Monday, August 17, 2009

Executive Spotlight: Ed Manicka, President, CEO of Corventis

Executive Spotlight: Ed Manicka, President, CEO of Corventis
Corventis launched its AVIVO Mobile Patient Management System in April of this year. CEO Ed Manicka was brought on at Corventis after working at Guidant Corp. and Boston Scientific Corp. and believes its cardiac monitor, the size of a bandage, has the potential to reduce treatment and hospitalization costs in combating one of the nation’s most expensive ailments—heart disease.

Q: How do you feel wireless technologies such as yours will contribute to improving healthcare?
A: Even though Corventis is in the genre of wireless healthcare, there’s a lot more to this company than just that. I view wireless technology as an enabler of something much bigger going on in medicine right now. If you think about how medicine is practiced now, a physician calls upon knowledge gained in medical school and in his years of practicing medicine and makes a judgment call. A lot of that can actually be automated.

What we are trying to do is allow a physician to manage the routine care of patients through computers, which can do what no physician can do, and that’s watch a patient 24/7. This technology allows the physician to focus on those patients who truly do need that care. The patient ultimately gets better care and the physician is more efficient at no cost to the system.

We have engineered a solution for heart failure first, the number one most expensive problem for Americans, a huge burden on taxpayer dollars. This paradigm shift in patient management offers physicians a way to focus on those few patients who need immediate care and to detect those whose status may be degrading and need some preventive care to avoid readmission.

The device, called PiiX, looks like a bandage and measures various cardiac parameters–it’s completely waterproof and lasts for a week. It easily blends into the lifestyle of the patient and transfers data back to the caregiver in real time, 24/7. The product received FDA approval four months ago and should be available widely in the U.S. starting in October.

Q: What is the largest hurdle this new technology faces?
A: Everyone wants better care at a lower cost—to do more with less. The only way to do that is with new technology—a technology shock to the system. As long as you follow the logic of how physicians adopt new technology, and that’s with sound proof, like what we are doing with Dr. Topol at the West Wireless Health Institute, there shouldn’t be a barrier to adoption. We are setting out to prove a hypothesis that we can change the way patients are managed.

Q: Are there other applications for the technology?
A: Within cardiology I think there are a lot of potential applications, with heart attack, or acute myocardial infarction (AMI), for instance. This is a very expensive and complex problem for society. The use of this technology may enable physicians to understand when a heart attack is going to come and either prepare the patient or prepare the medical facility to provide proper care. This technology could also have applications for cardiac arrest and stroke.

Q: What keeps you up at night?
A: As with any startup, Corventis keeps me up at night! We’re trying to get a lot of work done with limited resources. The environment for funding right now is risk-averse so when we’re out there trying to get funding there’s a lot of work to get someone to write a check. We have to make sure this technology gets backing.

Q: What do you do to relax?
A: I work out a lot, I also play chess and read.

Q: If your house were on fire, what would you grab?
A: Videos of my kids when they were babies – they’re eight and seven now.

Q: When you were young, what did you aspire to be as an adult?
A: I always thought that I would be an engineer/scientist and that’s where I started my career. I thought it might be better for me to be a physician, but I know enough about cardiology where I can hold conversations with leading cardiologists. I learned all that in the course of my career, though. I’ve been able to marry my engineering and scientific background with business and that is a good outcome for me.

Q: How do you want people remember you?
A: If I can help create this shift in medical care to computational medicine, that would be a very nice legacy for me.

CHI-Advancing California biomedical research and innovation

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