiagnosed and undertreated.
120 gastroenterologists to know | 2022 (Becker’s GI & Endoscopy)
The list compiled by Becker’s Healthcare highlights 120 gastroenterologists who provide critical services, expand technologies and grow their fields.

More Hot headlines in GI

ICYMI- Scope Forward Show: RNA stool test with 95% accuracy to increase colonoscopies – Dr. Haytham Gareer (NextServices)

Midcareer gastroenterologist pay in 5 most populated cities (Becker’s GI & Endoscopy)

ACG 2022 Annual Scientific Meeting & Postgraduate Course (ACG)

United Digestive Completes ‘Project United’: Operational Excellence for Partner Practices (PR Newswire)

Ulcerative colitis: New AI may standardize endoscopic classification of activity (MDedge)

CRC Screening Pays Off for People With Obesity (Medpage Today)

Bausch Health to appeal GI drug patent decision (Becker’s GI & Endoscopy)

Dr. Hamita Sachar Selected for ASGE GI Organization Leadership Development Program (Yale School of Medicine)

EndoGastric Solutions, Inc.® Announces TIF® Procedure Included in New AGA Clinical Practice Update and ACG Guideline (Business Wire)

Vitamin B12 And Folic Acid May Reverse Liver Inflammation And Fibrosis In Severe NAFLD: JAMA (Medical Dialogues)

NJ Hospital to Implement Colonoscopy AI Tech in Underserved Communities (Health IT Analytics)

Videos: Interviews with GI Leaders  (NextServices)

_
COVID-19: The Way Forward for Gastroenterology Practices
COVID-19 is a double whammy of both clinical and business disruption. This ebook will help you explore possible scenarios and be a guide in your plans for the future.
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11 Aug 2022

Greg O’Grady, CEO of Alimetry: “As clinicians, some of our skills may become relatively obsolete” (SF interview)

Greg O’Grady, CEO of Alimetry:
“As clinicians, some of our skills may become relatively obsolete” (SF interview)
As I write this note, I’m beginning to wonder what GI care means anymore. Just a few years ago, we were so sure of the role of the gastroenterologist in clinical care. Today, a flurry of digital innovations are urging the clinician to rethink her/his role. Surgeon and scientist and CEO of Alimetry, Professor Greg O’Grady reaffirmed how exponential technologies could make current clinical skills relatively obsolete.
Gastric Alimetry is a FDA approved device (below) that non-invasively senses motility of the stomach. Sensors capture activity of the stomach, relay it to an app, advanced algorithms spot patterns and generate a report for the clinician. It’s fascinating technology that’s been in the works at the University of Auckland, New Zealand for a decade.
Interestingly, in my book Scope Forward, I briefly talked about researchers working on a wearable device to track electrical activity of the digestive system and how algorithms would flag abnormalities (Page 51). Today it’s a commercial reality. The future is indeed coming at us faster than we think!
Don’t miss this one.
◘  The journey of Alimetry
◘  “Just like the heart, the stomach has its pacemaker”
◘  Why does the gut use electrical signals?
◘   What kind of GI diseases are detected?
◘  How does the wearable device by Alimetry work?
◘  How are the electrical signals detected from the stomach categorized?
◘  “We actually had 10 years of research going on”
◘  “We are a University spin-out company”
◘  The business model
◘  How can you buy this device?
◘  What kind of analysis is Alimetry doing from the data collected?
◘  What is the future of gastroenterology from Greg’s view?
“As clinicians, some of our skills may become relatively obsolete”

