Sometimes when it comes to the markets, the best thing that can happen to a company is being at the right place at the right time. By all accounts, this appears to fit the bill for Ventripoint Diagnostics (TSXV: VPT) and its three dimensional echocardiogram technology. It seems the company has developed the right tech at the right time, given recent findings published in JAMA, a clinical medical journal, related to the impacts of COVID-19 on the heart.
The findings, headlined as “COVID-19 and Heart Failure With Preserved Ejection Fraction,” pertains to the finding that myocardial injury (in layman terms, injury to the heart) may occur in some individuals with COVID-19. In particular, the journal article identifies that in a study of 100 patients with COVID-19 in Israel that had an echocardiogram conducted, the most common abnormalities were right ventricular dilation at 39%, and left ventricular diastrolic dysfunction at 16%.
We know that this likely sounds confusing to those of us that are not medical-terminology inclined. To rephrase this in a simplified manner, a study of 100 patients with COVID-19 in Israel took place, with patients having ultrasounds (echocardiograms) conducted on their hearts. Of those that participated, 39 were found to have had the right side of their heart enlarged as a result of the disease. Furthermore, 16 of the patients studied had an issue with the left side of their heart where the heart was having trouble relaxing between heart beats, meaning the heart had to work much harder to pump less blood through the body.
The article also identifies that other studies were conducted on the heart in Germany related to COVID-19 patients, with 78% of patients showing “abnormal findings” on their heart after an MRI was conducted. The short of it, is that COVID-19 by all accounts appears to have adverse effects on the heart. The article closes out its findings by reporting that, “many survivors of COVID-19, particularly those who have recovered from severe illness with profound hypoxemic respiratory failure and thromboembolic complications, will be at risk for chronic right heart failure, pulmonary hypertension, and diastolic dysfunction.”
Relating this back to Ventripoint, it appears that the firm’s tech is in the right place at the right time. Presently, Ventripoint has the only technology available that is able to provide an accurate model of the right ventricular via 2D imaging from an echocardiogram. Most imaging of the right side of the heart has to occur via MRI’s that are time consuming, present longer lead times due to fewer devices being present at hospitals, and are as a result far costlier than Ventripoint’s offering.
Given the impact that COVID-19 is believed to have on the heart, it can be expected that a significant portion of survivors of the disease will require regular cardiac follow-up post-recovery. From a medical standpoint, it is much cheaper to treat people who are at risk of a heart attack, than it is to treat them when they have a heart attack. Frequent monitoring of the right side of the heart through quarterly appointments would enable these patients and their doctors to steadily monitor the condition of the heart, enabling proper therapy to be applied when justified, rather than dealing with it after an event such as a heart attack.
In this sense, medical personnel will look to source the most cost and time-effective option of doing so, given the size of the population that will likely require frequent follow-up inspections. Given that Ventripoint’s VMS+3.0 software offers full models of the heart that are close in accuracy to MRI’s, with modeling only taking 5 to 10 minutes on average compared to multiple hours for an MRI, a strong case can be made that Ventripoint has arrived at the right place, at the right time.
Ventripoint Diagnostics last traded at $0.11 on the TSX Venture.
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As the founder of The Deep Dive, Jay is focused on all aspects of the firm. This includes operations, as well as acting as the primary writer for The Deep Dive’s stock analysis. In addition to The Deep Dive, Jay performs freelance writing for a number of firms and has been published on Stockhouse.com and CannaInvestor Magazine among others.