Rhon Klinikum invests in Israeli co Inovytec

Inovytec's neck brace Photo: PR
Inovytec's neck brace Photo: PR

The German medical services company has invested several millions dollars in the Israeli resuscitation product developer.

Israeli company Inovytec Medical Solutions, which develops and markets unique products for emergency medicine, has received an investment of several million dollars from German company Rohn Kinikum, a German medical services chain listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange at a market cap of €1.6 billion. The investment was from the company's Rohn Innovations fund, for which it was the first investment.

The two companies will soon station hundreds of Inovytec's systems in a German district under an agreement likely to generate several million dollars more for Inovytec.

"We are in the transition from development to marketing. This investment will enable us to create a setup to support marketing for our products designed to provide medical assistance before the patient enters the hospital," said Inovytec cofounder and CEO Udi Kantor. Rhon Klinikum is a chain that includes hospitals, community clinics, and senior citizens homes, making it a suitable partner for Inovytec's products.

"I come from the defense establishment, not from the medical field," Kantor explained, "but I took a variety of first aid courses there. In one of my commands, I was also responsible for a medical response in an emergency, although I was neither a doctor nor a paramedic. All I had was a first aid kit with iodine and bandaids. Even defibrillators weren't common at that time. I realized that something was missing here, that there was a problem, and it disturbed me.

"So I got together with a group of people in the medical field to change the situation. I got an investment from angels investing in medical equipment companies, and also from a Chinese company that afterwards turned into a government company and left the picture."

The Israeli company has two products: a relatively inexpensive resuscitation product, which has already made its way to the market, and a next generation product design to be an especially sophisticated defibrillator bringing the world of defibrillators to the online future.

Lubo, the first product, already has CE and FDA approval. It is being sold at several dozen dollars per unit, and fits into a first aid kit. This product is designed to facilitate neck braces and opening the airways for injured people in the first moment after the injury. This is currently done manually, and doing it correctly requires great expertise. After opening the airways, the volunteer's hands are busy until the team comes with professional breathing equipment. The action is also physically exhausting for the volunteer. Lupo facilitates setting and releasing of a neck brace by the volunteer, and also non-invasive initial opening of the airways, without any unusual expertise.

"Opening the airways is an initial action included in providing first aid," Kantor says. "Without air, irreversible neurological damage occurs. There are other neck brace products, but they are liable to increase the pressure inside the skull, and our product does not incur this risk."

"Globes": How do you sell a product like this? Who are the customers?

Kantor: "Rescue organizations and any institution obligated to keep a first aid kit. We're only beginning to market the product, but we have distributors who work with such entities all over the world. The product was part of the emergency apparatus at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics, and it is being negotiated with a Brazilian distributor. There is an interesting process in India, Europe, and elsewhere."

Sali, the second device is an upgraded defibrillator. It includes the option of administering an electric shock to a person who has lost consciousness following heart failure, but it also has many other capabilities. For example, it makes it possible to detect whether a patient is currently experiencing a heart attack. If he is, it can be used to administer resuscitation even if the patient is still conscious, in contrast to existing defibrillators, which are designed for use only when the patient is unconscious. Like Ludo, it facilitates opening the airways, and also includes an oxygen therapy option using an oxygen canister, in addition to connectivity to a hospital. Kantor says, "Most of us don't know how to discern whether a person is having a heart attack. The signs are sometimes confusing, with no angina pectoris that can be felt manually; the symptoms are sweat, cognitive confusion, and nausea. In a case like this, connecting the patient to the device will tell you whether an emergency team should be summoned."

The advantages of Sali's connection to the cloud come into play at this stage. "This is what the medicine of the future looks like: as soon as a person in distress is found, two volunteers in the neighborhood get SMS messages. One receives an order to run to the patient, while the other gets a message to bring the Sali device. The nearest hospital receives a message that an event has occurred. As soon as use of the device begins, it starts broadcasting to the hospitals what is actually going on with the patient, so that cases can be prioritized and the exactly correct equipment sent. These communications are two-way, so that the doctor or paramedic can tell the volunteers on the spot what they should do."

In order to launch a product like this, all the points have to be connected: the volunteers, the hospitals, the cloud service, and deployment of the systems on the ground. That is exactly what the company will do together with Rhon Klinikum, which has taken upon itself a large share of the enterprise's complex logistics. "We want to show that with the help of the device, arrival times to the hospital will become shorter, and our patients will receive the best treatment," Kantor declares.

Sali costs the end consumer several thousand dollars.

What is the hospital's actual motive for deploying such a system?

"Given the dependence of the health system on the country in which the product is installed, hospitals usually have an interest in getting a better result with the patient - saving the doctors' time, hospitalization days, and complications. The faster the patient gets to the hospital, the easier it is to treat him."

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on November 13, 2016

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2016

Inovytec's neck brace Photo: PR
Inovytec's neck brace Photo: PR
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