The Transcribed Interview:
Praveen Suthrum: Greg O’Grady. Welcome to The Scope Forward Show. I’m really excited to have you today.
Greg O’Grady: Thank you very much. It’s a pleasure to be here on your podcast.
Praveen Suthrum: So, Greg, let me outline your background. So, you’re the CEO and co-founder of Alimetry and you’re a professor in general and gastrointestinal surgery at the University of Auckland in New Zealand. So, thank you so much for joining. I’m curious to know a little bit more about your background and what led to the founding of your company.
Greg O’Grady: It’s a long story. So Alimetry for your listeners. We build wearable medical devices to diagnose gut disorders. And the sort of problems we’re really interested in are these disorders of function, sort of like the software of the gut, how it behaves and works and moves. So my clinical background is in surgery and I’ve been really interested in these difficult patients who often suffer a great deal with gastrointestinal symptoms and very hard to pin down a diagnosis on them at the moment. There’s a real lack of good tests out there. So I became very interested in these problems in the gut for my practice. And then I’ve done a lot of research on the gut and especially in the electrical function of the gut. And my interest in technology really led to the genesis of this company and ultimately Alimetry as it is today.
Praveen Suthrum: So, this research, can you talk a little bit more about this? What kind of research and why electrical signals of the gut? Has this been known for a long time or is this something relatively new that we know as an industry or a scientific community?
Greg O’Grady: It really has been known for a long time, but it’s not well known. So, you know, it’s been actually almost exactly 100 years since the electrical activity of the gut was discovered. And in that time, the guy who discovered it, Alvarez, 100 years ago, he actually made what he called his little prophecy that one day gastroenterologists would come to use electrical tools, just like cardiologists would to diagnose gut function. And really, it never happened, despite a lot of effort, wasn’t for a lack of effort over a lot of years that people really tried. But it’s difficult to measure these electrical currents just like the heart. The stomach has a pacemaker and it’s got an electrical system that drives the contractions of the muscles. But those signals, they’re 100 times weaker than you’d get in the heart. So it’s quite difficult to measure them from the body surface like you would for the heart. So a lot of my researchers and my team’s research and colleagues has been about tackling that very technical problem of how to measure these weak signals and bring them up to the body surface in a reliable way that we can measure them accurately and provide a useful clinical tool.
Praveen Suthrum: Let’s get to the basics a little bit. What is the stomach using the electrical signals for? We know what the heart does with it, but what does the stomach or the gut or the digestive system use It?
Greg O’Grady: For sure, it’s relatively similar. So, the electrical waste drive the contractions so that the muscle cells need that electrical signal to stimulate them to contract. And it should be nice and regular with the rhythmic digestive waves that happens in your stomach every 20 seconds or so after you eat. But just like in the heart, you can get arrhythmias where it becomes really irregular or fibrillation type activities, we call it in the heart, you can get similar dysrhythmias occurring in the stomach that become very disorganized. And it’s those types of signals that we’re aiming to measure and similar as well. You can get these ectopic pacemakers where the waves of the stomach start traveling in the wrong direction. And it’s these signals that we pick up and they correlate with diseases and with symptoms.
Praveen Suthrum: What kind of diseases?
Greg O’Grady: Really common ones. So about one in ten people would carry around with them some gut symptoms after they eat and maybe half the time that might be coming from the stomach. Things like chronic indigestion, functional dyspepsia. We call it gastroenterology or gastroparesis where the stomach doesn’t pump, working deep properly and nausea and vomiting. These are kind of the main things that we’re interested in.
Praveen Suthrum: How big is this problem? Globally or in the US.
Greg O’Grady: Yes, really common. Yeah, about one in ten. Globally, wherever you go, it’s a little bit higher than that in some places. And for some reason we don’t fully understand, it’s been increasing at about three and a half percent per year over the last 20 years. These distress after eating just becoming more and more common. And it’s a burden, a huge amount of suffering and health costs out there that goes into these problems.
Praveen Suthrum: What happens today when patients suffer from digestive disorders such as gastroparesis? How is it diagnosed or how does one know? Is it just a patient complaint?
