Amid News That Others Like It Have Struggled, DFW’s Lone Proton Therapy Center Says It’s Viable, With Room For Growth

Coming up on three years since it first started treating patients, the Texas Center for Proton Therapy has administered proton beam therapy to 1,000 people. It’s a rate that’s kept the $105 million facility financially viable, even as it seeks to take on higher volumes moving forward, the center says. “I think patient volumes have been pretty consistent with what I was expecting coming in,” says Dr. Andrew Lee, who heads the facility. “This is not my first proton center. Just personally, I’ve been very pleased and honored to be part of the team that’s brought proton therapy to the… Full Story

UT Southwestern Surgeon Becomes Second in the U.S. To Perform New, Catheter-based Aneurysm Repair

Doctors at UT Southwestern Medical Center became the first in Texas—and the second in the U.S.—to perform a new procedure to repair the aortic arch above the heart without opening the chest, an approach that the lead surgeon says could start to take off in the wake of his first success. In April Dr. Carlos Timaran, a vascular surgeon at UT Southwestern, performed the minimally invasive procedure on 77-year-old James Isbon, who had been suffering from an aneurysm in his aortic arch. The method requires two small neck incisions and needle-hole access in the groin. Timaran worked with cardiovascular surgeons… Full Story

With A New State Law In Place, DFW Is Gearing Up For Telemedicine Expansion

Three years ago, Addison-based Concentra Occupational Health watched as Nevada joined other U.S. states in adding a telemedicine parity law. Such laws say that private insurers have to reimburse telemedicine visits the same way they do in-person visits. Nevada’s rule even specifically mentioned workers’ compensation, a key for Concentra. The shifting regulatory environment in that state and elsewhere would eventually provide reason enough for Concentra to enter the market, introducing a telemedicine product in 2017. A Concentra executive told me that it’s been well-received, prompting the company to expand within the telemed arena. The company provides workers’ compensation injury care… Full Story

Startup With Platform To Take Retinal Video Wins Health Wildcatters Pitch Competition

The 2018 Healthcare Dealmakers Conference took place this week at the Adolphus Hotel in Dallas, and a healthcare startup went home a little richer. Insight Optics, which has a technology that allows primary care providers to take retinal videos to send off to eye-care specialists, won the Health Wildcatters pitch competition, as Dallas Innovates reports. Eleven startups were in the running. As the winner, Insight Optics takes home $14,000 in cash and in-kind services. Read more on the three-year-old startup, which is “co-located” in Dallas and Atlanta, at Dallas Innovates.

Read this D Magazine Feature on Deep Brain Stimulation

If you’re like me—and you’re not, because you’re a doctor or nurse or something else brilliant—you’ll be surprised to hear that it’s actually possible and at times advisable for a surgeon to drill a hole in a person’s head while that person is still fully awake. I am still astonished by that little factoid. It’s one of many that made reporting this feature for D Magazine so fun. To accompany the magazine’s Collin County Doctors series—view the best of them, as selected by their peers, here—I wrote about deep brain stimulation, a procedure once tagged by Smithsonian as “the most… Full Story

With Acquisition by Nike, Health Wildcatters Has Its Second Exit

Dallas’ health startup community earned a win this week, as accelerator Health Wildcatters announced yesterday that it has achieved a second exit. A company that went through the program in 2014 was acquired by Nike. The company, Invertex Ltd., uses computer vision to create 3D scans of feet. (TechCrunch has an explainer on computer vision if you’re interested in how it works). It is based in Tel Aviv, Israel, and will help Nike “deepen our digital talent and further our capabilities in computer vision and artificial intelligence as we create the most compelling Nike consumer experience at every touch point,” Nike… Full Story

Panelists from Baylor Scott & White, UT Southwestern, and Children’s Weigh In On Hospital Innovation

On Monday afternoon, some innovation-minded hospital administrators gathered at Factory Six03, a trendy spot in downtown Dallas’ West End, to talk about hospital innovation. And they didn’t disappoint, offering some straightforward thoughts on topics ranging from a trend toward smaller, community hospitals, to telemedicine, to navigating a tricky transition period between fee-for-service and value-based care. With myself asking the questions, the panelists for the Dallas Startup Week event were Matthew Chambers, chief information officer at Baylor Scott & White Health; Suresh Gunasekaran, VP and chief of operations at UT Southwestern Health System; and Julie Hall-Barrow, VP of virtual health and… Full Story

UTSW Researcher Wins Harrington Prize for Discovering Innovative Way to Reduce Cholesterol

A UT Southwestern Medical Center geneticist discovered a link between a gene mutation and low levels of cholesterol, leading to the development of new drugs to combat unhealthy cholesterol levels. This week, that geneticist, Dr. Helen Hobbs, was honored with the fifth-annual Harrington Prize for Innovation in Medicine, becoming the first woman to win the award. The Harrington Award is a collaboration by The American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI) and the Cleveland-based Harrington Discovery Institute at University Hospitals Case Medical Center. It goes to physician-scientists who’ve moved science forward with specific achievements that demonstrate innovation, creativity and potential for… Full Story

Dallas-based Axxess Acquires a Home Health Data Company

Dallas-based Axxess, which makes software for home health companies, bought a healthcare data analytics company this week. The company said Tuesday that it has acquired Waterville, Maine-based Home Health Gold. The two companies had a pre-existing relationship, as Axxess had incorporated Home Health Gold into its software. The analytics company has 10 employees and serves hundreds of customers. David Merk will remain its president and CEO. “Since partnering with David to incorporate Home Health Gold into Axxess software, I have been impressed by the Home Health Gold technology and David’s commitment to providing the best data analysis tools,” Axxess Founder… Full Story

A Dallas-based Company Is Helping A Woman Communicate Via Brainwaves

Last spring, someone reached out to IBM on Twitter about using artificial intelligence to help a 29-year-old woman affected by the neurological disorder Rett syndrome. The woman, named Boo, needed help communicating with the outside world. IBM’s Tim Duncan reached out to Darwin Ecosystem founder and former IBM research and development leader Thierry Hubert, and “The Cognitive Story” was born. Less than a year later, Darwin Ecosystem, a Dallas-based big data analytics company, is a finalist for the 2018 South by Southwest Interactive Innovation Award for developing a machine that uses EEG brainwave monitoring to allow limited persons to communicate.… Full Story