Lower-cost, more-effective treatments are the hallmark of many Fogarty Institute companies, and that is the principle Healyx is living up to with its device that provides gold standard care for a chronic problem at a significant cost reduction.
Non-healing wounds are a critical global issue, with over eight million Medicare patients afflicted at an annual cost of $31.7 billion in the U.S. alone – and the repercussions are devastating, leading to severe health challenges and impaired quality of life for the patient.
Currently, only about 33 percent of chronic wounds and ulcers are effectively treated by traditional therapies, due to the complexities of wound care management and the need for state-of-the-art tools. One advanced treatment, negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT), is validated in numerous clinical studies as a methodology that reduces healing time of open wounds. However, the management and accessibility of NPWT devices have impeded their widespread use, particularly considering that treatment costs can exceed $1,000 a week.
The healing power of improved wound care
Enter Healyx, a company that is developing a cost effective, easy-to-use wound vacuum technology designed specifically for price-sensitive markets.
The startup is initially targeting the underserved U.S. market, as well as the emerging Southeast Asian market, and recently completed a successful 14-patient pilot study in Kathmandu, Nepal. Maya, Healyx’s first patient, is a 60-year old grandmother and mother of four, who suffered from a surgical wound infection that refused to heal following a lower extremity fasciotomy. After four months of shuttling from hospital to hospital, surgeons recommended amputating both her legs. Thankfully, she was able to enroll in Healyx’s first clinical study. After just 11 days of treatment with Healyx’s Kyron NPWT system, Maya’s wound began to heal and close, allowing for the placement of a split thickness skin graft (STSG). She was soon able to walk out of the hospital, return to her family and restart her daily activities.
That was just one of the successful stories of the study, which also included a variety of challenging wounds from chronic sacral pressure ulcers to electrical burn injuries. The pilot study highlighted Kyron’s safety, ease of use and design effectiveness for healing wounds and improving patients’ quality of life in resource-constrained settings.
“This device is brilliant and will expand our ability to reach more patients. Currently, we can only heal one in 25 patients, due to high treatment prices,” said Dr. Chetan Pradhan, primary and revision trauma physician from the Sancheti Institute in India.
Exciting advances ahead
“The phenomenal success of our study underscored that our product is ready to expand implementation into additional clinical and commercial settings,” said Cam Hutton, co-founder and CEO of Healyx. “We are excited to continue building our company around the effectiveness of our technology and are eager to make our therapy accessible to the people who need it most.”
Healyx is currently preparing for 510(k) submission, spearheaded by Madeleine Sides, co-founder and head of product development. The startup is positioning itself to raise Series A funding to complete its piloting phase in the U.S. and India, with a goal of eventually expanding its reach into select global markets and surgical nonprofit organizations.
The team has grown in California and in Pune, India, and continues to attract ongoing supporters, including the Fogarty Institute, ReSurge International, King Philanthropies and nurses and surgeons in the U.S. and South Asia.
“Our goal is to reduce hospital stays, cut costs for families and hospitals and dramatically reduce patients’ pain and suffering,” said Cam. “We have a very exciting opportunity to create a significant impact globally by making advanced wound care accessible to low-income patients. It has been a privilege to work with such a dynamic team that is inspired by a mutual goal.”