Greg O’Grady: I would probably say it’s one of the most challenging areas in all of internal medicine because we lack a really good description of this disease, we lack a way to diagnose it. And patients turn up and often it’s not uncommon for them to undergo months or even years of a kind of diagnostic odyssey where they kind of bouncing around and they often undergo multiple tests that are always negative or inconclusive. It can be a really long diagnostic journey, not uncommon, at least in my part of the world, for it to be five years or so before they kind of reach some sort of finish line on their diagnosis. And in that time, there’s a lot of suffering that they go through, actually. And also the clinicians find it a real struggle to manage these disorders. So, it’s not quite as bad for indigestion type symptoms. But again, there’s a lot of negative testing that goes on and the battles for the clinicians.
Praveen Suthrum: Let’s talk about Alimetry. So, what does the device and the product or your solution, what do you do?
Greg O’Grady: We measure the electrical activity of the gut from the body surface, so it’s completely noninvasive, which is really nice. A lot of gut tests, they involve tubes or radiation and can be a bit unpleasant, but it’s really nice to have a non-invasive test. So, the patient comes in faster, and they sit in the chair. During the test, we prep the skin, and we place on their skin a wearable device. And that wearable device is where the real innovation is, a high-resolution device, meaning it has a lot of sensors on it. It’s got 66 electrodes and it’s so many because these signals are so weak and they’re so difficult to detect accurately and reliably, that we really pull everything we can out from the gut with this huge number of sensors that we put on. It’s completely wearable and it’s completely wireless and it’s a sticky patch that goes on over their abdomen and then they eat a meal, and they load their symptoms into an app we’ve developed so that we can correlate the changes that are going on in the gut with their symptoms during the test. And we get all that data, it goes up to a cloud and we send back a report to the clinicians so that they can interpret that with the patient and guide care.
Praveen Suthrum: Let’s talk about the electrical signals a little bit more. So, I saw what the device looks like and it’s quite fascinating. You said it’s capturing all these weak electrical signals and then I’m assuming you’re amplifying it, but could you categorize the type of these signals?
Greg O’Grady: We put all these signals together and we form them into visual tools that the clinician can use. So not like an ECG where the clinician would look at the individual waveforms. We kind of process them into the next level of doing these maps and visualizations and those show you a few things like whether the rhythm is regular, which should happen in the stomach, or whether it’s very scattered and irregular and really breaking down and breaking apart. And that indicates a neuromuscular problem with the stomach, that these nerves and cells that should be driving the contractions are failing. So that’s something that we can pick out with this test, for example, or we can pick out when these rhythms or waves become spatially irregular so they start doing the wrong thing or traveling in the wrong direction, which can lead to a different set of symptoms like bloating and pain after eating. And these sensors are housed in the device that is attached or spread throughout the white patch, the adhesive patch that you’re applying over the abdomen. Yeah, so it’s quite a cool technology. It’s a printed stretchable circuit. So we print these circuits like you might screen printed T shirt, for example, and we screen print these electrodes all over that patch so that we’ve got a very high density. And then on top of that, we put hydrogel pads so that you can just like an ECG dot, so you can really extract that weak signal. And an adhesive. So, you peel it off and you stick it on and on that all these individual electrodes that come together to form the patch.
Praveen Suthrum: Fascinating. Let’s talk about the business, Greg. So, you got started in 2019?
Greg O’Grady: Yeah, we started in 2019. Although going back, we actually had maybe ten years of pretty serious research going on in order to kind of learn how to do this. And it really wasn’t until 2019 that mature enough for us to think, oh, this is actually really exciting, and we’re kind of compelled to bring this out to the world and the product and the company as a vehicle to do that. So, yeah, it took a long time. Maybe 100 scientific articles were out there before we found the tricks to get it right. It was really hard.
Praveen Suthrum: Interesting.  Can you share a little bit about the funding situation? Did you raise money? How did you go about it? Or why did investors fund it? I’m curious about that, too.
