QuantaFlo™ System Interview:
QuantaFlo™ in PAD for Interventional Radiology
National Interventional Radiology Partners, an Interventional Radiology practice with multiple locations in Texas specializing in the treatment of Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD), uses the QuantaFlo™ PAD testing system from Semler Scientific, Inc.
We recently asked Dr. Andrew Gomes, CEO of National Interventional Radiology Partners, about his experience with QuantaFlo.
Q: What has been your overall experience with the QuantaFlo™ system?
Dr. Gomes: Overall, very positive. We’re big believers in the QuantaFlo system. Not only do we use it as part of our examination protocol, we also recommend it to our referring physicians.
Q: How do you use the QuantaFlo system?
Dr. G: In addition to using it in-office for examinations, we use it for community screening events. Screening events are a great opportunity for us to educate lot of people at once. Many people we encounter at these events haven’t seen a doctor in a long time and are not informed about risk factors and symptoms associated with PAD. QuantaFlo makes it easy to identify compromised flow in these people, educate them about the disease, and help them to get the treatment that they need.
Q: What are some of the things you like best about the QuantaFlo system?
Dr. G: Compared to a traditional ABI (Ankle-Brachial Index test, the traditional test for PAD), QuantaFlo is much more convenient. It’s faster, easier, and it’s portable. Anyone can be trained to perform the test. Because of this, we are able to identify disease in more people, more quickly and efficiently.
Q: What kind of impact can an “early” PAD testing tool like the QuantaFlo system have in primary care?
Dr. G: Very impactful. 1 in 25 people has undiagnosed, subclinical (meaning they’re not experiencing any symptoms yet) PAD. That’s a large number of Americans for whom the disease will not be detected until much later during its natural course. If however we are able to find it early enough, the patient may be able modify his/her lifestyle and obviate the need for medical or procedural intervention. And if they do need procedural intervention, the earlier they receive that, the better the results.
I believe there should be a QuantaFlo unit in every primary care office. Both patients and providers would benefit from this.
Q: What kind of reaction did you get from other providers about using the QuantaFlo system? Did it change their minds once they saw you utilizing it?
Dr. G: Most have initial reservations, mainly because they are familiar and comfortable with the traditional testing methods they’ve been trained on. And, they tend to be inundated with solicitations from device companies and drug companies. How are they to separate the wheat from the chaff? We have found that the physicians seeing QuantaFlo “in action” so-to-speak is effective — i.e. “a demo is worth a thousand words”. When they see first-hand how simple and fast it is, most are sold.
Q: How does the QuantaFlo technology integrate into your overall workflow?
Dr. G: Seamlessly. It is part of our initial consultation and evaluation for all suspected PAD patients, right along with height and weight.
Q: Which types of patients do you think would benefit most from QuantaFlo testing?
Dr. G: All Americans over the age of 50. The Standard American Diet — sugars, processed carbs — is the root cause of artery disease. Primary prevention of PAD, early detection, is the key to addressing the disease.
Q: What would you say to a provider who’s thinking of adopting this technology?
Dr. G: I usually ask providers something along the lines of “How many patients do you have that are either over 65, or over 50 and are diabetic, or smokers?” Their answer is usually “That’s almost all my patients!” To which I reply, “Great, you should screen them for PAD with the QuantaFlo system.”
Q: How have patients reacted to the QuantaFlo system so far?
Dr. G: Some are initially scared because they think the digit clip is going to stick them, like a one would experience when having his/her blood sugar checked. But then we demo it to them on our own fingers and they are put at ease. After the 5 minute test is complete, they usually react with pleasant surprise e.g. “That’s it?”
Q: What about patients who test positive for PAD? What were their reactions?
Dr. G: Some are worried about the implications of a positive test. We assure them that the fact that we have discovered their PAD early is a good thing, as it is a treatable and indeed curable disease. This mollifies them.
Dr. Andrew Gomes is a Board-Certified Diagnostic and non-vascular Interventional Radiologist, having completed his training at LSU-Shreveport in 2008. He is passionate about healthcare operations, and obtained his Lean Six Sigma Black Belt certification in 2012. He is committed to operational excellence through standardization, systemization, and “one best way” methodology.
With extensive experience in inpatient, outpatient, and telemedicine operations for both diagnostic and procedural healthcare in 30+ practice settings, he has developed a portfolio of real-world knowledge regarding best practices and design. Dr. Gomes possesses expertise implementing all major PACS, RIS, and Voice Recognition systems, and has experience with all major EHR platforms as well. He believes in creating win-win-win partnerships wherein the patients benefit from outstanding care, the referring physicians receive the best service possible, and the principal owners are part of a profitable and altruistic business.