On Wednesday, Vasomedical shareholders gathered at the One UN Plaza hotel in NYC for our annual shareholder meeting. This marks the first year we held our annual meeting in NYC, where shareholders were able to enjoy the exciting ambiance of the United Nations. The meeting was well attended, with around 30 shareholders present – who asked engaging questions and showed continued interest in the company’s growth.
Our President and CEO, Dr. Jun Ma, gave a thorough and insightful presentation about the state of the Company and our future growth strategies.
The presentation included, among several other topics, the following:
Building company infrastructure – Vasomedical is bolstering its infrastructure by expanding into new markets, offering new products, seeking accretive acquisitions and increasing management capacity.
Increasing value in the public market – Vasomedical authorized a share repurchase program of up to $1.5 million as of April 2013.
Growing the EECP® Therapy business – One of our main focuses is to rally for expanded reimbursement and continue testing and seeking approval for new applications for EECP Therapy.
Expanding the sales representation business with VasoHealthcare and others – By cultivating our solid relationship with our partner, we look to represent additional GEHC products as we expand the current customer base and sales force, and acquire more partners to further growth.
Expanding business into new markets – We look forward to continued expansion in the U.S. and globally through VasoGlobal by introducing new technology and other innovative products.
We enjoyed meeting and speaking with all the shareholders who were able to attend.
As always, we love to hear any thoughts, comments and suggestions you may have for the Company as we continue to grow. Our shareholders opinions are highly valued and greatly appreciated.
The United States spends more on healthcare services than any other country, exceeding $2.6 trillion, or about 18 percent of gross domestic product, annually. Most years, medical spending rises faster than inflation and the economy as a whole, which makes this a top priority for Senators and Representatives focusing on healthcare reform in Washington, D.C.
To help raise awareness about ways to begin addressing healthcare spending, we recently invited about two dozen Congressmen who have medical backgrounds to learn more about EECP Therapy. We extended invitations for these policy makers to visit a local facility in Washington D.C. or in their home states to learn more about the alternative treatment that could help save the healthcare system millions of dollars annually if widely implemented.
Many of the common treatments for heart disease – such as bypass surgery and stenting – are invasive. And while these options are effective choices for relieving symptoms in acute cases, they do not prolong patients’ lives or reduce re-hospitalizations, which directly impacts healthcare spending.
EECP Therapy has demonstrated in many peer-reviewed clinical studies that, in addition to being safe, effective and economical, it could also help reduce re-hospitalizations and repeated emergency room visits for patients suffering from angina congestive heart failure.
One of the major challenges to reducing the prevalence of heart disease in the United States, and therefore reducing emergency room visits and hospitalizations, is lack of widespread education about how to effectively prevent heart disease and how to treat the disease after its onset. We hope that once these policy makers become more educated on EECP technology and its implications, they too will advocate for a more widespread adoption of it.
Would you like to send a letter to your local congressman to help educate them about EECP Therapy? If so, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will gladly send you a form letter!
Our current stop in our international medical conference tour is Istanbul, Turkey.
Expomed 2013 is an international healthcare exhibition showcasing the latest products and developments in the healthcare and medical device industries. Expomed attracts a wide international audience, with participation of over 1200 companies and company representatives from over 41 countries to discover and share the latest developments in the medical field.
The team has encountered a great deal of interest for the Biox ECG Holter systems from international markets, including countries like Georgia, Kosovo, Libya, Egypt, Iraq and Turkey. The healthcare market in the Eurasian region is rapidly growing, and we look forward to furthering our relationships with distributors in this region.
We are very proud to participate in this event! If you are attending this year, come visit us in booth 1207, at the Tüyap Fair Convention and Congress Center in Istanbul, Turkey. We would love to hear your thoughts on our products and share our recent news and developments with you!
Next up: China International Medical Equipment Fair in Shenzhen, China.
Over the last year, Fred Lembkie, 62, has had three heart attacks, a failed bypass surgery, two subsequent angioplasty procedures and stents inserted into his arteries.
When the Portland, Ore., man finally underwent EECP treatment, a little-known, often last-ditch therapy for chronic chest pain, he had one question for his doctors: Why didn’t anyone tell me about this earlier?
EECP, which stands for Enhanced External Counterpulsation, is a nonsurgical technique used to increase blood flow to the heart. It may help reroute blood around narrowed or blocked arteries.
During the treatment, the patient’s legs are wrapped in compressive pneumatic cuffs. The devices squeeze and release — inflating and deflating — to the beat of the heart, pushing oxygenated blood toward the ticker and into the coronary arteries. The typical treatment lasts an hour.
Patients undergo 35 sessions over a course of seven weeks.
The therapy is often offered to those who have maxed out on their medicine or aren’t candidates for surgical interventions. It’s for the patients like Lembkie who hear, “there’s nothing more we can do” for their chest pain.
