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Otivio – An innovative solution that saves limbs and lives

November 26, 2019

–Without FlowOx I´m sure I would have needed to amputate my left foot also, says Stine Thorshaug from Orkdal in Mid-Norway. In October 2016, she was suddenly stricken by a blood clot and decreased blood circulation in both legs.

Once Stine’s condition became worse, there was no way to avoid amputation of her right foot. For a while, the situation was critical for the left foot as well. However, Aker Hospital in Oslo had new equipment with promising results. Both the doctors and Stine thought it was worth trying. Treatment was initiated with a device called FlowOx. After just one week, there was reason for optimism, and after a month the wounds were healed, and she could start walking on her foot and start exercising it. The left foot was saved.

Huge problem
The company behind FlowOx, Otivio, was established in 2010 based on prototypes and clinical data developed at the University of Oslo. The goal is an effective treatment of peripheral artery disease (PAD), a serious condition that causes pain, chronic wounds and in many cases amputation and death. Globally, this is a huge problem with over 200 million patients annually. At the same time, there are few treatment options for a very large share of patients.

Improvement after short time use
Stine says that she had to grin when she put on the FlowOx device for the first time, and the belief that this might work was rather small. This changed when the improvement came after a short period of use. What FlowOx does is creating a negative pressure inside the chamber where the foot is placed. This allows the blood to flow more vigorously through the arteries in the foot and helps the body heal itself. For Stine, the wounds started to heal quite quickly and the pain eased.

The effect on blood flow in the small arteries can be clearly seen with the use of ultrasound technology, which provides a graphic image of the blood flow in an artery in the foot of a patient with peripheral artery disease. You can see this in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIxw3hvPff0

CEO Andreas Mollatt believes Otivio has developed a good and cost-effective solution for a huge patient population.

Old idea
The idea that negative pressure can have a positive effect on blood vessels is not new. NASA has used the method on previous space flights. Treatment under this principle has been tried as far back as the 1930s. However, the earlier editions had dubious effects, and later editions were large, expensive and only for use in hospitals.

Easy to use even at the patient’s home
FlowOx is both easy to use and carry around. Thus, the appliance can be used not only by experts in hospitals, but by patients themselves in their own homes. This is important, since treating these types of disorders takes up considerable resources in home nursing and traveling to a treatment site is often a burden on the patient.

– We have developed something that is efficient and easy to use for patients, it reduces the workload at hospitals and home nursing, and reduces costs. There are currently few treatment options for peripheral artery disease other than surgical procedures. FlowOx is a simple, non-invasive method that works. Based on a very large patient population, we see great opportunities in the global market, says CEO Andreas Mollatt of Otivio. The efficacy of the treatment is documented through clinical trials, it is safe and painless.

Stine sums up her experience in this way: – FlowOx has changed my life in the way that I have a normal foot that is painless. I can walk, I can ride a bike. I can do cross country and downhill skiing. I can ride. I can walk on my own foot.

Multiple partners
–Without the interest and willingness of partners, the development and documentation of FlowOx would not have been possible,” says Andreas Mollatt of Otivio.

The collaboration with Oslo University Hospital and later St. Olavs Hospital in Trondheim has been crucial for FlowOx which is being used in more than 20 hospitals in Germany, the UK and Scandinavia.

In addition, through cooperation with Norway Health Tech, Otivio has been awarded project funding from the EU of 2 million Euros which has enabled the company to further develop the product, and FlowOx 2.0 is now offered as a commercial product.

Watch the Otivio video here!