New tech determines if wounds are healing properly
July 21, 2021
CALGARY – Kent Imaging has announced Health Canada’s approval for SnapshotNIR V3.0 – now available for shipping in both official languages. This upgrade provides significant feature enhancements to the imaging technology that advances tissue assessment in acute and chronic wounds.
The multitude of features include the ability to image most skin tones (overcoming the melanin barrier), linear and surface area wound measurements, easy report generation with image comparisons, and enhanced patient file management, to name a few.
“As a firmly Canadian company, we are excited to release this enhanced version of SnapshotNIR into the country. This is another critical step in our goal of delivering effective wound care and surgical solutions to care providers and improving patient outcomes,” said Pierre Lemire, Kent’s CEO. “The updates to SnapshotNIR V3.0 will make it easier and faster than ever to bring critical real-time and point-of-care data to the treatment path.”
SnapshotNIR utilizes near-infrared light to determine tissue oxygen saturation (StO2), which is a key indicator of tissue health. Ideal for microcirculation assessment, it conveys a comprehensive picture of the healing capacity of wounds or surgical tissue. This critical information is used to support clinical judgment in choosing, evaluating, and tracking treatment and surgical options throughout the care continuum.
“I am pleased to hear about Health Canada’s approval for SnapshotNIR V3.0 and its enhancements,” states Peter Oxley, president, TSG Medical Inc. “For many of our clients, the Snapshot device, with its easy-to-use interface and instant imaging results of tissue oxygenation, has become an integral part of the wound care treatment process to assess tissue viability and the likelihood of a wound to heal. This useful information at a practitioner’s fingertips helps to affect treatment choices for better outcomes.”
In the past, to make sure oxygenated blood is reaching wound areas, health professionals have had to rely on visual inspections or probes requiring skin contact.
Now, Kent Imaging, a Calgary-based medical device company, has developed a non-invasive digital imaging system that measures tissue oxygenation in wounds with just a click of a camera.
“It takes pictures at different wave lengths, using near infrared light (NIR) and generates, in an instant, a compiled image of blood oxygen levels in tissue. Plus, you don’t need to touch the patient,” said Don Chapman, Kent Imaging founder and executive chairman.
Information from Kent Imaging’s SnapshotNIR device allows doctors or surgeons to rapidly survey the injured tissue, so they can check on the healing process and determine proactively whether changes to treatments are needed to ensure successful patient outcomes.
Already the device has been hailed by industry observers like MedTech Outlook, a U.S. magazine that covers the latest healthcare technology developments, as the “next wave of medical imaging technology.”
Certainly, this breakthrough didn’t happen overnight. It took time, business savvy (Chapman is a seasoned entrepreneur who has founded or led 10 technology companies) and help from research and innovation funding agencies like Alberta Innovates.
Starting eight years ago, Alberta Innovates technology development advisors such as Michael Kerr provided coaching and helped Chapman secure grants to research, develop and build the company’s specialized imaging system.
Over the next few years, the company quickly evolved its technology. As the technology matured, Kent Imaging secured market clearance approvals from Health Canada and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). At the same time, early sales of the SnapshotNIR device in Canada and the U.S. were promising.
In September 2020, Kent Imaging secured more than $250,000 from Alberta Innovates’ AICE (Accelerating Innovations into CarE) Market Access Program.
The company is now partnering with SerenaGroup Research Foundation, a global wound care group, to carry out real-world trials of its technology.
“Health innovators often face challenges in generating evidence needed for introducing new technologies. We could see that funding further clinical trials could help to accelerate Kent’s market access,” Anderson says.
Since then, the company’s success has continued to build momentum, as it attracts major companies and investors.
In December 2020, Kent Imaging successfully raised US$15 million in financing from TVM Capital Life Science, a global life science venture capital firm.
In January this year, Kent announced a strategic partnership with Tissue Analytics, a U.S.-based Net Health company providing software solutions for the wound care industry.
Meanwhile, the staff count is up to 20 and growing. The company is continuing to develop its digital imaging products and there are plans to open an office in the U.S. and launch SnapshotNIR in Europe.