Radiology conference offers HealthMyne a chance to boost its image

HealthMyne’s co-founders hope their experience helps them make a big splash as they exhibit their product in Chicago this week.

The Madison company provides an FDA-approved analytics platform to help cancer care providers track medical images over time. HealthMyne got a boost this month when it announced that Epic Systems would export its electronic health records data for HealthMyne’s use.

HealthMyne also faces a significant test this week as it exhibits its product at the Radiological Society of North America annual meeting, which started Sunday. To stand out, the company is highlighting its innovative product along with a management team that has “done this before,” said co-founder and chief strategy officer Mark Gehring.

“When we walk in there, we’re not just some guys from a startup,” Gehring said. “We’re the guys that built a bunch of their critical tools. We walk in there with a lot of credibility.”

Gehring, for example, co-founded Propeller Health and was the co-founder and CEO of Geometrics, whose Pinnacle radiation treatment system is sold worldwide by Philips Medical Systems. He also co-founded and was CEO of UltraVisual Medical Systems, an image management system that merged with Emageon, which went public in 2005.

Two other UltraVisual co-founders, Roger Chylla and Praveen Sinha, are also on the HealthMyne founding team, with Sinha serving as HealthMyne’s CEO. Sinha also co-founded NovaShield, an IT security development company, where he raised more than $6.5 million as its CEO.

Hao Wang, who was NovaShield’s CTO, also co-founded HealthMyne, as did Thomas “Rock” Mackie, a UW-Madison emeritus professor whose list of companies is lengthy and includes Geometrics and TomoTherapy, which went public in 2007 and was sold to Accuray for $277 million.

HealthMyne started when the co-founders, looking to launch another company, saw a “big opportunity back in our old space of medical imaging,” Gehring said.

Several companies manage electronic health records data, and at the same time, millions of medical images are created to help radiologists and other providers diagnose and treat tumors. But HealthMyne is bringing both of those together and adding analytics functionalities that will streamline the process as providers decide on cancer treatments.

Radiologists, for example, will be able to look at an image of a tumor and use the growing field of radiomics to easily track hundreds of metrics of that tumor over time, Gehring said.

“There’s all sorts of different variables that can be measured with a tumor, and right now, very few are being measured,” Gehring said. “We can do that automatically.”

They’ll also be able to pull up electronic health records from companies such as Epic to see “the full context for the patient,” including previous radiotherapy treatments. And providers will be able to compare a patient’s tumor images with a cohort of similar patients, data that’s currently either difficult for them to get or isn’t standardized for easy comparisons.

All of those functionalities, Gehring said, mark a significant shift for radiologists who typically haven’t been able to pull data from images.

“Historically, radiologists have looked at medical images as pictures, primarily, but ever since images are on digital, there’s all sorts of data that can be mined. … We are right in the center of that, being able to highly quantify that data, and then hopefully, there’s information in the data mining that can improve the quality of care that’s delivered,” Gehring said.

HealthMyne closed a $4.5 million fundraising round earlier this year led by Madison-based funds Venture Investors and 4490 Ventures, and it has tested its product at UW Health and at the Moffitt Cancer Center in Florida.

The company is looking to expand those two partnerships to full clinical status. It’s also hoping to identify a handful of large cancer sites to work with so it can carefully expand its operations.

But for now, Gehring said HealthMyne’s co-founders have tapped into their vast networks to “drive people to [their] booth” at the conference.

“The feedback that we got from our partners and the people we’re talking to is very positive,” Gehring said. “So we think we’ll have a pretty enthusiastic response.”

— By Polo Rocha