WoundVue™ for Chronic Wound Assessment and Healing

Hello everyone, you’re listening to Health Professional Radio. I’m your host for today Tabetha Moreto. Our guest today is Mr. Brent Barnes the CEO of LBT Innovations. Brent is also a Non-executive Director of Connek Priority Limited, a telecommunications and IT professional services company that sub contracts to major blue chip companies within the ITT space. We’re going to talk about a very interesting device called the ‘WoundVue’ that takes 2D and 3D images of chronic wounds. Without further ado, welcome to the show Brent. I’m so happy you can join us today. Thanks for having me. So Brent, now tell us especially the audience who you are and what you do exactly? Sure. So LBT innovations is a publicly listed company on the Australian Stock Exchange and we’ve been around for about 11 years and actually our heritage and our key focus has been within clinical microbiology and we’ve developed over a time some really unique imaging and artificial intelligence software which has allowed us to put together an instrument which provides automation within the culture plate process and this is an FDA-approved technology. But what we’ve recently been able to achieve is we’ve been able to utilize our core FDA-approved machine learning algorithms into a different clinical application looking at chronic wounds. And there are some 50 million people globally that are affected by chronic wounds and the clinical treatment process is extremely manual and subjective. And so what we identified is an unmet need in the market and we’ve developed a prototype device that we’ve called ‘WoundVue’ and WoundVue is a handheld portable device. It is in a prototype form so it’s not ready for sale at this point but it takes to the images of the wound as well as a 3D image and we’ve got some software which reconstructs that wound in the 3D kind of capacity and it’s able to automatically identify the surface area of the wound and the volume of the wound. In addition to that, we’ve trained our our algorithms using this machine learning capability to identify automatically the tissue types so whether there’s granulation or there’s sloth type of tissues that’s growing on the wound and that’s really important because it takes away that subjectivity of practitioners that are looking at wounds on a weekly basis and provides a very objective mechanism and a very automated and an efficient way of taking key measurements and information of wounds in a way that that is more efficient than that of a person doing that. Wow. This is all fascinating information Brent. Now tell us, what are the causes of chronic wound? Look, it’s typically very multifaceted but this is an emerging issue really due to an aging population and with the rise of diabetes. And so typically, patients who have chronic wounds have other complications associated with their general health. And so it’s important to understand that what we’re developing with the WoundVue technology is really a diagnostic device which helps with the assessment and profiling of the wound to look at if the wound is getting better, so if it’s healing or if it’s getting worse and not healing. But there are other attribute associated with wound management such as dressings and drugs that are all part of the clinical workflow that they’re all kind of lead into the treatment of wounds getting better or worse. I see. This is very interesting. So Brent, I want to ask you a personal question. So can you tell me why are you so passionate about helping people with chronic wounds? That’s a good question. Look, there’s been some really interesting case studies of people dying of wounds, of limbs being amputated and I think when you’re looking at the type of impact that has on people, look it’s not a positive thing. And we’ve recently entered into a collaboration agreement whether with a local health network here in Adelaide which is doing quite an interesting clinical trial and that clinical trial is looking to predict the outcomes in patients with diabetic foot ulcers and looking at the effectiveness of the interventions to improve outcomes. And the whole idea there is to try to develop a predictive protocol which would allow practitioners and surgeons and to be able to identify early on whether a wound is getting to a point where it might be on that kind of pathway to amputation of the limb. And obviously, by having insight into that information early on, it allows the medical treatment of that wound to be far more effective than it is today. And so this partnership and collaboration agreement that we’ve been able to strike with the Central Adelaide Local Health Network is been really positive because they’re able to use our device and they’re able to use that routinely. We get access to the images and that will help us further develop our algorithms and training of the software. And then having a vascular surgeon such as Professor Rogue … who’s head of Vascular Surgery there at the at the hospital is really important as part of providing that clinical expertise and clinical advice in to the further development of our core technology. Thank you very much Brent for sharing this information with us. It’s also fascinating. Okay now Brent, so