BOX 4-5Applied Health Science and the Wound and Skin Intelligence System™ orWSIS™

The purpose of the Applied Health Science’s (AHS) early SBIR grant work was to validate and automate a standardized assessment instrument (the Pressure Sore Status Tool, originally authored by Dr. McNees’ (Dr. McNees is CEO/Chief Scientists for Applied Health Sciences) colleague, Dr. Barbara Bates-Jensen) for use in field settings for describing and tracking status changes in chronic wounds (e.g., pressure ulcers).

The WSIS (Wound and Skin Intelligence System (tm) or WSIS(tm)) provides clinicians with the ability to assess risk and request a “case specific” prevention plan for reducing the probability that a wound will develop. The system tracks prevention and treatment outcomes over time and relates these outcomes to individual risk and wound profiles and interventions employed. Thus, the system has the capacity to “learn” from its own experience.

The product was commercialized through the sale of rights to ConvaTec, a wholly owned unit of Bristol Myers-Squibb and the largest wound products company in the world. ConvaTec provided Phase III funding leading to commercialization. In exchange, it received a right-of-first-refusal for licensing the system, which it subsequently executed. This merged AHS technology and research capabilities with ConvaTec’s marketing power—reflected in its presence in about 80 countries world-wide. ConvaTec subsequently bought all rights to the software. AHS retained the worldwide data “pipelines”, and analytical functions. AHS also has a right-to-first-review for any elaborations of or changes to the system.

AHS has announced current projections of $30 million in annual sales from the U.S. market, and expects to add one employee for each 75 users of the system. AHS and ConvaTec are also forming a series of strategic alliances with companies prepared to supply or develop add-on capabilities (e.g., a telemedicine home health company in Chicago and a long-term care claims processing company in Nashville).

The sale of technology rights to ConvaTec funded further development, situated AHS strategically where it wanted to be—focused on research and data analysis, not marketing—and took advantage of each partner’s strategic strengths.

From: 4, NIH SBIR Program—Outcomes

Cover of An Assessment of the Small Business Innovation Research Program at the National Institutes of Health
An Assessment of the Small Business Innovation Research Program at the National Institutes of Health.
National Research Council (US) Committee for Capitalizing on Science, Technology, and Innovation: An Assessment of the Small Business Innovation Research Program; Wessner CW, editor.
Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2009.
Copyright © 2009, National Academy of Sciences.

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