You're putting the cart before the horse. MTWA didn't sell because medical-oriented management lacked marketing acumen and continued to keep selling to other medical-oriented people. Their annual 10-Ks stated the were selling MTWA primarily to cardiologists--the very people that have a conflict of interest in using non-invasive MTWA because it would lower their income relative to using invasive electrophysiology. Management should have been selling MTWA to the CEOs/CFOs of Corporate America and public pension funds that are more oriented to reducing costs (including medical ones). Get a couple of major S&P 500 companies as customers in their neighborhood and the profits generated from them would support further marketing to similar companies and fund further research (an economical test to determine who really needs an expensive defibrillator?). Several Harvard case studies confirm that rotten management will destroy the market for a product, no matter how good it is. Don't blame the product, which received FDA approval more than a dozen years ago and a reimbursement code in 2006. Blame rotten management.
Walgreen will be having nurse practitioners in their domestic outlets, providing flu shots. I told WAG's CEO about MTWA and that their nurse practitioners could use MTWA on patients along with giving flu shots. Let's see if WAG buys CAMH for its MTWA technology. WAG has the capability to market MTWA directly to those who can use it.
The problem was medical experts trying to run a business that knew little about marketing. They kept marketing MTWA to the very entities that would not use it because they had a conflict of interest: they, doctors and hospitals, made more money using EP than MTWA. They should have sold MTWA to end users that are paying the bill (corporations, public pension funds, and patients). For some reason, Congress has not given Medicare the authority to tell doctors which tests to use (unlike Blue Cross-Blue Shield of New York, that has done so for years). The people at Medicare have their tail between their legs, only interested in collecting their paycheck.
You tell me which technology is outdated: electrophysiology (EP) that is invasive or MTWA that is non-invasive? EP that costs nearly $9.000 or MTWA that costs less than $500? EP, where you have to enter a hospital for two days to recover or with MTWA where you go home after the half-hour test? NASA uses MTWA on astronauts. Do you think they are going to use a two-bit test on people they send into space?
I'd like to know where you got this information that MTWA has been around since 1981. CAMH's IPO prospectus if available at SEC's EDGAR service and I don't recall seeing it back that far. Their prospectus says it was developed at MIT in the 1990's and funded by NASA. MTWA didn't get FDA approval until either 1999 or 2001 (I forget which now), but it couldn't have been used before then. When James Gandolfini died in Italy this summer from SCA (some newspaper accounts reported he died from a heart attack but the Italian doctor who attended to him said he died from SCA), it should have spurred interest in MTWA. It's crazy how consumer groups don't pick up on this, especially those focused on kids, who also die from SCA. Something, sometime, somewhere (winter Olympics?), is going to kick MTWA off and become the "wonder" solution to this age-old problem. Also, I read that MTWA cannot replace EP in all cases, but there are still enough people out there who could use this MTWA for a check-up every two years. We don't need to pump MTWA, just let it sell itself on its own merits. It just has to reach the right people to get it visibility. It will come now that we are in an environment where cost consciousness prevails in health care. It's only a matter of time.
Rock, MTWA didn't receive FDA approval until 1999 or 2001 (I forget which year now). It was developed at MIT during the 1990s with NASA funding.
[Source: 10/28/13 WSJ, on one of their editorial pages]: Reference pricing is a reverse deductible. Rather than a patient paying a set amount for a medical procedure and the insurer the balance, roles are reversed. The insurer now pays a set amount and the patient pays the balance. Such pricing makes the patient more cost conscious. The California Public Employees' Retirement System, a public pension fund, used this pricing scheme with orthopedic knee and hip replacement with its 1.3 million members after it saw prices for the procedure vary from $20,000 to $120,000. It set its payment limit at $30,000. Results: (a) Patients look at price when they are paying for it. Patients selected low-price hospitals 63% of the time with reference pricing compared to 48% before reference pricing was used. (b) Half of the high-priced hospitals cut their rates (to guess near which figure). (c) Overall pricing for joint-replacement surgery DROPPED 26% in the first year and more in the second year. (d) The savings to CalPERS: $6 million.
Perhaps corporations can mimic CalPERS to lower their own healthcare costs. Reference pricing incentivizes patients to select the procedure, not the doctor, who may have a conflict of interest. As an example, MTWA non-invasively determines susceptibility to Sudden Cardiac Arrest. More than 300,000 Americans die from SCA annually (in June, James Gandolfini, of The Sopranos fame, died from SCA). MTWA costs but hundreds of dollars, yet doctors and hospitals continue to use an older invasive technology (electrophysiology) to detect susceptibility to SCA that costs $9,000. MTWA is FDA approved for use in the U.S.A. and is approved for use in Europe and Japan. NASA uses MTWA on astronauts. It should be good enough to use on other Americans.
Ybird, while the economics favor MTWA over EP, the current medical payment system is against MTWA usage. Currently, doctors decide which test to use, and they make more money using EP. See my Nov. 1 post about CalPERS, a large public pension fund, that altered their payment system where their member decides which test to use. This is not hypothetical; they conducted this new payment process for at least two years with a knee procedure. The savings to CalPERS was $6 million. Hopefully they are salivating at the thought of actually saving money by REDUCING their medical costs and expand it to other procedures like MTWA (I notified them). And if more payors will do like CalPERS has initiated, and also inform their membership about MTWA's capabilities, then CAMH may get going. And why GE management doesn't buy CAMH with about one minute of their company's cash flow is beyond me. CAMH has done all the legwork for them (FDA approval). Maybe they have something against MIT, where CAMH was initially developed.