Marie Johnson never had any intention of becoming the CEO of a medical device company with a mission of “changing the world,” but then again she never had any intention of becoming a widow with 2 small children either.
In 2002, Johnson, CEO and founder of Northfield, Minn.-based Aum Cardiovascular was a PhD student when her 41-year-old husband died after suffering a a sudden heart attack caused by a ruptured plaque in his left anterior descending vessel. The loss left Johnson devastated and searching for answers as to how a 6-foot 2-inch, 180 pound man man in seemingly perfect health could be struck down in the prime of his life.
By diving into her work, she found not only answers but a mission to turn her tragedy into a discovery that she says could change the world by detecting stenosis caused by coronary artery disease before it turns deadly.
Thirteen years after her husband’s untimely death, Aum Cardiovascular has commercialized a non-invasive test designed called the CADence, which the company says can quickly detect significant coronary stenosis. The company hopes the pre FDA-approved device, which is currently on the market in Germany, will eliminate needless death due to coronary artery disease, as well as save the healthcare systems millions of dollars in the process.
The CADence is designed to identify obstructions in the coronary arteries by detecting acoustic signals generated by the turbulence created as blood flows past the obstruction, according to the company. The company’s name is based on a Sanskrit syllable meaning “to make a continuous low humming sound,” akin to the information the CADence device is designed to extract from diseased coronary arteries, the company says.
The company recently raised $5 million of a hoped-for $6.3 million funding push, which will support Aum’s growth and its current U.S. pivotal trial of the device.
In this episode of DeviceTalks, recorded live at our DeviceTalks Minnesota event on September 23rd, 2015 MassDevice publisher Brian Johnson sat down with Johnson for a long ranging discussion about Aum Cardiovascular and her amazing personal story.