The Foundation receives many inquiries about the various applications of focused ultrasound. We want to share some of the most commonly asked questions to help our community quickly locate the information they need.
Does the Foundation conduct patient consultations or treat patients? Our main function is to identify and fund research projects in order to make focused ultrasound therapies more readily available to treat patients. We do not conduct patient consultations, nor do we treat patients. We are sometimes able to help connect people with physicians who can either consult with them and their families or provide focused ultrasound treatments.
Is the Foundation operated by the government or owned by manufacturers? No, the Foundation is an independent, tax-exempt organization that is entirely supported by donations with the goal of helping advance focused ultrasound to be available to treat patients in the shortest time possible. We are a small organization, and we do our best to steward our resources to advance the field of focused ultrasound. Read more about the Foundation.
The opioid epidemic is a national crisis. Every day, an estimated 130 people die in the United States from an opiate related overdose. Many of these deaths can be attributed to an initial or current misuse of prescription opioids, often prescribed to treat acute and chronic pain. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that the annual economic burden of prescription opioid misuse in the United States alone is $78.5 billion, which includes the costs of healthcare, lost productivity, addiction treatment, and criminal justice involvement. About 80 percent of people who use heroin have misused a prescription opiate first. These types of staggering statistics go on, but the point is that the opioid epidemic is a real problem requiring realistic, effective, and timely solutions.
A Multi-faceted Approach Many different areas need improvement when considering potential solutions to the opioid crisis, and it will likely be advancement in all of them that results in a real progress. Those who already suffer from an opioid misuse disorder need improved access to evidence-based treatment. It is imperative to advance research in overdose therapy, medication-assisted therapy, and opiate abuse risk reduction. Most relevant to the field of focused ultrasound is the establishment and promotion of alternatives to opiate-based medications for the treatment of pain. Another area that has the potential to use focused ultrasound is in the identification and development of new therapies to aid in abstinence from opiates.
Foundation board member and bestselling author John Grisham has teamed up with Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), on an opinion piece discussing how technologies like focused ultrasound can help drive down healthcare spending. "This Technology is Going to Change Healthcare" appears in the current issue of It is Innovation (i3) magazine, CTA's flagship publication focusing on innovation in technology, policy, and business. The magazine is circulated to more than 2,000 CTA member companies and all members of Congress, reaching tens of thousands of people. Grisham and Shapiro first connected back in 2018 when the Foundation traveled to Las Vegas for CTA’s annual trade show, CES, to educate more than 180,000 consumers, media, and industry professionals about focused ultrasound and The Tumor.
One in five adults (47.6 million) in the United States, and one in six youths aged 6–17 years (7.7 million), suffer from some form of mental illness. The medical and financial costs to patients and society are significant and include lost productivity, increased financial and emotional responsibilities on family members, serious morbidities, and – perhaps of greatest concern – markedly reduced life expectancies (e.g., 20–25 fewer years in those with severe mental illness).
Although suicide rates are 10-fold higher than in the general population, the major cause of premature death in patients with severe mental illness is cardiovascular disease according to the World Health Organization. Patients with severe mental illness in general are much heavier, far less active, may smoke up to three times as many cigarettes, and are less likely to seek and utilize medical care.