Dr. Ruey-Kang Chang, Investigator at The Lundquist Institute, has received the highly-respected Tibbets Award from the Small Business Administration (SBA) for founding QT Medical to create a new system that identifies countless cardiac conditions, from newborns to adults – not only enabling early treatment, but empowering at-home care.
Dr. Chang, a pediatric cardiologist, was frustrated with the impracticality of conducting Electrocardiograms (ECGs) on his youngest patients. As a result, Dr. Chang began designing and testing QT ECG, a new system for babies that can detect Long QT Syndrome* early and enable access to proper treatment. QT ECG is a hospital-quality 12-lead ECG device cleared by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for home-use cardiac self-monitoring under a physician’s guidance. QT ECG is a complete ECG platform that includes both the device components as well as apps for smart devices, preliminary computer interpretation, and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)-compliant cloud data storage and management.
The research and development of QT ECG were made possible from funding from the Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) grants. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) also played a crucial role in the success of QT Medical’s technology – not only to bring in the funding, expertise, and validation, but also the connections and partnerships needed to commercialize the QT ECG. Because of this, QT Medical was able to quickly develop the system and conduct a clinical trial that included over 2,500 newborn babies – several of whom were found to have heart disease, including one with Long QT Syndrome. The company received FDA clearance for use in adults in 2018 and anticipates pediatric clearance imminently.
“I am very pleased to have received this award from the SBA,” said Dr. Chang. “Without their support this would not have happened as quickly as it did. We are now able to provide a device that will help save the lives of babies as well as adults. My team and I are very grateful for this special honor.”
“We congratulate Dr. Chang for receiving the Tibbetts Award,” said Dr. David Meyer, President and CEO of The Lundquist Institute. “This once again demonstrates the caliber of innovative thinking and vision that is nurtured and supported here at the Institute. This new system will make a huge difference in the health and lives of so many people.”
Founded in 2013 with a staff of 9, QT Medical has grown to two office locations with over 30 employees. QT ECG is currently in use in commercial airlines, telehealth practices, pharmaceutical trials, and employee health. QT Medical further plans to offer QT ECG to pediatrician offices, as well as to school districts for use in screening student athletes potentially affected by unknown cardiac disorders.
According to the SBA, “Thanks to QT Medical, many Americans – 6+ million with chronic heart failure, 10+ million with arrhythmias and coronary artery disease, as well as the thousands of babies born with cardiac conditions and Long QT Syndrome – will be empowered with the tools needed to take care of their heart disease at home.”
*Long QT Syndrome – In the U.S., 2,000 babies are born with this little-known but potentially fatal genetic cardiac condition – 300 of whom die in their first few months of life as a result of this disease that can be detected via what should be a simple electrocardiogram (ECG).
About The Lundquist Institute: Research with reach
The Lundquist Institute is an engine of innovation with a global reach and a 69-year reputation of improving and saving lives. With its new medical research building, its state-of-the-art incubator, “BioLabs at The Lundquist,” existing laboratory and support infrastructure, and a new recently approved 15-acre business tech park, the Lundquist Institute serves as a hub for the Los Angeles area’s burgeoning biotech scene. The research institute has over 100 principal investigators (PhDs, MDs, and MD/PhDs) working on more than 600 research studies, including therapies for numerous, and often fatal orphan diseases.
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