January 25, 2021
Vituro Health 2020 in Review
As we enter 2021, high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) is starting a fifth full year. 2020 will be a year to remember for sure. No one plans for a pandemic to shut down the economy but despite limited travel due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we still saw demand for minimally invasive treatment from both doctors and patients. We were able to keep a few key sites open and treating patients, but overall, we know that there is pent-up demand for treatments as many diagnosed men have been delaying treatments. Additionally, testing for cancer, in general, saw a 25-50% decline which will delay diagnosis and treatments for the next 12 months. HIFU continues to allow men a non-invasive option with reduced side effect risks and does not require a patient to sacrifice his quality of life to treat his cancer.
Vituro Health is proud to have gained a new partnership in 2020 with Associated Urological Specialists in Chicago. Dr. James Sylora and Dr. Mark Lyon will be the primary physicians performing HIFU treatments for Associated Urological Specialists (AUS). AUS is committed to the latest technologies and treatments which provide their patients with solutions and greater quality of life outcomes. We are excited about the partnership and the future of care for patients in the Chicago area.
Vituro Health has always been at the forefront of offering new prostate ablation technology for our physicians and their patients to maintain a man’s quality of life post-procedure. In the fall of 2019, we partnered with Profound Medical to bring TULSA-PRO® treatment to market. We are proud to have been the first company to treat a patient with the TULSA-PRO procedure in the United States. The treatment took place on January 11, 2020, at Choice Diagnostic Imaging in Sarasota, Florida, and was led by our Medical Director, Dr. Stephen Scionti. Dr. Scionti continues to be the only provider of both the Sonablate HIFU and TULSA-PRO in the United States.
In June, our partnership with the UAB Department of Urology in Birmingham, Alabama took a big step forward with their first HIFU treatment. The treatment was done by Dr. Scionti, Dr. Soroush Rais-Bahrami, and Dr. Jeffrey Nix. We are honored to partner with a leading Healthcare institution like UAB to provide qualified patients an alternative to existing treatments. Dr. Nix and Dr. Rais-Bahrami are leaders in the treatment of prostate cancer and we look forward to working closely with them to continually improve the quality of life of their patients.
We are proud of the accomplishments of our team! Our Senior Vice President of Partner Relations, Emily Ferrell, was named to the 40 Under 40 list of the Birmingham Business Journal. Emily was honored due to her outstanding work helping in the growth of this company and wearing many hats in the process. Our Operations and Special Projects Manager, Blake Bonner, was also featured in the Birmingham Business Journal as an emerging leader in the Birmingham Health, Innovation, and Tech industries. We are excited about the future with these two great professionals striving for the growth and success of Vituro Health.
We are proud to have been a gold sponsor for the Mike Slive Foundation’s I’m With Mike Virtual 5K. Our CEO, Clete Walker, was one of the founding board members of the Mike Slive Foundation in 2017. The Mike Slive Foundation started in the memory of former Southeastern Conference and Conference USA commissioner, Mike Slive, and has seen tremendous growth in the last few years. The Foundation has put on more great events including the Mike Slive Invitational for NCAA basketball and the Beyond Blue event that raised over $500,000 to fund awareness for prostate cancer and prostate cancer research. By working with the Mike Slive Foundation, we have the chance to spend our charitable time to support a great cause.
Our podcast, Your Regular PSA: A Men’s Health Podcast, was launched during the early portion of the year and we had great episodes with some of our doctors and partners. We are looking forward to many more great conversations in 2021 with a broader look at men’s health.
Effective 2021, a new CPT code (55880) for transrectal HIFU became available for Medicare patients to access this procedure. This lowers the out-of-pocket costs for Medicare patients significantly and increases the number of patients who can access this life-changing treatment. Additionally, physicians who were reluctant to offer a cash procedure will now be seeking the opportunity to learn how to treat patients through our proprietary training program.
New in 2021, Vituro Health is pleased to announce a joint venture with the Gapin Institute to launch MALE VIP. Male VIP is a new men’s personalized telehealth platform designed to revolutionize men’s access to healthcare by providing online-telehealth visits, prescription medications, health testing, assessment tools, lifestyle coaching, and wearable technology along with access to MALE90X. Male90X is a proven, comprehensive 90-day precision-management program designed to help men radically transform their health, wellness, and vitality. Tracy Gapin, M.D., founder of the Gapin Institute, Chief Medical Officer of MALE VIP, and an original founder of Vituro Health, developed this program after extensive research for his new book Male 2.0. (Amazon.com: Male 2.0: Cracking the Code to Limitless Health and Vitality eBook: Gapin MD, Tracy: Kindle Store).
Additionally, in 2021, our goal is to expand our TULSA-PRO locations through existing partners. This procedure is quickly gaining popularity as a viable option for both patients and physicians to treat prostate cancer. We are excited about the future of offering access to this extraordinary treatment.
At Vituro Health our vision continues to empower men, their families, and the doctors who treat them with the resources and services that elevate the standard of care, the patient experience, and the business of medicine. We will continue to strive to ensure that patients have the options for their prostate cancer treatment and total health management.