EECP treatment is “medicine’s best kept secret,” said physician Debra Braverman, director of EECP at the Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia, who recommends it as a first-line treatment in a 2012 review published in the journal Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice. “Patients who receive EECP are better, feel better and require less physician intervention,” she said.
EECP mimics the vascular effects of aerobic exercise, research shows. EECP, which provides passive exercise, can be used as a bridge to regain an active lifestyle for patients with chronic chest pain, Braverman wrote in the review.
Braverman suspects the treatment has been slow to catch on because “there is a financial disincentive to promote this non-invasive treatment,” she said. “It’s low cost relative to other treatments for the same disease,” she said.
Gold standard trials — randomized and placebo-controlled, held at multiple sites — have found the treatment to be “generally well tolerated and efficacious; Anginal symptoms were improved in approximately 75 percent to 80 percent of patients,” according to the American Heart Association.
But it also said additional clinical trial data are necessary before it could be recommended definitively.
The procedure has been proved to temporarily relieve chest pain but not necessarily prevent heart attacks or save lives, said preventive cardiologist Stephen Devries, executive director of the Gaples Institute, a nonprofit that promotes integrative cardiology. “The theory is that the mechanical pressure on the blood vessels in the legs gets transmitted all the way back to the blood vessels in the heart and forces them open,” he said.
Still, traditional invasive procedures, including angioplasty and stents, haven’t been shown to save lives either, unless performed in the midst of a heart attack, Devries said.
About 600 centers offer EECP in the U.S., according to Louanne Tempich, president of the International EECP Therapists Association, a group of practitioners trained using specific equipment manufactured by the medical technology company Vasomedical and approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
For most people, the benefits of EECP last for several years; approximately 40 percent of patients require another round of therapy within the first three to five years, depending on their condition, said Braverman, who has seen the improvements last for as long as a decade.
The majority of insurance companies pay for EECP, including Medicare.
Lembkie, who finished his last treatment in early February, called the first few days of therapy an “extremely unusual” experience.
“It’s sort of a violent hug,” he said, because the bags around the body abruptly inflate. “When the machine fires (with each heartbeat), it actually bounces you a little bit,” he said. “But you get used to it when you understand there aren’t any other options.”
After the first few days, Lembkie said he could breathe deeply and clearly. Within weeks, he was walking better than he had been in months and felt he’d never had problems. He’s not sure how long the effect will last. But he said if he’d found the treatment six months earlier, he’d been spared significant “depression, anxiety and pain.”
For more information: Go to Vasomedical’s site, eecp.com.
As you may know, this week is EECP® Therapy Week! Initially, we planned to have our centers come together for a Red Balloon release to celebrate the positive impact EECP has had on peoples’ lives. However last week, it came to our attention that there can be negative consequences for the environment if we release helium balloons, so we are now in search of an even better way to celebrate next year and we’d love your feedback.
Vasomedical wants to help EECP centers around the U.S. host a special event to raise awareness of EECP Therapy and honor the American Heart Association’s Heart Month during the Month of February.
This is where you come in! We would like to hear from our own EECP patients, therapists and supporters about the best way to celebrate EECP Therapy week without harming the environment. We hope to celebrate with an activity that is environmentally-friendly and can also bring EECP staff and patients together as a tribute to the positive impact this therapy has had on their health and the quality of their lives.
We recently posed this challenge to our Facebook community and received the following suggestions. We’d like to take a vote to see which option people would most like to see happen, so please leave in the comments section of the blog, our Facebook wall or tweet at us with your thoughts!
Organize local 5K walks, participants will wear red to support heart health month
Donate bulbs and organize a day for planting red flowers in local communities
Coordinate a day and time for supporters to wear red ribbons to celebrate
Now we pose the question to you- What do you think is the best way for us to celebrate? We welcome all innovative suggestions for an activity that can help to spread awareness of the benefits of EECP Therapy. We look forward to receiving your thoughts!
The Arab Health in Dubai has been a very successful show, the four days spent here were well worth it. It further positioned EECP and Biox in the forefront of vascular diseases solutions. We met a lot of people from various parts in the Middle East region as well as other countries as far away as Malaysia. Working the show has been nothing but pleasure. The people are very welcoming and were eager to learn about our products and their benefits, including the demonstration of EECP in our booth and learn exactly how the therapy works. Physicians and distributors were very pleased to learn in detail of all the clinical benefits that EECP has been proven to have and we’re happy to further educate
themselves on EECP and our Biox ambulatory products.
Having our distributor, K.O.K here with us in the booth all week helped us create more distribution opportunities globally as well as in the Middle East. Most of the distributors that came up to the booth were very professional and treated the conversation as a professional business meeting of getting to know the product line and at the same time letting us get to know them and their company. This show helped us introduce EECP and Biox to many powerful and influential people like numerous advisors to Ministries of Health in the Middle Eastern region countries and it also gave us the ability to promote, market and educate physicians and other clinical professionals about our products.