VOTIS, ii Ventures to develop devices to screen for peripheral artery disease in India
An estimated 41-54 million Indians have PAD, many undiagnosed and the MoU will focus on the impoverished rural sector, comprising 65.53 per cent of the national population
Israeli VOTIS Subdermal Imaging Technologies (VOTIS) and India’s ii Ventures (iiV) will be developing a system to screen the largely rural Indian population for peripheral artery disease (PAD).
The devices, which allow for the early detection of the disease before tangible symptoms appear, will utilise the same technology that VOTIS is building into other devices intended for use in the US and Europe.
VOTIS plans to release its devices commercially in 2022.
PAD afflicts between 41 and 54 million Indians, many of whom are impoverished, illiterate, and lack access to good healthcare informs Alfred Arambhan, Co-Founder and Mentor of iiV. Hence, the need for a system that is convenient, accurate, and affordable which he says they found in the VOTIS technology.
“In India, access to healthcare among the rural population is extremely limited,” Arambhan explained. “Preventative healthcare is especially difficult to implement. In poor rural communities, preserving feet is crucial. Since rural life is agricultural, when someone loses a foot to amputation he is in a particularly desperate economic state, even as compared to the urban poor.”
Referring to India’s status as the Diabetic Capital of the world, Arambhan continued, “Our initial plan is to establish VOTIS solutions in villages throughout India, and to create a robust and reliable platform for introducing and launching similar devices and solutions in the future. We are gratified that our plan has received encouragement and support from Governmental, private, and NGO sources in India.”
He added, “We look to this plan to be a game changer in the Preventive Health Care Space in India.”
“Our technology is especially suited for the Indian market,” said Merrill Weber, CEO and President of VOTIS. “Our devices are entirely non-invasive and do not use X-rays (Roentgen) or other ionising radiation. They are inexpensive and dependable. In India, the screening devices will enable easy, intuitive use. That will permit testing to be performed by technicians and nurses in the villages rather than medical doctors at hospitals or clinics. People found to have PAD will immediately be directed to specific locations where they can receive suitable medical treatment. With early disease identification and quick access to medical care, we expect incidence of PAD-related amputation to be reduced substantially.”
The VOTIS devices use vascular optical tomographic imaging, or VOTI, an imaging technology developed under the leadership of Prof. Andreas Hielscher, professor and chair of the newly-formed Department of Biomedical Engineering at the New York University Tandon School of Engineering. The technology was developed in Prof. Hielscher’s biophotonics and optical radiology laboratory, which he ran as professor of biomedical engineering, radiology and electrical engineering at the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Columbia University.
The company is developing a suite of devices that will be used to help diabetic patients keep their feet. The first device, the PedCheck™, will be used to screen the feet of asymptomatic patients for PAD. If PAD is found, then the second device, the PedScan™, will be used to stage and monitor disease progression and the impact of therapies applied by the patient’s physician. The third device, the PedFlo™, will be used during a revascularisation procedure, in order to inform the practicing doctor regarding the level of blood flow in the foot. All three VOTIS devices use the same technology, software, and system architecture. As per the release, they are safe, non-invasive, and free of ionising radiation.