Back in the 1970s the world marvelled as the then revolutionary CT scan and nuclear medicine technologies that allowed health care professionals to gain never-before-seen insights into patients’ diseased lungs. The 3D pictures they provided were high resolution images that were a vast improvement on the 2D (x-rays) and 1D (spirometry) tests previously available.
Fast forward to the 2020s and medical practitioners are no longer humming the old Australian band Skyhooks song ‘I’m Living in the 70s’ while testing patients. This thanks to the emergence of 4DMedical as the new kid on the lung diagnostics block.
4DMedical adds another dimension to respiratory disease diagnostics
The lung diagnostics technology platform created by 4DMedical does so much more than simply emulate all that is good in testing technologies. It has the functional insight of spirometry at a regional level and the high-detail resolution of a CT scan, all with a comparable radiation dose to X-ray. But so much more than this, the technology also provides faster, more efficient testing – all using existing hardware and at competitive price points below incumbent technologies.
The 4DMedical platform includes the patented XV Technology™, which enables physicians to understand regional airflow in their patients’ lungs and identify respiratory deficiencies earlier and with greater sensitivity as they breathe. This technology powers 4DMedical’s FDA-cleared XV Lung Ventilation Analysis Software (XV LVAS™ for short), which is the first and only modality that can dynamically quantify ventilation in 4D.
On top of its superiority from a diagnostics perspective, 4DMedical’s technology additionally exposes the patient to lower levels of radiation relative to other diagnostic methods. This is a clear-cut advantage when disease progression and therapeutic effectiveness need to be regularly monitored.
And the 4DMedical platform consists of much more than just a software offering. The Company has also developed an operational XV Scanner incorporating the proprietary XV Technology™ software. This hardware is already a reality, having been installed in the Research Imaging NSW facility at Sydney’s Prince of Wales Hospital back in March 2022.
4DMedical’s commercialisation strategy is now building momentum
The Company has, over recent times, gradually penetrated its home Australian market. The XV Technology has to date been rolled out to 27 I-MED sites, with this number expected to grow over 2023-2024. This uplift will see 4DMedical leveraged to Australia’s high level of CT scanners per head of population, which is the second highest in the OECD group of countries.
Now 4DMedical is getting its commercialisation strategy in the massive US market underway in earnest. In early April 2023, the Company announced the signing of a five-year contract with the University of Miami to provide XV LVAS™ ventilation reports. Importantly, this agreement includes minimum annual fees and represents a significant milestone in the commercialisation strategy of the Company in the US, validating the efficacy and utility n the XV Technology™.
This contract has emerged out of the strong working relationship 4DMedical has built with the University of Miami via a fruitful joint clinical research program that demonstrated the value of the XV Technology™ across a range of indications, including Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). According to the World Health Organisation, the latter disease is the third leading cause of death worldwide. Locally, Australian Lung Foundation data indicates that around 1 in 7 Australians over 40 have COPD. Crucially, half of the COPD sufferers in Australia do not know that have the disease, meaning they are missing an opportunity to start treatment earlier before structural changes in the lungs occur that adversely impact the effectiveness of known treatments.
Looking ahead. the University of Miami agreement sets out a framework for further expansion of 4DMedical’s XV Technology™ into the US market.
4DMedical MD/CEO and Founder Andreas Fouras said: “This agreement represents our first US SaaS contract and reflects the attainment of a key milestone in the Company’s commercialisation journey. Furthermore, the fact this milestone was completed with our clinical trial partners at the University of Miami, who have developed such an extensive understanding of XV Technology™, is especially satisfying.”
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