January 20th, 2017, by Lesli White. MammoLinkSM, a startup breast imaging company, believes it has found a solution to a growing problem in the current breast cancer screening system.
The company, founded by breast imaging radiologist Dr. Ryan Polselli, hopes to place mammography machines and radiological expertise directly in the hands of primary care and OB-gyn offices in Missouri and across the United States.
According to company founder Ryan Polselli, the current process by which a patient obtains a mammogram is not only considered inefficient, but is source of frustration for patients and physicians, ultimately discouraging regular mammographic screening.
He states, “We have made tremendous strides in advancing imaging technology and the ability to detect cancer early, but the actual process by which a patient must obtain a mammogram hasn’t changed in over 50 years.”
According to Polselli, the concept for MammoLinkSM began when he was reading for an outpatient imaging center. He noticed that patients often skipped annual mammograms, sometimes several years in a row. At that time, he estimated that up to half of the 20,000 or so mammograms he read each year had inconsistent screening histories. Many of these patients had cancers at an advanced stage that should have been caught years earlier.
Polselli explains that this issue does not stem from lack of awareness. “In the United States, we raise 6 billion dollars a year in the name of breast cancer. Part of the problem is accessibility. While we have traditionally relied on hospitals and radiology groups to control essentially all mammogram machines and programs, MammoLinkSM hopes to makes screenings more available by placing machines in the direct paths of patients.”
The prediction is that this model is the best opportunity for improvement in the current system and will provide more efficient screenings for patients in Missouri and eventually throughout the entire country.
To further streamline this improvement, MammoLinkSM has also taken away the financial barrier to make this change. Polselli says the company provides for all equipment and installation, regulatory compliance, expertise, and technologist staffing needs.
He explains, “Everything is free for them to get started. MammoLinkSM has organized the entire process. Our services typically amount to a small percentage of revenue generated.”
For primary care and OB-gyn offices, the only requirements include a practice that writes a small number of screening mammogram scripts a day, a room to place the machine, and a commitment to provide patients with better mammographic care.
“It’s really a no-brainer for any primary office that writes scripts for screening mammograms. Not only do we make it more convenient and efficient for patients and referring physicians, but there is a secondary benefit that a significant revenue stream is returned to primary care and OB-gyn physicians, many of whom have been recently squeezed financially by the healthcare system. For many practices, MammoLinkSM provides significant financial relief.”
Polselli calls the relationship a “win-win-win” for patients, physicians, and MammoLinkSM.