"There is MedTech in Idaho?" Yes! MedTech is a growing industry in the State. The MedTech SPOTLIGHT highlights some of our most innovative MedTech organizations. These organizations are leading Idaho's MedTech industry and pushing the limits of innovation.
Christopher Dean invented the Ankle Roll Guard after noticing a gap in the market which previously only had one solution: a standard ankle brace. The Ankle Roll Guard is a patented support that cushions the foot’s outer arch, where the foot rolls under the ankle in most ankle injuries. Boise’s athletic and medical community was receptive to Dean’s take on ankle protection from the beginning. His early customers, who he connected with at the local BAM Jam and the YMCA, responded positively to the device. “They said the concept worked, they liked it,” Dean says. “But it was ugly and bulky.”
He took that advice, along with that of local physical therapists, and streamlined the design with the help of a professional design consultant in sports medicine. The newest model weighs 2.3 oz and straps around the outside of the shoe. While many customers come from online suppliers, he also directly sells to Boise’s medical community. “I’ve got Foothills Physical Therapy, Therapeutic Associates, Gridiron, H1L Medical Supply, Rosendahl Foot & Shoe Center, & Idaho Foot & Ankle” he says. He wants to keep manufacturing local as well, but couldn’t find a company to manufacture the Ankle Roll Guard locally. ...READ MORE HERE
Idaho has long hovered near the bottom of many physician-based statistics. In 2014, Idaho ranked 49th in active physicians, 46th in active primary care physicians, and 48th in residents and fellows on duty in ACGME-Accredited primary care programs. 
The proposed Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine (ICOM) will be a privately funded, separately licensed and independently operated entity located in Meridian at the Idaho State University Health Science Center. ICOM will be independent of ISU and has established a long-term land lease for its facility at ISU. The 80,000 square-foot, $32 million building will house the proposed medical school. ...READ MORE HERE
Boise-based Proskriptive develops predictive analytics for the healthcare industry in support of value based care. Proskriptive’s software identifies people who are likely to suffer from quality of life degrading illnesses in order to help hospitals deliver targeted interventions to keep them healthy and avoid unnecessary hospitalization.
While it sounds futuristic, you most likely use predictive analytics in your daily life. When your credit score is checked prior to purchasing a new car or house, the score is determined by predictive analytics, or using past behavior and circumstance to predict future probability and behavior.
“We say we have a healthcare system in the US, but what we really have would probably best be described as a sick-care system. Most of us think healthcare is what happens when you go to the hospital. When we have a serious health problem we then seek medical attention at the hospital where they administer ‘healthcare’ and then later send a bill with very large numbers on it. Healthcare needs to be inclusive of care well before we get to the hospital, as well as after we leave the hospital.” ... READ MORE HERE
Dr. Cheryl Jorcyk leads a research group studying breast cancer and how it metastasizes, or spreads, to other areas of the body, like the lungs, liver, bone and brain. This metastatic process is studied along with the role of proteins, which are produced by the body during inflammation.
Dr. Jorcyk originally began researching inflammatory proteins through work with the Boise VA Medical Center. The research group hypothesized that if too many inflammatory proteins are made during cancer progression, they can lead to increased metastasis. Continuing the work at Boise State University, Dr. Jorcyk’s laboratory is moving toward the development of compounds to fight the spread of breast cancer to other regions of the body... READ MORE HERE
Dr. Kirk Hevener studies infectious diseases. His lab looks at new targets that could make good targets for new antibiotics. He specifically looks at the gastrointestinal illnesses clostridium difficile (CD), which is a bacteria associated with broad spectrum antibiotic use in hospitals. This bacteria is resistant to antibiotics and is easily spread. The lab has uncovered a specific enzyme that is essential in CD and is in the process of identifying a way to inhibit this enzyme in order to kill the bacteria.
The CD organism forms spores which makes it highly transportable around hospitals. The spores are difficult to eliminate, and traditional means like antiseptics do not kill them. Inhibiting this enzyme has an antibacterial effect and stops the bacteria from creating spores. This could decrease both transmission and recurrence of the disease. Hevener’s team has shown that this enzyme is targetable, and now they are looking to prove that it is narrow spectrum... READ MORE HERE
For over 15 years Dr. Craig McGowan has researched the biomechanics of locomotion, or understanding how the neuromuscular system produces movement in humans and animals. His current research draws from biological limb function to identify potential modifications in the production of prosthetics.
Dr. McGowan uses a comparative approach with animal models to provide insight into the actual function of muscle tissue, tendon tissue, and other biologic areas. By looking at highly specialized animals like kangaroos, wallabies, and kangaroo rats, the team can gauge insights into the roles that specific muscles and tendons play in locomotion. Dr. McGowan has collaborated with researchers at Washington State University, MIT, UNLV and the University of Colorado, Boulder... READ MORE HERE