MedMined Inc. has developed technology that can help healthcare facilities track patterns of hospital-acquired infections and identify when these infections become resistant to the drugs commonly used to treat them. This technology, the Data Mining Surveillance Service (DMSS™), continually monitors millions of possible signs of an infectious outbreak, so medical professionals can address potential problems before an outbreak occurs.
Each year in the United States, hospital-acquired infections affect nearly 2 million patients and contribute to approximately 88,000 deaths, making them the fourth leading cause of death. Healthcare providers and insurers spend more than $4.5 billion annually treating these infections, since many are resistant to antibiotics and difficult to treat.
"Hospital-acquired infections have been a problem for a long time and drug resistance is becoming more prevalent," says Mark Griffin, MedMined CEO. "The challenge is identifying where the problem is. Once the source of the infection is located, it’s easy to change the process or procedure that caused it, helping healthcare facilities improve patient care and reduce costs."
MedMined founder Stephen Brossette recognized the need for a more accurate infection monitoring system when he was a graduate student at the University of Alabama, Birmingham. In the course of his studies, he developed the DMSS™ to help hospitals detect infection patterns humans could easily miss. Brossette formed MedMined in January 2000 to market the technology, and he moved its operations into a single office at the Office for the Advancement of Developing Industries (OADI) Technology Center in April 2000. Within a year, the company began offering DMSS™ commercially, received $2 million in venture capital funding and brought on Griffin as chief executive officer.
When Griffin joined MedMined in March 2001, he looked into other office space for the company, but he could not find anything that better met the needs of the growing company. He says he especially appreciates OADI’s "great facility" and its array of business support services. "New businesses can’t afford to be distracted with trying to locate office resources," Griffin says. "During the early stages, a business should be focused on succeeding and securing its market presence. By locating in the incubator, which provides us with the resources we need, we’re able to focus on our business."
As the company has grown, MedMined staff has expressed a deepening appreciation for the services offered by the incubator. Since MedMined entered the incubator, OADI staff has helped the company with marketing plans and sales training. The incubator’s significant connections to the Birmingham business and investment community also have been key to the company’s success, Griffin says, helping to provide contacts to decision-makers in the hospital industry and opportunities to present to venture capitalists.
MedMined has parlayed the incubator’s assistance into business success in a short period of time. By the end of 2001, the company had secured projects with five Centers for Disease Control and Prevention epicenters and two Veteran’s Administration Hospitals. MedMined also has received the endorsement of the Child Health Corporation of America, a business alliance of 38 children’s hospitals.
In its first year, MedMined revenues were $5,000. By 2001, annual revenues increased 27 times to $135,000. MedMined expects 2002 to be a breakthrough year, with revenues exceeding $500,000. Since 2000, the company has grown from one employee to eight, and total salaries have increased from $15,000 to $600,000.
Griffin says winning the Outstanding Incubator Client Award provides the company with both internal and external benefits. "The award lets us know the company stands out to people who look at businesses all the time," he says. "This validation is what we’re always trying to achieve in the marketplace. Of course, the external benefits of the publicity can’t hurt a young company either."
Susan Matlock, OADI executive director, also is excited about the award. "I love to see successful young companies recognized for their hard work," she says. "Even at this very early stage, we could tell that MedMined and its technology have incredible potential."
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