Financial success is critical to the clinical utilization of a new medical technology, at least in the US. Because the US healthcare system is based on reimbursing for procedures performed rather than outcomes achieved, the decision to invest in a new technology is based as much on the dollar amount that can be charged for using it as it is on whether it results in better outcomes.
The proper goal for any healthcare delivery system is to improve patient outcomes achieved per dollar spent. A positive revenue stream is achieved when a facility is paid more for performing a procedure than it costs to perform the procedure. This requires a knowledge of cost and accurate and reliable measures of outcome; however, calculating costs is not an easy proposition.
The Focused Ultrasound Foundation was created in 2006 as a medical research, education, and advocacy organization to advance the development and widespread clinical adoption of focused ultrasound. Our mission has grown over these past 15 years, and advocacy is playing a much bigger role in how we advance the field. But what does advocacy entail?
Broadly speaking, advocacy is communication and action in support of a cause or policy. For our community, this can mean broad support of focused ultrasound as an innovative and transformative treatment for patients or more specific support of policies that can break down barriers to widespread and equitable access to these treatments.
As a tax-exempt, entrepreneurial, high performance, high impact service organization, the Focused Ultrasound Foundation relies on the generous contributions of our friends and partners to fund our programs. Although the Foundation has spurred extraordinary progress in the field, much remains to be done. We still need your help.
Over the years, the Foundation has benefitted from the friendship, advice, and philanthropic support of two legendary figures in asset management – Alice Handy and Dick Mayo.
Written by Emily White, MD, Nici Pfeiffer, Charlie Manning
The following blog post is a collaboration between the Center for Open Science and the Focused Ultrasound Foundation.
In 2016, the Focused Ultrasound Foundation funded a clinical trial investigating the efficacy of a focused ultrasound treatment for essential tremor (ET) which yielded transformative findings. The trial demonstrated that focused ultrasound could very effectively treat ET with little to no side effects, a very significant improvement on previous treatment outcomes. To publish this groundbreaking research, however, the researcher unfortunately had to abide by a nine-month publication embargo which delayed FDA approval of the treatment and thus life changing treatments for many patients suffering with the debilitating disease. This flashpoint event became a call to action in the focused ultrasound community to improve openness in publication practices and shift values: science and the patients had to come before individualistic journal concerns.
Last year, two leading companies in the focused ultrasound (FUS) industry – Verasonics and Sonic Concepts, Inc. – launched a project to expand the HIFUPlex™ Elite portfolio, an enhanced turnkey ultrasound-guided preclinical research system. The Foundation joined the collaboration, advising on matters such as device usability and software applications.
Recently, the group announced the completion of this collaborative project, debuting the HIFUPlex Elite 1000 for small subjects and HIFUPlex Elite 3000 for large subjects.