As everyone knows, cancer treatment can be very tough on patients. One of the most common complications is something known as bilateral lymphoedema, a condition that causes significant swelling in the arms or legs. This condition is typically caused by the removal of or damage to the lymph nodes as part of whatever cancer treatment a patient might be undergoing. ImpediMed said it hopes to address this complication through the introduction of its flagship technology, the SOZO System.
The SOZO System is a non-invasive device designed to measure, monitor, and manage fluid status and body composition in patients. This is done in an effort to assess the risk of bilateral lymphoedema, where patients can be at risk in either both arms or both legs. The company said the new technology will allow clinicians to monitor cancer survivors with confidence by effectively monitoring both unilateral and bilateral lymphoedema.
“SOZO is an FDA-cleared and CE-marked digital health and wellness platform that combines bioimpedance spectroscopy (BIS) technology with population health data to create a rapid, non-invasive scan of a person’s body and provide a snapshot of body composition, fluid status, and hydration,” said Richard Carreon, managing director and CEO of ImpediMed. “SOZO measures, monitors, and manages fluid accumulation in patients with certain conditions resulting from cancer treatment, providing a detailed and individualized assessment of a patient’s extracellular fluid using BIS in less than 30 seconds.”
In the past, clinicians have struggled to detect and understand early lymphatic changes following cancer treatments, but Carreon believes that bioimpedance spectroscopy technology will provide physicians and oncologists with an effective, non-invasive tool that can measure and monitor subclinical lymphedema — and the results so far have been very promising.
“SOZO is being recognized as a breakthrough technology to enhance cancer survivorship,” Carreon said. “It has been clinically proven to detect subclinical lymphedema up to 10 months before any visible symptoms. If detected at stage 0 or stage 1, the progression of lymphedema can be prevented and even reversed, with numerous clinical trials showing a 75% to 95% reduction in persistent clinical lymphedema.”
Currently, lymphedema is a leading post-surgical complication for many cancer patients, and it greatly impacts their quality of life. More than five million patients suffer from persistent cancer-related lymphedema, and one in three cancer survivors will develop lymphedema as a result of their cancer treatment.
“Monitoring and detecting the condition before it becomes a lifelong management issue means enormous cost savings,” Carreon said. “Currently it costs more to treat and manage the condition, especially with additional risks of infection. SOZO can greatly impact the quality of life for a cancer survivor if used to monitor for some of the potential side effects of the cancer treatment. Survivorship begins at the time of cancer diagnosis, and SOZO can be used to monitor the general health of the survivor and potentially improve their quality of life after treatment.”
As the company moves forward, it said it hopes to continue to expand the availability and use of the SOZO System in healthcare clinics across the U.S. and other markets globally. ImpediMed has already teamed up with several cancer and healthcare institutions to aid surgeons, oncologists, therapists, and radiation oncologists with the new diagnostic technology.