can you tell us do you know how many people have chronic non-healing wounds in Australia? I don’t have that off the top of my head. No. I do have at about 50 million or more than 50 million people globally affected by chronic wounds but I don’t have that figure which I should have I’m sorry for that. I definitely have that as part of our database. That’s alright Brent. No problem. Now, can you tell us is there any misconception regarding treatment or your products that would you like to clear up on the show today? Well look, there’s no misconceptions. I hope it’s pretty clear. So what we have is a prototype device which is a diagnostic tool that will aid practitioners to help with the measurement and diagnosis of chronic wounds and we see this is quite a useful device for both being used within a clinic setting so within wound care clinics but as well in an outreach type of capacity where what happens here on Australia and the UK and in other countries is where you have nurses driving out to aged care facilities and in an outreach capacity where they’re going to the patient’s home and we see multiple uses there for the device to really support that. And we think that will deliver a lot of efficiencies with respect to the clinical workflow. So making it much easier for the nurses to make these measurements and really move from a subjective measurement to something which is very objective and obviously having reproducible objective measurements allows information to be given back to nurses, practitioners, surgeons about whether that wound is healing or not and trending that with data and being able to data mined that information is something that we’re very passionate and excited about further developing over subsequent periods of time because we are still fairly early on with respect to having our first generation prototype device. So still, there’s a bit of work from an engineering perspective that we’d like to do as well as making sure that we’re validating our algorithms and our machine learning platform to ensure that we comply with various regulatory bodies throughout the world. Wow, that’s amazing. Thank you so much Brent and I’m very happy to hear that your company has developed this device in order to help people suffering from chronic wounds because as I know, my mother herself was a diabetic and she suffered also from chronic wounds herself because as we know when a diabetic cuts themselves or when they get wounded, it takes a very long time to heal and with this device, it can help those kind of people. Absolutely. Yes, that’s very true. Okay. Thank you Brent. Okay. So our last question for today, what is your main takeaway message to all of our listeners on Health Professional Radio. Look, I think the take-home message is that we originally achieve this milestone around having the prototype device completed. It is on I guess using a same core technology of our APAS machine learning algorithm which is FDA-cleared. And so what we’re doing in terms of our approach is that we’re using the same clinical mindset to ensure the development of this device is one that will be subject to further regulations, clinical trials and the like. Snd so really the take-home messages that we’re very happy with the respect to getting a device in the market that is really gone beyond a proof of principle type of application and one whereby, we’re really entering further product development and engineering work whereby we expect to look to bring a product to market at a point in time that I can probably better or more clearly to find once we we get some further trial work activity completed. Wow. That was a fantastic message Brent. Actually, I have one more question for you. So how can people get in touch with you guys especially LBT Innovations? Yes sure. Well I think is a starting point that you can go to our website, so that’s lbtinnovations.com. And from there, we have a ‘Contact Us form’ so you can fill that out, subscribe to our newsletter and we have various pieces of information about our technology that can be found there. So we’re really at quite an exciting time in the company where we’re commercializing our platform technology around our Automated Plate Assessment System that’s within clinical microbiology and then secondly, we’ve got this WoundVue platform and that is obviously quite different than clinical microbiology but really our core technologies around this intelligent imaging and machine learning platform that we’ve been able to develop in the WoundVue context. Thank you very much Brent. That was fantastic and I’m so happy that you came on the show today. Thank you so much for having me. I really appreciate the opportunity. Ladies and gentlemen, that was Brent Barnes, CEO of LBT Innovation. We have just been talking about a fantastic device called the ‘WoundVue’. We also talked about chronic wounds and the care of wounds as well. If you like this interview, transcripts and archives are available at www.hpr.fm. We are on all social media platforms so don’t forget to follow, like and subscribe. We’re also available for download on SoundCloud and iTunes. I’m Tabetha Moreto and you’re listening to Health Professional Radio.

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