Greg O’Grady: We’re a university spin out company, and the University of Auckland, like a lot of universities, have a really nice tech transfer process. And so we spun out of the university not only the IP and the technology, the patents and the algorithms, but we also spun out a team of really capable engineers with us as well. And so, we kind of carried that lab out at the university and into a commercial vehicle, which was a really exciting time. And university also kind of do a matchmaking process to introduce you to investors who are interested in these deep technology projects with really rich IP coming out of universities. And so, we met a great investor called IP Group who came out of Australia, actually, from a UK office in our most recent round. Another great investor called Movac led that round, and we’ve got a university, few others, that came together to form a syndicate to really back a great New Zealand technology that had come out of that academic environment into the real world so to speak.
Praveen Suthrum: Why not stay with your part of the world? Why approach the FDA in the US? And why are we looking at the US market?
Greg O’Grady: Yes, New Zealand is a beautiful place to live and it’s a really nice country, but it’s a super small country, as you may know. So, the total population in New Zealand could fit inside a lot of cities in the US or even in the UK. It’s about getting this technology to the world. And for us, the US is a super attractive market. There’s a lot of problem with these diseases everywhere, but the US is certainly not alone in that. And we’ve got a great relationship with expert gastroenterologists and research centers that we’ve had for a long time there. So, we’re very comfortable in the US and we love going there. So that’s a great market and a lot of fun actually.
Praveen Suthrum: What is the business model for Alimetry in the US?
Greg O’Grady: Yes, I mean it’s a pretty traditional business model for a diagnostic like you would a PillCam or other GI function tests that are done. So, there’s a kit that you buy and purchase and set up at the hospital and that’s got the reader device and so on. And then there’s the consumable, which is the patch. Once it’s used it’s sticky and unfortunately it can’t be reused. So that’s a consumable product that then the company sells for each use.
Praveen Suthrum: And who would pay for it?
Greg O’Grady: Yeah. So again. It’s very traditional out there in the market for patients coming through. At the moment, these tests, obviously one of the challenges for a medical device start-up other than getting through the regulatory is getting through that reimbursement journey is a major challenge for companies. We’re lucky in some respects and that there was an attempt to do this for quite a while out there a predicate technology and so there is a reimbursement code for example in the US. And there’s device that used to exist wasn’t particularly successful and so it’s about now for our company getting out there, showing people really what it can do and how useful it is and that will lead to adoption and use as clinicians find it useful and patients have successful outcomes. And on the back of that we’ll look to put that reimbursement piece of the puzzle into place so that it’s easier for people to do the test and get paid for it.
Praveen Suthrum: So private GI practice could potentially build for it buy the device, built for it?
Greg O’Grady: Yes, absolutely.
Praveen Suthrum: Are you seeing this to be a platform of some sort? Your view on the direction of where you’re going with the business?
Greg O’Grady: Yeah, I do. We’re very focused on the stomach in particular because it’s such an interesting organ that generates so many problems and it’s relatively easier than other parts of the gut to measure. But we’re very interested in, for example, the colon is a very interesting organ that you can also measure from the body surface. It’s not as easy and it kind of turns on and off and it does a bigger range of things but that’s another possibility. And also, I think the whole field is right. You know, there hasn’t been a whole lot of innovation in this part of the gut in this part of the body. And we’re at the dawn of this age of really exciting sensors and wearable technologies and data and AI and it’s really ripe for a whole innovative suite of products to come along and companies to come along and make the most of this and make a big difference in the process.
Praveen Suthrum: Are you familiar with companies similar to yours, perhaps not in gastroenterology but other specialties that are trying to capture electrical signals and do something with it? Let’s forget cardiology for a moment. But other than that, and of course the brain.
