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Philips Says It Has Found a Way to Save Diabetics' Feet

Chris Newmarker

May 26, 2015

3 Min Read
Philips Says It Has Found a Way to Save Diabetics' Feet

Royal Philips continues to announce major research partnerships as it seeks to up its innovation game.

Philips AMC Diabetes Feet

(Image courtesy of Royal Philips)

Chris Newmarker

Royal Philips says it will collaborate with the Academic Medical Center (Amsterdam, the Netherlands) to engage in a European multi-center clinical study of a minimally invasive treatment for severe diabetic foot complications.

The news, announced Friday, came only days after Philips said it would engage in a five-year, $25 million alliance with MIT to further research in its core areas of healthcare and lighting solution. Philips is even moving its U.S. research headquarters near MIT as part of the alliance.

In the case of the AMC partnership, the goal is to improve treatment of diabetic foot and critical limb ischemia. The condition affects millions of diabetic patients around the world, with amputation a major risk, according to Philips.

There is presently no diagnostic method to immediately assess the result of an angioplasty procedure, with health practitioners waiting for months to see if there healing has actually taken place.

Philips is collaborating with AMC to utilize perfusion angiography, an x-ray imaging technology that exploits the high temporal and spatial resolution of x-ray angiographic images. Philips has new software that creates a perfusion image showing the physiological perfusion state as a color-coded display. The result is a graphic representation containing important information about the functioning of the micro-circulation in the foot.

"This could be a paradigm shift in our approach to critical limb ischemia," Jim Reekers, interventional radiologist at AMC and fellow of the Cardiovascular and Interventional Radiological Society of Europe (CIRSE). Reekers and his team have been testing the new technology over recent months, and have already collected observational data from over 100 cases.

"If we can predict the effect of treatment immediately after revascularization, then we will have a head start in developing a pro-active care plan for the patient's recovery at home, instead of a more reactive approach," Reekers said. "The first observations using the new diagnostic technique are consistent and promising, and have already provided valuable insights into many pending questions regarding critical limb ischemia."

Diabetes is already the leading non-trauma cause of amputation, according to Ronald Tabaksblat, business leader Image Guided Therapy Systems at Philips.

"As a new instrument for image-guided therapy, perfusion angiography could usher in a new age of precision personalized treatment for diabetic patients that suffer from severe foot complications--improving their quality of life and mobility while helping to reduce diabetes-related healthcare costs," Tabaksblat said.

Philips is upping its medical device research at the same time that it  plans to split into two companies focused on HealthTech and Lighting Solutions. Philips says it currently intends to spin off its Lighting Solutions business in an initial public offering, though other options will be reviewed.

Refresh your medical device industry knowledge at MD&M East in New York City, June 9-11, 2015.

Chris Newmarker is senior editor of Qmed and MPMN. Follow him on Twitter at @newmarker.

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