Guest: Marie Meynadier
Presenter: Neal Howard
Guest Bio: After receiving her doctorate, Marie Meynadier joined Bellcore (Red Bank, NJ) and the prestigious ATT Bell Labs (Murray Hill, NJ), where she conducted research on semiconductor devices. She then returned to France to head up the management of major national and international development programs in electronics, optics and microelectronics, which enabled the creation of several start-ups in these areas. She joined the medical field in 1999, taking the lead at the start-up Biospace lab, which specialized in preclinical imaging. After rapidly turning the start-up into a profitable business, she founded EOS imaging.
Marie holds a degree in electronic engineering from Sup Telecom and a PhD (Doctorate) from the Ecole Normale Supérieure.
Segment overview: Marie Meynadier, Founder and CEO of EOS Imaging, discusses the company, it’s role in the healthcare arena, and the future of EOS Imaging.
Health Professional Radio – Revolutionary 3D Imaging
Neal Howard: Hello and welcome to Health Professional Radio, I’m your host Neal Howard for this Health Supplier Segment. Our guest is Marie Meynadier, she’s from EOS Imaging and she’s here today to talk about EOS Imaging, they’re a medical company that revolutionize the treatment continuum for the most common osteoarticular conditions – hip, knees, spinal conditions and associated orthopedic surgeries and she’s here today to talk about her company, its involvement in the medical community and the future of EOS. Welcome to the program Marie.
Marie Meynadier: Thank you. Good evening.
N: Thank you for joining us. Now EOS Imaging, talk a little bit about your background and how you became involved with EOS Imaging.
M: My that would be a long story. My own background is scientific and I got involved with that project from an incredible meeting with the Nobel Prize in Physics named Charpak, Nobel Prize in ’92 and he had actually invented the technology for detecting radiation with extremely low quantity of radiation and years after that and after meeting him I started developing EOS Imaging in which we have put that technology at work to do medical images specializing in bone images and we’ve added more technology with it. So EOS the equipment which is our flagship product is really not only a low-dose imaging modality but it also does 2 and 3 dimensional imaging of the bones and a number of other things so that took a little while.
N: Now before EOS Imaging, you were with a startup I do believe BioSpace Labs?
M: Right, absolutely. Well before that, I was doing microelectronics but I did start a first company in what is called pre-clinical imaging which is the imaging that you do for pharmaceutical drug development.
N: As far as other exams, what is the biggest differentiating factor when it comes to EOS as opposed to some of the other systems?
M: Well see, what a patient and a doctor need from an exam on osteoarticular condition and particular in the light of a potential surgery, orthopedic surgery of the spine, of the hip of the knee is to try to understand as good as possible the structure and then the organization of the bones and how that can be corrected. That takes to be the chest x-rays to get the best information and obviously that is your radiating. So the first thing we’re doing with EOS is to cut down the dose by as much as 85% and even more for some pediatric exams. So we bring the dose to much closer to what I would call it an ‘Environmental dose,’ the dose of natural radiation. The second thing once you have done those exams with that low dose is to not to stop but that having a 2-dimensional exam like a standard radiography would be today because those are 3-dimensional and a surgeon or a therapist are need to understand the bone in 3D as they are and measure them in 3D as they are and all of that in the weight bearing positions. So what we have developed is a capacity from having just 2 dimensional images to bring to the surgeon or the doctor a 3D image of the skeleton which is extremely helpful in both understanding but also measuring and planning. The third is that bone pathologies are very, I mean our bone system is a holistic system, I mean you can’t think of one bone without thinking of the other bones around so joints need to be replaced in the context of a global skeletal position and alignment, the global alignment of the patient is extremely important and for the surgeon that means that you can’t just image a joint, you need to image the whole patient or a large part of the patient to be able to understand the compensation, mechanisms which are in the spine, the hip and knee, potentially an ankle and so the surgeon value that you had is a position to bring out, to help those extremely large size images, full body images from which the surgeon can understand the patient’s condition.
N: Would you say in your opinion that this technology is so efficient and so much better that there’s no room for I guess resistance to change when it comes to presenting this to some of our more… and tried and true physicians?
