As Fogarty Innovation’s Company Accelerator Program (CAP) wraps up its first year, it is pleased to celebrate the graduation of Flosonics, which developed FloPatch, a low cost, easy-to-use, wearable Doppler ultrasound sensor that is improving the management of critically ill patients at the point-of-care. Like UltraSight, another recent graduate, most of Flosonics’ participation in CAP was remote from Canada, punctuated by intensive onsite visits – a silver lining of pandemic-related process changes that underscored the viability of this model.
Gaining clearer understanding of the target market
Flosonics joined the Fogarty Innovation program when they had just received regulatory clearance and were ready to move from R&D to implementation of commercial activities. “Our goal was to develop a strong market entry plan and gain insight on how to execute on that plan while staying flexible and nimble as situations shift, such as we experienced during COVID,” said Joe Eibl, Ph.D., co-founder and CEO of Flosonics. “To do that, you need to understand challenges you might encounter along the way, including potential shortcomings in your product or execution.”
The team conducted a number of pilot studies during the CAP program, involving key stakeholders, including clinical administrators and clinicians. In these few short months, the company doubled from 15 to 30 employees, with the Fogarty team helping advise on the strategic positions needed to help them advance. These developments paved the way for their entry into clinical use in the U.S. and Canada.
“As first-time founders, going through the commercial readiness steps with the Fogarty team was extremely helpful in helping us avoid potentially costly mistakes and getting us to market much faster,” said Joe. “Mike (Regan) and Zach (Edmonds, MD), were critical in making sure we were prepared and could quickly respond to the ever-changing environment.”
Most notably, they learned to better understand the different stakeholders who interact with technology implementation and how to make sure they address their individual roles and concerns. “We are a patient-first company, and it’s rewarding to see this commitment reflected in the physicians we work with as we strive to help them make their processes more efficient, while reducing costs.”
Looking forward to the next step
As they launch FloPatch, Flosonics is focused on continual clinical validation studies and early commercial activities. “It’s been extremely rewarding to see the excitement of the clinicians as they make decisions based on our technology, and also to see how it can be deployed in various clinical settings, such as the ICU, emergency room and operating room,” said Joe.
“We’ve had such a positive experience with Fogarty Innovation that we are hopeful we can give back to other companies that are coming behind us,” he said, adding that the network they’ve created and relationships they built far surpassed their expectations.
He appreciates how Fogarty brings together likeminded people who all share the view that together they can use medical innovation to improve upon the current treatments available. “It’s been a unifying theme across everyone we’ve met in the program – that what we’re doing today is for a better tomorrow.”
The CAP program focuses on supporting early-stage companies in developing a comprehensive, cross-functional approach to address their desired opportunity by “starting with the end in mind.” The six-month program is designed to help companies clearly focus on their opportunity and identify barriers to success.