An Interview with Pierre Lemire
CEO, Kent Imaging, Inc
Our dedicated interview with PIERRE LEMIRE, CEO of Kent Imaging, Inc. profiles the founder of a ground-breaking firm focused on commercialising the breakthrough of multispectral imaging technology that assesses tissue oxygen saturation. Executive Global caught up
with the pioneer leading advancements in tissue oxygenation imaging.
Executive Global: It has been said that luctor et emergo or ‘struggle and emerge’, is very much your philosophy in business and life. Can you elaborate on this and how the concept shaped your business?
Pierre Lemire: I’ve always had a passion for building high-tech imaging products which has been the driving force of my professional life. My successes have been hard-fought—as they should be. It takes time, experience, and a whole lot of creative thinking to build new products and take them to market. It also takes grit. When it comes to innovation, struggle is part of the journey. By keeping the motto luctor et emergo in the forefront, I have learned to embrace that struggle and rise to the challenge.
EG: Tell us more about your flagship product SnapshotNIR.
PL: Tissue oxygenation is a key indicator of tissue health and one of the most important factors in wound healing. Unfortunately, it cannot be seen or measured with the naked eye. SnapshotNIR is a non-invasive, handheld imaging tool that uses near-infrared light to measure microvascular tissue oxygen saturation to help clinicians identify the viability of tissue, track healing and ultimately, improve health outcomes.
EG: And how has incorporating this innovative technology through SnapshotNIR, enabled you to assist physicians in improving the efficacy of healing and the quality of clinical outcome for clients?
PL: With a single click of its camera-like structure, SnapshotNIR measures relative amounts of oxygenated and deoxygenated hemoglobin in the microcirculation of tissue where oxygen exchange is happening. A tissue oxygenation map is immediately displayed on the device supporting diagnostic driven decisions in treatment, leading to optimised wound care.
EG: What impact may your recent deal with Net Health Inc in the implementation of your systems and processes have on the general productivity of doctors and the wider community?
PL: For physicians to adopt new technology, it must fit into their existing workflow. The partnership with Net Health allows us to seamlessly incorporate imaging from SnapshotNIR into the patient chart, recording serial change in tissue oxygenation status as part of the medical record. These advancements are all part of a larger vision, where the data from SnapshotNIR is routinely assimilated into a patient’s digital medical record as important insight and documentation into the patient’s wound healing and tissue health.
EG: What are some of the greatest challenges associated with effective wound care and why would addressing treatment at the microvascular level be such a productive endeavour?
PL: One of the biggest challenges in effective wound care is patient compliance. For patients to have better outcomes, they need to be compliant with the treatment plan – seeing improvement week after week in their wound tissue displayed in the captured image can give them hope.
For the wound specialist, understanding oxygen delivery is critical. If there is not enough oxygen getting to the wound, then any treatment application is likely to fail. SnapshotNIR measures tissue oxygenation at the critical microvascular level where oxygen exchange is taking place. The information obtained at bedside and within a matter of seconds may lead to expedited vascular referral, confirm and document therapeutic benefit of applied treatment modalities and help to guide further intervention.
EG: How did your previous roles as Chief Technology Officer at Autodesk, Inc and Co-Founder of Calgary Scientific, help you to emerge as a global leader at the forefront of innovation in medical technology?
PL: My experience at Autodesk and Calgary Scientific has certainly taught me that to be a global leader, you need to take calculated risks to be on the bleeding edge of technology development. It showed me the importance of providing clear direction and leadership to your company, as well as leadership to the industry that the technology is intended for. Consulting with industry leaders, spending the time to show them how changing the way they work will have a positive benefit for them and their clients, and listening to these experts on what is important to meet their needs are key components. We push the envelope and continuously adhere to product iteration to serve client needs. For Kent, this means bringing innovative technology to market, which is providing real change for physicians and their patients.
EG: What do you see occurring on the horizon for Calgary as a hub of innovation within the decade, and how may the world of imaging be impacted?
PL: Calgary boasts an emerging ecosystem for a significant number of technologies. It is a growing hub of innovation with a strong partnership between industry, government, educational institutions and investors - the four cornerstones of innovative success. Of note, Calgary is building an expertise in machine-learning which will enhance what we can deliver in imaging as more value will be achieved from an interpretive perspective in this integration of technologies. We’re at the tip of the iceberg of what Kent is going to be able to develop and bring to market over the next five to 10 years—tools and technology that are going to significantly improve the way physicians practice, reduce complications and improve patient outcomes. EG