Calgary doctor, entrepreneur scores finalist spot in international innovation competition

​Dr. Breanne Everett makes smart shoes that can prevent injuries to diabetics’ feet.

Dr. Breanne Everett shares her pitch for Orpyx at the Pitch@Palace boot camp at Facebook London on Friday. Pitch@Palace Facebook

Sarah Rieger, CBC News Calgary Apr 15, 2018

A Calgary doctor and entrepreneur is a finalist in a prestigious U.K. innovation forum, for her business idea that helps prevent damage to the feet of people with diabetes.

​Dr. Breanne Everett is a top 12 finalist in the Pitch@Palace Commonwealth Competition, which means she’ll be able to pitch her innovative medical technology to an international audience of entrepreneurs, tech experts, media representatives and investors at St. James’ Palace in London.

Everett is the CEO and founder of Orpyx, a company that makes wearable tech that measures foot pressure and gait for diabetics, to prevent issues that can come with a lack of nerve sensitivity in their feet.

“I was so interested in the opportunity to fix this really big problem that there wasn’t an effective solution for,” she told Russell Bowers on Daybreak Alberta.

Entrepreneurs from over 30 Commonwealth countries have gathered in London to represent their respective countries for Pitch at the Palace.

The Duke of York, Prince Andrew, has long been a champion of innovation, and he’s been hosting a forum to encourage more of the same.

The company chosen to go from Canada is Orpyx, a medical products company, founded in Alberta and the CEO is Dr. Breanne Everett, with degrees in medicine and business from the University of Calgary. Her company has produced a special product to help people with Diabetes detect issues with their feet, due to numbness that can set in for sufferers of the disease.

Russell Bowers spoke with Dr. Everett about her trip and how her company is doing at Pitch at the Palace. Daybreak Alberta. Audioboom CBC Apr 15, 9:03 AM

She was the only Canadian to qualify for the competition, which has the theme of “Human Tech — Benefits for Humanity.”

Everett said she has a clinical background, and in the course of her training she saw many patients that had contact wounds and ulcers on their feet.

“I just found myself frustrated by the fact that we never addressed the underlying problem with complex wounds, which is that most people with diabetes actually lose sensation in their feet,” she said.

“It’s a complication of the disease. And with that loss of sensation, they can’t perceive pain properly … they can wear holes in the bottom of their feet the way someone might wear a hole in a sock.”

One in five of those wounds lead to amputation, Everett said.

The idea behind the technology is that the shoe’s insole can sense what the patient themselves no longer can.

“You can get ahead of the problem and prevent these really dreadful complications before they happen,” she said.

Everett said the company completed a randomized controlled trial recently that found the product could reduce the formation of wounds by 71 per cent.

She said its felt incredible to see the impact the sensors have had on patients.

“That’s what makes it all worth it, is to see somebody at the end of the line actually benefiting from the technology and the difference it makes on their lives.”

Winners and runners-up of the competition will be selected by audience vote after they pitch their ideas on April 16.

Source CBC News Calgary

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