The Silicon Review
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a prominent diagnostics procedure that allows physicians to view detailed images of the human body’s internal structures. MRI technology plays a significant part in medical procedures because MRI scans now illustrate more clearly the difference between diseased tissue and healthy tissue. This can also provide vital information about the spine, joints, internal organs, and brain. With better MRI technology, your physician will now be able to determine the best treatment method for you. More recently, there is a driving need for healthcare providers and innovators to leverage new technologies and boost productivity.
There are various technologists working diligently to find breakthroughs and enhance patient lives, but one that stands out from the rest is Promaxo.
Promaxo is a medical technology company developing and commercializing customer-centric MRI systems and MRI based technologies that enhance patients’ lives and redefine the standard of care. Promaxo is bringing the first portable single-sided MRI and robotic-guidance system to physicians’ offices and clinics using its proprietary technologies. The company was founded in 2016, and it is based in Oakland, California.
In conversationwith Amit Vohra, CEO, President and Co-Founder of Promaxo
Q. Tell us about the different applications for your technology, and how it is different from the existing MRI solutions?
Promaxo is redefining the MRI experience by developing accessible and adaptable technology that can be integrated into a standard doctor’s office. This enables improved clinical outcomes through enhanced care, superior patient and physician experience, and an attractive ROI for healthcare providers and investors. Promaxo’s system is the only MRI system that can be used in a physician’s office and provides access to the physician for needle-guided interventions for prostate cancer. Further, the system is the only single-sided MR system to allow open access to the anatomy of interest. This follows several detailed discussions and agreements with the Agency on the intended use and clinical validation. The validation required the inclusion of the human subject’s data and validation with experts in radiology and urology domains. In a short time frame, the Company was able to include the navigation guidance functionality and perform the validation studies required for submission to the Agency.
Q. What are the challenges you had to face while developing your solutions? How did you overcome them?
Promaxo’s biggest challenges moving forward are optimizing pulse sequences, high quality images, entering new markets, and changing the standard of care. The largest hurdle we will have to overcome in order to gain acceptance will be in providing the clinical workflow for this new device.
The management team is experienced in bringing similar disruptive devices to market. We have substantially derisked the technology and regulatory challenges and have demonstrated soft market validation for wide acceptance in the US market. Promaxo is well-positioned with tailwinds from payers and healthcare providers who are striving to bring imaging to outpatient settings and reduce healthcare costs. The Company recognizes that the device’s clinical workflow in an office setting and customer training remains the next big challenge in the commercialization plan. Promaxo is already partnering with key opinion leaders to create centers of excellence for training and education. Additionally, the Company plans to build a technical, clinical sales team to support the clinical community and bridge the skill gap.
Q. How does your solution align with the existing medical practice?
Promaxo’s vision is to take diagnosis and surgeries like targeted biopsies, interventions of various organs, image guide orthopedic and spine procedures out of the operating room and into a clinician’s office, whereby a remote surgeon can be networked in and take over. On the battlefield, the breakthroughs in imaging, robotics, and artificial intelligence have enabled pilots to apply a surgical strike at a target thousands of miles away, sometimes in densely populated areas. Now imagine surgeons using joysticks to operate small, lithe, steady robotic hands as state-of-the-art cameras and artificial intelligence guide them to conduct remote precision surgeries on individuals inside clinicians’ offices within towns, states, and faraway countries outside of a standard operating room. This year, it’s projected that over 1,500 surgical robots will be in use, a staggering 22-fold increase in the last decade since 69 were installed in 2010. Driving that leap in usage is the capital flowing to make these innovations a reality. The global healthcare robotics market was projected to more than double to $11.44 billion from $5.4 billion in 2017. Promaxo is doing its part by miniaturizing the hardware, in this case, the bulky MRI machines, to bring these robust imaging machines into the office setting, allowing physicians to initially conduct diagnostics and eventually surgical procedures inside that space, thereby dramatically reducing the time between a doctor’s visit and the operating room. It’s a vision that is very much aligned with the overall market trends and validated amongst fellow innovators who are also shaping the surgical landscape of the future.
Q. Do you have any new services ready to be launched?
Promaxo MRI system is initially optimized for prostate imaging and image-guided interventions of the prostate. To complement the technologies developed for wider disease conditions and anatomies, Promaxo has partnered with Martinos Center, an MRI imaging center at MGH and affiliated with MIT and Harvard. The partnership was formed into a Promaxo subsidiary with an exclusive focus on brain imaging for the purpose of triaging, screening, diagnosis, and intervening for various brain conditions ranging from traumatic brain injury (TBI) to epilepsy and even brain tumors.
Meet the leader behind the success of Promaxo
Amit Vohra is the CEO, President and Co-Founder of Promaxo, Inc., an Oakland-based med tech startup and the developers of the first portable in-office MRI device. As a serial entrepreneur, business strategist and advisor, Amit brings years of experience in management consulting and commercialization within the field of life sciences. His previous projects have contributed to innovative advancements in the realms of MRI fusion, non-invasive imaging and prostate biopsy. His interview credits include trade publications such as Forbes Council, Entrepreneur and Vator News.