The Death of Impossibility – Inspiration gained and connections made at Health Connect South 2016

On September 21st, hundreds of healthcare industry leaders, innovators and students gathered at the Georgia Aquarium for the third edition of Health Connect South’s flagship event. This year’s theme – “Regional Assets, Global Impact” – highlighted the potential for the southeast’s health assets to affect the World Health Organization’s top disease states, including cancer, if we work proactively, together.

The Death of Impossibility

In an unusual, but inspired lunch keynote, National Park Service Ranger Michael Shook shared with an engaged audience the elements of the Wright Brothers’ mindset that enabled them to achieve sustained flight; a feat deemed impossible by most of the world at the time. Seek outside help, create your own customized tools, challenge assumptions, push boundaries and find inspiration in the many of the “ordinary” things we observe every day.

Mr. Shook brought the story to a close with a few of Wilbur Wright’s last words. “It is not really necessary to look too far into the future; we see enough already to be certain that it will be magnificent. Only let us hurry and open the roads.”

We are working on it. With dedication and tenacity, our team hopes to expand our RF spectroscopy platform, shown to reduce re-excision rates in lumpectomy procedures by 50-79%, to the biopsy market in a few short years. Our recent EC2020 Horizon Grant is helping us do precisely that.

  • Cancer: Research to Remission

We were honored to be invited to participate on a panel with Nancy Paris, President of the Georgia Center for Oncology Research and Education, and Marc O’Connor, COO for Curant Health. Our discussion ranged widely, from innovation to collaboration in care to access, patient engagement and ‘who is going to pay for all of this?’ 

Dune Medical CEO Lori Chmura at Health Connect South 2016

Dune Medical CEO Lori Chmura at Health Connect South 2016

Advancements in therapies, including immunotherapeutics, are having profound impacts on outcomes for many cancer patients. But they come at very high costs. Be it drugs, biologics, additional members of the care team or physicians required as cancer trends towards a chronic condition, every innovation must build in a strong value proposition inclusive of an economic component.

According to the study “Interoperative Margin Assessment Device’s Impact on Re-excision Rates,” by Molly Sebastian, Stephanie Akbari, Beth Anglin and Alice Police,

Re-excision procedures also represent a significant burden to the medical system. According to the National Cancer Institute, in 2008, 60% of women age 20 and older diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer underwent breast-conserving surgery (Cancer Trends Progress Report – 2011). According to American Cancer Society, 296980 cases of female breast cancer, both invasive and DCIS, were diagnosed in 2013 (American Cancer Society 2013). If 60% of these patients underwent breast-conserving procedures, there would be 178188 lumpectomy procedures performed. A re-excision rate of 25% would translate to 44547 re-excision procedures. Utilizing the MarginProbe could decrease the re-excision rate by 62%, resulting in 27612 fewer of these surgeries. There would be significant savings to the health care system resulting from this decrease in the re-excision rate, and the burden to the patient would be reduced.

“Working Together We Can Do So Much More Than Working Alone.”

Dr. Judy Monroe, CEO of the CDC Foundation, closed the event by sharing leadership insights from Dr. William Foege, epidemiologist and Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from 1977-1983. Dr. Foege is widely credited with devising the strategy that led to the global eradication of smallpox.

From Dr. Foege, Dr. Monroe learned and shared the following:

  • Seek the truth.
  • Be optimistic.
  • Look for reasons to say yes.
  • Build trust. It is the glue that holds teams together.
  • Spend time to improve tools and techniques.
  • Find effective leaders.

At the end of the day, “Working together we can do so much more than working alone,” Dr. Monroe said. We couldn’t agree more.

Click here to learn more about how MarginProbe works with and for surgical oncologists and their breast cancer patients to ensure clean margins in lumpectomy procedures. For more about clinical case studies detailing MarginProbe’s ability to reduce re-excision rates for lumpectomy, click here.