Mayo Clinic Ventures Partners with Wearable Medtech Startup Targeting Blood Clots
The Mayo Clinic’s venture capital and commercialization arm has established a relationship with an Indiana-based wearable medtech startup seeking to revolutionize how compression is used to prevent deadly blood clots.
Recovery Force LLC of Fishers, Indiana revealed last week it had set up a collaboration with the Rochester institution to be “managed” by Mayo Clinic Ventures. The Mayo division is in charge of commercializing clinic-developed research as well as making equity investments in companies deemed promising for improving patient care.
The announcement didn’t specify if a venture capital investment was part of the new collaboration. However, it did outline how under the agreement Recovery Force and Mayo will work together to develop new products using the company’s patented, shape-changing technology which is embedded into discrete, wearable garments and used to exert compression on the legs to prevent clots and deep-vein thrombosis.
Recovery Force CEO Matthew Wyatt said in a statement the collaboration “provides Mayo access to the company's intellectual property while providing Recovery Force access to Mayo's research, development and organizational resources.”
The startup currently has U.S. Food and Drug Administration clearance to market its “Active Compression Wrap” product, the RF 1400, described as a lightweight device which applies intermittent compression on the lower limbs to stimulate blood flow which is easily wearable under normal clothing. The wrap contains nickel titanium, martensite to austenite phase-change wires and a battery-powered microprocessor to “excite” and “relax” the wires, resulting in compression.
Recovery Force touts the wrap as a “paradigm shift in the sequential-compression market,” which now is dominated by polypropylene air-bladder wraps attached to hoses and noisy pumps. The company pans the current options as “uncomfortable and cumbersome” and cites them as “significantly reducing patient compliance rates” for deep vein thrombosis — a condition wherein a blood clot forms in a leg vein, breaks loose and travels through the bloodstream into the lungs, thereby causing pulmonary embolisms.
Pulmonary embolisms are life-threatening and require immediate medical care — sudden death is often their first symptom. Deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism result in 100,000 deaths in the U.S. annually, according to federal health officials. That’s more per year than from breast cancer, AIDS and motor vehicle accidents.
In comparison to the currently available options, Recovery Force says its wrap is “low-profile” and contains “no hoses, no motors, no pumps or external power cords, and generates no noise whatsoever.”
It claims the wraps can also be used to diminish post-operative pain and swelling; reduce wound healing time; aid in treating soft tissue injuries such as burns, postoperative or post-immobilization edema or ligament sprains; as well as other indications.
Meanwhile, a key element of the company’s Mayo collaboration is “future product development” in which Recovery Force is aiming to expand its wearable technology product line. At Mayo, the technology will be integrated into the clinic’s workflow and the experience will be used to develop “best practices” for improved patient outcomes.