Greg O’Grady: Well, the heart and the brain are the two organs that are most obviously electrical, but a lot of other smooth muscles are in the body and squeeze muscles and things, I guess. But the hardest while we look at the wearable patches, the companies that are doing it very successfully and a very mature technology, the brain is interesting. A lot of companies, even commercial companies, you see them pitching to consumers, measuring brainwaves in various interesting ways. Super cool companies some of them. So we love that space. It’s really exciting to see what people do with all types of wearables. We’re data geeks and we love that measured cells; those different senses you can wear in your body to tell what your body is doing. And it’s exciting for us to be part of that kind of community. We’re medical device company but we do see ourselves as part of that wearable data driven trend.
Praveen Suthrum: If that is so, then why did you focus on going the route of getting reimbursed, working with clinicians? Why not allow it to be a consumer device? First, because there’s such a compelling need in the medical space and as a clinician, I find that really compelling that we can fill a gap, a diagnostic hole that’s been a real major problem for a long time and provide some fresh answers and fresh approaches. And also, the consumer market is about the use case. It might be interesting to measure your gut, but will it improve your life? Possibly. There’s a big question mark there. There’s a lot of companies out there looking at diets and opportunities, people very interested in knowing in fact different diets having their gut for example. A lot of people react to different foods. But can we provide that solution ourselves?
Greg O’Grady: I’m not sure yet. It’s a really interesting question but we’re 100% focused on medical for now because that makes total sense. But consumer would be interesting, if not us for someone else to do in the future.
Praveen Suthrum: So, is your product currently commercial or when is it going to launch?
Greg O’Grady: It’s available, yeah. It’s available in New Zealand and the UK. And the US. And we’re in market here in New Zealand early, but we are and, in the US, and the UK, we’re about to have our first commercial sites going as well. And we’ve had a ton of interest, actually, which has been really nice. So we’re busy scaling up the manufacturing and getting our processes in line and yeah, a it’s very exciting time.
Praveen Suthrum: If a GI doctor is interested in buying your product, how would they go about doing so today?
Greg O’Grady: Yeah, we meet a lot of them at conferences and through our networks because people are the early adopters, super interested in these disorders and patients. Our website is available as well, where people can go and have a look at what we’re doing at alimetry.com and see the device and they’ll get a good view from that, whether it’s something they’re interested in or not, and reach out to us and we’d love to work with them.
Praveen Suthrum: So, if you start viewing yourself into the future, let’s forward one year from now, three years from now, five years from now. How do you see the progression for Alimetry?
Greg O’Grady: You know, these new technologies, they go through a number of stages and what we really want to do, being clinician led as a company and having seen these patients a lot myself, what we’re really driven to do is to change the standard of care and to offer something that is genuinely answering the needs of the clinical community. And I’m as much a customer of that as I am the provider, so I feel that pain really strongly and identify with it. So, what we’re hoping to do is to make meaningful change and that will naturally lead to adoption if we can become the standard of care and provide those answers that are lacking for at least some of these patients. And if we do that, then everything else will fall into place for us commercially. That’s the road we’re on. And so far, so good. We’ve got some really exciting data coming out very soon that is, I think, going to get a lot of attention.
Praveen Suthrum: Talking about the data that you’ve captured so far, what have you learned from all this data, from the analysis? I know you’re doing individual analysis and providing it to the physician, but are you doing any analysis from all the data that you’re accumulating and what have you learned from it?
Greg O’Grady: Yes, one reason it’s an exciting field is because there is so much to learn. It’s not like the heart, which is so well characterized, that it’s really hard to learn something new from conducting normal studies. So even studying normal, healthy people, for us, we can learn a lot. We’ve generated hundreds of patients, now, many hundreds, and we’ve managed to formulate these, what we call reference ranges, where we kind of really understand what the normal digestive pattern is after eating what the normal amplitude of these contractions are and so on, and to put kind of a real circle around that’s normal. So now when we study these diseases, we can kind of start to put now the diseases int these, what we call phenotypes or boxes that fall outside normal and quite specific patterns. And the beauty of having the app is that we can pull the symptoms that are simultaneously being collected and then make these deep correlations with big data sets to work out what symptoms are associated with what patterns and what patients. And that’s something that will only get better as the data flows and grows so that we can really learn how to make the best of this tool.
