Joseph C. Sardano, Sensus Healthcare

Joseph C. Sardano

Innovation in Healthcare

Editors’ Note

A recognized leader in the healthcare industry, Joe Sardano has spent more than 30 years in marketing and management. He has a successful history of introducing and commercializing new technologies and services in many areas, including electronic brachytherapy, PET and PET/CT, SPECT, MRI, lithotripsy and digital radiography. Sardano has held leadership and management roles at CTI Molecular Imaging, GE Medical Systems, Siemens Medical Systems, Elscint Inc. and Toshiba America Medical Systems, among others.

Company Brief

Sensus Healthcare, Inc. (sensushealthcare.com) is a medical device company specializing in highly effective, non-invasive, minimally-invasive, and cost-effective treatments for both oncological and non-oncological conditions. With its portfolio of innovative medical device products, Sensus provides revolutionary treatment options to enhance the quality of life of patients around the world.

Sculptura™, Ssusus Healthcarre's state-of-the-art
radiation oncology system With Revolutionary Beam Sculpting™,
fast treatment technology

Will you discuss the vision for creating Sensus Healthcare and the mission for the company?

Sensus started to evolve in 2008 when all of us decided to do something for ourselves after years of putting millions of dollars in everybody else’s pocket by bringing many products to market.

Our expertise was bringing new technologies to market, and we were very successful in doing that. We started looking at various areas of oncology and cardiology as they were the two significant growth areas in healthcare. We fell upon skin cancer.

In the healthcare business, generally speaking, the last thing you want to do is surgery. It’s usually not the first treatment option. The rules are different in skin cancer, however. Surgery is the first option. For 50+ years doctors, and surgeons especially, have protected the market for surgery and have not brought in, and adapted to, any new technology. Our view, when we founded the company, is that there was an opportunity to do something unique and different in the skin cancer space.

Orthovoltage, which is a type of radiation therapy, was started by dermatologists back in 1906 – the technology was used to treat everything that we’re treating today, including acne, psoriasis and eczema. While the technology seemed good in those days, we know a lot more now then was known back then. The technology caused many more problems and had lots of side effects. When we looked at this skin cancer market, we knew there was an opportunity in front of us, something to discover.

We went to Mohs surgeons first. We wanted to learn what their objections were and determine their objectives. They told us that the patient population was getting older and living longer. They were coming to the surgeons with pre-existing conditions like diabetes and heart conditions, so they were on beta blockers and blood thinners. The patients who are diabetic have a higher incidence of infections. The patients who are on beta blockers will bleed more and not heal.

We looked very closely at the market opportunity for Sensus and knew that you just can’t do surgery on everybody. We developed an alternative to surgery, which is our Superficial Radiation Therapy (SRT) technology. We market SRT specifically to the surgeon. Of the 14,000 dermatologists in this country, less than a thousand Mohs surgeons are qualified to perform that surgery. Six million patients per year are diagnosed with skin cancer and it’s growing at an annual rate of six percent. Most skin cancer patients are over the age of 65 and they are generally at Medicare/Medicaid ages.

Is Sensus creating additional products to bring to market?

Everything that we do focuses on cost effectiveness for the healthcare system and better outcomes for patients. The latest product we developed, which we think will be a game-changer in the treatment of various cancers, received FDA clearance in February. The product is called Sculptura. Sculptura is a unique device and it is self-contained. It has all the latest technology that nobody else has. It’s called Sculptura for a specific reason – we can actually sculpt the beam so that it takes on the shape of the tumor that you’re attacking, or the space that the tumor has voided that comes out after surgery. It is very soft radiation, only impacting cancer cells, with no impact on healthy cells. It allows the good cells to revive. It is providing direct contact and precise targeting while the patient is under anesthesia. We roll the machine in, plug it into the wall while the patient, for instance for breast cancer, is under anesthesia. We do the procedure – it takes maybe an extra five minutes – and then they go home. The patient doesn’t have to have six-to-ten weeks of radiation therapy. If you speak to any woman who’s had breast cancer and ask her what the toughest part of the cancer treatment was, they will always tell you it was the radiation. We eliminate that need for the six to ten weeks of additional radiation which causes them to lose their hair, impacts other organs, gets them tired, and makes them weak.

You have built a career bringing products to market. Is it hard to be patient when you look at the time and resources needed to introduce new products and to educate the market as you are doing at Sensus?

This is a very good question and, quite frankly, you can’t allow those frustrations to slow you down. You have to move forward and you gain something every day. It starts with the people. If you hire the right people, you need to get the heck out of their way and let them do their thing. We have great people who started with us that had no background in the industry. We could have spent a lot more money on people that had experience, but we wanted the people to have our experience.

We hired the right people, and now I think they’re the best in the industry. We have to expect challenges. Being innovative is key and is one of the things that you need to do successfully in an entrepreneurial world. You sometimes need to make decisions quickly. There is a saying that you should never confuse success with activities. Results are what counts. We’re always driving for results. Every day we have to accomplish something.

Our success is the success of our doctors who have used our equipment. It’s because of them that we’re successful. They’re the ones who took the risk of buying a new, expensive device instead of just protecting the past and the old ways of doing things. They are using it to the patients’ benefit. That’s the kind of doctor that I want to go to. That’s the kind of doctor I want my family to go to. That’s the kind of doctor I want my friends to go to. Those are the doctors that we have.