M: Well as any other medical technology though it takes a little time to come to the market just because that’s how medicine works. I mean we’re not talking… here, we’re talking sizable equipment but once you question, yeah some may think that the very vast majority not to say all of the surgeons that we discuss with are convinced that seeing without damage or risk to the patient or seen a weight bearing patient in 3 dimension and think globally the patients are free extremely critical features for their practice and doing a better job.
N: What type of patient is the best candidate for this technology?
M: Well what our units are, I mean the patients that are examined in our units are mostly, I mean osteoarticular patients which are patients with arthritis meaning mostly I’d say aging patients although you have some cases of earlier pathologies as well as young patients with deformitive conditions especially the human being has two key moments for bone conditions – the growth which is essentially the teenagers and then the aging in which the bones and the joints are aging and more degenerative and with conditions that usually lead over the way to surgery.
N: When a facility opts to go with EOS Imaging, are we talking about a full scale replacement of their current methodology? Or can they pick and choose which technology they would like to use with EOS Imaging supplying all of it?
M: In medical imaging there has never been one technology killing everyone else or killing another one. What happens that typically they can arrive when MRI arrives, it got retained for a lot of very good information of atomic sounds that it does really well yet CTs don’t hear. It’s the same way with EOS, EOS is perfectly exams, radiography exams into the… of the actual skeleton, I mean the skeleton, the bones go in between the head and the toes, that doesn’t mean that or you will never need a CT or never need an MRI. I mean you need MRI to look at soft tissues for instance and pathology of the wrist will be better analyzed with another unit than with an EOS which is really intended for large size actual skeleton exams.
N: Is this approved for use worldwide?
M: I would say yes, pretty much. We have approval in the US, FDA approval, we have the CE mark and we are approved in most of large markets entering more recently China. So the company is now rolling down its deployment in all those areas.
N: So there are a few areas where it is either not approved or simply not available due to logistics or something like that. Are there any strategies currently in the works to make EOS Imaging available across the entire planet?
M: Yes. We are running down as very aggressive… plan, obviously we started with Europe, Middle East, Africa… and are growing extremely fast in North America and we have entered Asia Pacific and we’re starting our deployment there. That’s obviously… will eventually hope to be absolutely worldwide and have every patient in the world have an EOS next to him or her. It takes a little time just to reach out some specific regions…necessarily a regulatory issue but more a image focused issue for a small size company.
N: Have you noticed that the cost of this equipment, is it something that regular everyday patients who need this type of imaging, is it something that they can afford especially if they have Medicaid, Medicare things of that nature?
M: Well the equipment goes by Medicare, Medicaid and standard reimbursement codes, so there’s no barriers for patients to it. As of Medicare is more and more focused to centers that specialize and have large volumes, I mean obviously this is where they will find an EOS.
N: How long has this technology actually been in use?
M: We started sampling this I think in 2008 but it was extremely initial and we had only part of this edition. We really started more aggressively deploying the technology and the product from 2012 on and we are seeing today a very strong increase as it gets to be better known and starts to makes its way as a standard of care in orthopedics.
N: Do you see maybe some military applications in the future and especially with here in the United States with NASA recruiting for her future Mars missions? Do you have anything on the table as far as imaging outside our atmosphere?
M: Well, not yet, no. We’d be happy to take care, to start with that people in the armed forces that do suffer some osteoarticular injuries and need care to their joints. That would be our next step I guess before we start thinking about other worlds.
N: Are there mobile versions that could be used?
M: Not today.
M: Not today.
N: And where can our listeners go and get more information about EOS Imaging?
M: Patients can all go to website of course as well as the user hospital websites in the US. We have a locator that helps patients find the unit closest to them, that would be probably the easiest route and we are referred by their doctors obviously.
N: And that website is www.eos-imaging.com. It’s been great having you in studio today with us Marie.
M: Same here. Thanks a lot.
N: You’ve been listening to Health Professional Radio, I’m your host Neal Howard on this Health Supplier Segment of the show. We’ve been in studio today with Ms. Marie Meynadier, she’s CEO of EOS Imaging discussing the future of EOS Imaging as it pertains to possible military applications and maybe even joining a space program in the future. Transcripts and audio of this program are available at healthprofessionalradio.com.au and also at hpr.fm and you can subscribe to this podcast on iTunes.