One company that is rising to meet the diagnostic needs associated with skin cancer is MedX Health, a small-cap medical device company that has made big inroads into the European marketplace.
Skin cancer is on the rise, but “prevention and early detection can dramatically reduce the healthcare costs and death rates associated with this form cancer,” Robert von der Porten, president and CEO of MedX Health (TSXV:MDX), a medical device manufacturer of a rapid, painless skin assessment technology called SIAscopy, told the Investing News Network.
Also known as spectrophotometric intracutaneous analysis, the SIAscopy technology is a platform consisting of proprietary software, patient management system and a hand held scanner; together, the system is an effective tool used to score suspicious moles and lesions for the early detection of skin cancer.
The incidence of both non-melanoma and melanoma skin cancers has been increasing over the past decades. The American Academy of Dermatology estimates current skin cancer rates of 5 million annually, of which 145,000 will be melanoma and 17,000 skin cancer related deaths in the US. One in every five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime. Canada likely follows a similar trend.
One company that is rising to meet the diagnostic needs associated with skin cancer is MedX Health Corp., a small-cap medical device company that has made big inroads into the European marketplace and is now also tackling North America.
MedX’s SIAscopy technology is FDA cleared and Health Canada approved. It is also CE Mark in Europe and TGA approved in Australia. The SIAscope works by using different wavelengths of light to penetrate up to 2 mm below the skin to create five images called SIAscans and based on how the light is remitted using MedX’s proprietary software. The SIAscans provides five images — dermascopic, blood, melanin, dermal melanin and collagen — that allow a trained dermatologist to provide an immediate assessment as to the suspicion of the mole or lesion. This technology can be deployed on a stand-alone basis or in a network where the scan is performed remotely, sent and stored on a secure network for dermatologist review.
“This is the key to our technology” stated von der Porten, adding “we can remotely scan a patient and forward the images to a dermatologist for review in batches at the end of the day – combining efficiencies for the dermatologist and easy access for patients worried about their moles and lesions”
This allows MedX to exploit ease of access locations like pharmacies, clinics, large corporate health and safety providers with its device. A trained technician simply records the patient’s medical history, completes a scan of the suspicious mole or lesion and then through an encrypted network forwards the patient report to a trained dermatologist for assessment. The patient and their primary care physician can receive the results within 76 hours or sooner.
SIAscopy in the real world
MedX will soon have a presence in Canadian pharmacies; however it has been operating successfully in Norway, Sweden and now the United Kingdom with its channel partner. Norway has the highest incidence of skin cancer in Europe so with our European partner this business model was tested in Norway with the Boots/Walgreens Pharmacy chain. This technology is currently in almost 200 pharmacies in Europe where tens of thousands of scans have been performed with an estimated capture of over 1,000 skin cancers to date thus proving the model works.
“The way our business model works is a software-as-a-service (SaaS) model. The price of the device is affordable and we receive a scan fee for every patient. The market likes recurring revenue models and our customers like the lower entry fee and the fact we share the business risk. This approach has allowed for a small company like ours to leverage our technology globally” stated Mr. von der Porten.
What’s next for MedX Health?
Investors will no doubt appreciate that MedX has been working hard at meeting short-term goals even as it keeps the big picture in mind.
“We’ve been successful over the last 2.5 years as a new management team,” von der Porten said. “We have cleaned up the balance sheet considerably and have seen our SIAscopy sales grow well over an 8X multiple from 2013.
That said, it should not surprise investors to hear that MedX Health is also looking to bring in some big-name customers in North America. “2016 will be continuing to expand our footprint in Europe but to also establish a strong North American beachhead” von der Porten said. “The population is aging and having access to early health risk assessments will become a main theme for lowering health care costs while improving patient outcomes and saving lives. MedX Health is poised to take advantage of this trend.
Securities Disclosure: I, Vivien Diniz, hold no direct investment interest in any of the companies mentioned in this article.
Editorial Disclosure: The Investing News Network does not guarantee the accuracy or thoroughness of the information reported in the interviews it conducts. The opinions expressed in these interviews do not reflect the opinions of the Investing News Network and do not constitute investment advice. All readers are encouraged to perform their own due diligence.