Sure thing. I am the President and Chief Commercialization Officer here at Trice. I have been here for a little under two years and before that was at Smith & Nephew for 8 years. My last role at Smith & Nephew was Vice President of U.S. for their Sports Division. Before that I was at Boston Scientific for 8 years, and I graduated from the University of Richmond.
Mark, we’ve seen a lot of buzz around the mi-Eye 2 lately. What originally prompted the creation of this innovative technology?
As you may know, there have been some other technologies that took a swing, if you will, at in office arthroscopy. Unfortunately, they may have been a little ahead of their time. They basically tried to miniaturize a traditional arthroscopy tower, which still leaves you with a high capital cost, reusable components and multiple steps to set up; all of which make it hard to adopt in a busy office setting. So, the mi-eye was founded by asking the question- “Can we take a needle and put optics on it?” We started with a totally different view of the market compared to what had already been tried. Essentially, we took a 14-gauge needle and put optics through it, allowing us to deliver a high-quality image in a fully disposable product, that can be used readily and quickly in an office setting.
The mi-eye 2 is actually our 3rd generation camera that has hit the market. As you know, the chips have gotten better and better, as well as more cost effective. We have come to a point where you can finally get an operating room type image, in a disposable needle, at a cost-effective price. This image gives patients instant answers because it is used by the physician in the office.What do you see as the biggest value of the mi-eye 2 to the various stakeholders involved?
Well, it is the first product I’ve been around that can bring major value to the three main stakeholders involved in the healthcare environment.
Patients: Consider yourself a patient with a torn meniscus or labrum, most physicians know from your physical exam that you’ve got some pathology. Yet in today’s world, you still have to go get that MRI. So, you have to take another day off of work, add an additional office visit, and so on which gets expensive and time consuming. Because the mi-eye was designed to be used in the clinical setting, it saves the patient a tremendous amount of time and money. Or, imagine you are the patient that has had a negative MRI and still has lingering knee pain. I have been in those cases and seen the relief on a patient’s face when the surgeon shows them cartlidge damage on the tablet and let’s them know that they “weren’t crazy.” They can then confidently move forward with treatment.
Physicians: Our surgeons use the mi-eye 2 not only because of the value to the system. They love the fact that they can get a dynamic view inside of the joint by using the camera in the office. The MRI’s are a wonderful tool, but they are a static image of the body at one point in time. The mi- eye allows the physicians to literally have their eye inside of the patient to achieve dynamic diagnostics. Additionally, they can confidently deliver biologics under direct visualization through the lumen of the needle.
Providers: Often times, something that is great for patients might be very expensive. Or if it’s great for the system, maybe it doesn’t fit a clinical need of the physician. In this case, we have peer-reviewed data supporting the fact that for intra-articular pathology, the mi-eye performed on the initial patient visit is the most cost-effective way to manage their imaging needs.
To that point, how does the mi-eye compare with the other options that are on the market?
Well we don’t really have true, comparable competitors in the market at this time. Our real cost competitor is the MRI. Looking at our device in a single day setting, compared to the amount of time, office visits, MRI costs, and MRI reads, we are really in a great spot. As I mentioned earlier, the mi-eye provides incredible value to all parties involved. However, the MRI and Ultrasound will never and should never go away. They are wonderful tools and will always have a place. The mi-eye is just another great diagnostic option for today’s busy surgeon.
What are some of the other things you are excited about as you look at what’s ahead for Trice?
We are really excited about getting the CE mark two weeks ago and getting Health Canada approval. In many countries around the world, it can take weeks or months to get MRI’s so we really have a great value proposition outside of the U.S.
We are also excited about the expansion of indications. We’ve seen recon physicians using mi-eye to determine partial vs total knee candidates. We’ve seen trauma physicians using it to confirm fracture reduction. And most recently, we launched our hip camera and the ability to get additional information inside of the hip while delivering an injection, or potentially removing the need for fluoro, is really quite powerful.
Well Mark we really appreciate you spending some time with us and giving us some keen insights into the mi-eye 2. Congratulations on all of the success and we are looking forward to what lies ahead!
Thanks guys, hope you have a great rest of your day.