Praveen Suthrum: So, when you look at these big data sets and when you’re categorizing these phenotypes, what are they telling you? Are you seeing with certain conditions, a certain phenotype? Are you seeing somebody is obese or overweight? Are you seeing a different type of phenotype? Somebody’s got a healthy gut. Are you seeing a different type of phenotype? Curious what you’re learning at this stage.
Greg O’Grady: Yeah, I mean, I can tell you about the I did tell you about that neuromuscular one where things become very irregular, but you mentioned overweight. And that’s something we’ve discovered very recently from looking at a large number of cases is that in our data so far, we’ve just put this out on met archive actually as a preprint. But if you have people with a higher BMI, their digestive time seems to be accelerated in their stomach. So, their stomach seems to be processing and working at a faster rate over a shorter period of time after eating. And we think this is a whole bunch of healthy, normal people, but with the range of weight. And so, for example, from this example, we think that one of the drivers for them being more overweight, maybe that they feel hungrier quicker because their stomach is processed, moved on, emptied, and they don’t have that same satiety that you and I might get from eating. So they go back to snacking, for example. That’s one hypothesis that’s come out of seeing that data with the patients with the higher BMI really having accelerated gastric time.
Praveen Suthrum: Greg, I’m curious to know what your take is on the future of gastroenterology, or perhaps medicine as a whole from the lens that you’re seeing.
Greg O’Grady: It’s an exciting time. It’s a little bit of a cliche, but I’m a big believer that we’re about to undergo some major changes. And the great thing about technology is that it’s exponential the rate of change. And so, I think it’s going to take people a little bit by surprise when AI and these big data things kick in. People at the moment are kind of in a little bit of a skeptical mode. It’s been around and talked about for so long that the kind of flying under the radar, the amount of progress that’s just being made. And at the moment I think it’s about to have a breakout and we’re going to enter this kind of zone of surprise where people are going to discover that the exponential rate of change is going to be quite surprising, and Gastroenterology won’t be spared from that. We’re already seeing the advent of AI and endoscopy and it won’t be long until that data power of data really spills out into other areas of Gastroenterology, as well as a super exciting time. And I love being on the side of it. Where we are promoting and bringing that change is certainly where we want to head as a company as well.
Praveen Suthrum: So, what if somebody is not on the side that you’re playing and is on the other side in the endoscopy room day and night, and they’re in that world and you’re saying if you catch them by surprise, are they going to be totally disrupted? Like, what’s your take?
Greg O’Grady: I don’t think so. It’s easy if you’re a technology advocate, to imagine that clinicians are going to be easily disrupted. But being a clinician myself and knowing the amount of training and experience and the integrated thinking that goes on when you treat a patient, it’s not so easy as replacing a clinician. So that’s actually really difficult. But I think our jobs will change in some important ways and we may find ourselves not doing so many repetitive tasks or some of our skills may become relatively obscure. So, you know, there will always be a role for the skilled clinician, but I’m hoping it will be for the better and maybe we can lose some of the more difficult aspects of medicine around the amount of time we spent maybe doing inefficient things or ways to improve what we do, make it less risky, more reliable and ultimately deliver better care. And that’s the future I think will happen. There’s kind of a nice tension between the technology always pushing into medicine and medicine kind of pushing back and adapting to that. And I think that struggle will yield better patient outcomes over time. So, I’m an optimist.
Praveen Suthrum: Professor Greg O’Grady, it was fantastic to have this conversation with you. Any final comments before you take off?
Greg O’Grady: Thanks for having me on your show. It’s been fun to meet you and talk about these things. And for our listeners who are interested, reach out to our website and be in touch. And yeah, we’d love to work with more gastroenterologists with what we’re doing.
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