Health IT, Devices & Diagnostics, Startups

Automating thermometer data to spot warning signs for diabetic foot ulcers

Digital health startup MR3 Health is in the process of developing a busines around a thermometer cleared by the FDA to measure skin temperature for diabetics at risk for foot ulcers

Digital health startup MR3 Health is in the process of developing a busines around a thermometer cleared by the FDA to measure skin temperature for diabetics at risk for foot ulcers. It acquired the rights to the dermal thermometer last year, and is in the midst of a fundraise to set up a monitoring platform for high risk patients to spot signs of trouble before patients need to be hospitalized.

Xilas Medical originally developed the dermal thermometer.

One complication from diabetes is diabetic neuropathy, which reduces sensitivity in the feet and makes it more difficult to sense a foot ulcer, that’s one reason they frequently worsen with this patient population. In a phone interview with MedCity News, MR3 Health President Stan Marett compared its approach to a home alarm system in the event of a fall. Its target customers are insurers seeking preventive measures to reduce healthcare costs.

Data from the thermometer is fed to MR3’s database and call center. When temperature readings go beyond the safety parameters set for the patient, it triggers a response from MR3 to the insurer and the patient is contacted.

The San Antonio company began a new round of fundraising in July to take its product from the planning to operations stage, according to Marett. (It filed a Form D with the SEC last month). It will be used towards setting up call center staff, manufacturing, sales, and communications units.

“This is like a building coming out of the ground. All of the foundation was already built. The patents are settled. We are just building the top structure…We are an early stage initiative offering a service for an FDA-cleared product.”

Marett said it plans to grow from its current level of four to 10 people by year’s end. It hopes to have a team of 30 by the end of 2016.

Asked what is considered a red flag for the device, Marett said a 4 degree or more temperature rise across two days.

Other companies that have focused on diabetic ulcers include Podimetrics, Orpyx Medical Technologies and Mx Biodevices.