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Utah Business

This company aims to predict health problems and create custom healthcare using machine learning.

Xenter wants to use AI to monitor your vitals and predict health problems

“Just like sensors in your car tell you if your tires are flat or you’re running low on oil, [Physical Intelligence] data offers real-time information that enables patients and doctors to make decisions,” says Richard J. Linder, chairman and CEO of Xenter. Except in Xenter’s case, the system is the human body and not a car. 

This data can tell you whether or not you need to act to ensure that your system is working effectively, Linder says. “Wouldn’t you want that PI data to be collected in a global cloud where that data can be used with analytics to improve patient care and outcomes? That’s exactly what we’re doing. We’re collecting this PI data, and then we’ll do AI on this data. We’ll use machine learning and deep learning, and these algorithms will give us much better information that’s more targeted [to each patient].” 

This company aims to predict health problems and create custom healthcare using machine learning.

Gathering patient data

Several years ago, Linder overcame a life-threatening illness that completely changed how he viewed the American healthcare system. 

“There were a lot of challenges that both my family and I had to go through,” Linder says. “I had a lot of different procedures, surgeries, and interventions over a long period of time. As I looked at medicine from a patient’s perspective, I began to see a lot of flaws and things that could be improved. After surviving all that I went through, I became very motivated to create change on behalf of patients to help improve their own lives and outcomes.”

That change came in early 2020 when he founded Xenter, the world’s first start-up Device-Data-Drug healthcare technologies company. As Xenter’s chairman and CEO, Linder wanted his company to focus on ways to help patients and their families navigate the often-cumbersome—and unnecessarily stressful—world of healthcare, but in an innovative and non-headache-inducing way.

“Xenter is a company that moves the needle forward in patient care,” Linder says. “With the current management of healthcare data, patients truly can’t access and own their personal data. There is a tremendous need for data privacy and for patients to be confident that their data is confidential and private. There are some companies—which I won’t name—that have access to patients’ data, some of which are healthcare systems. They are trying to take that information and monetize it without rewarding patients. This is completely wrong from a moral standpoint.” 

Xenter’s mission is to course correct the medical narrative while also rocketing it lightyears into the future in ways that, until fairly recently, were unimaginable. According to a statement on the company’s Linkedin page, “Xenter is focused on developing new wireless medical device technologies, innovative digital health tools that will enable individual patients to own and manage their health information, and novel therapeutic drugs utilizing Physical Intelligence (PI) and patient-supplied data.” 

To do so, Xenter, which is privately held and headquartered in a 30,000-square-foot facility in Draper, has assembled a crackerjack team of medical scientists, chemical engineers, medical device engineers, researchers, data scientists, and many of the world’s most accomplished entrepreneurs and industry veterans to solve some of the largest challenges in healthcare, medicine, and engineering. Xenter is focusing on two areas in particular: cancer and cardiovascular diseases. 

“What we’re doing is building a global platform for wireless smart medical devices, and we’re taking connected technologies and making them unconnected to help simplify clinical workflows,” Linder says. “By making things wireless and changing technology, there’s the opportunity to change how data is managed.” 

One example: Xenter is creating an updated version of a medical device that would replace the current intravascular ultrasounds currently used in hospitals and clinics around the world. Unlike today’s ultrasounds, which are comprised of a cobweb of wires and widgets, Xenter’s model will be 100-percent wireless. The company plans to roll out this device sometime in the near future. 

This company aims to predict health problems and create custom healthcare using machine learning.

“Right now, it takes two technicians to wheel in a cart to the cath lab and plug a sterile catheter into a cable that connects to a monitor,” Linder says. “The problem is that you have these non-sterile cables that need to be sanitized and covered in protective bags, and it takes time and effort to hook up these monitors. But with Xenter’s simple wireless intravascular ultrasound system, we can do away with all those steps.” 

Another perk of this cutting-edge device is that it’s fully remote and will use technology similar to Bluetooth to relay data taken from the patient and upload it into secure portals that can be accessed by both the medical team and the patient.

“The idea works much in the same way as a router in your home, except this router is in the hospital,” Linder says. “And it’s much more secure.” 

A second medical instrument that Xenter is designing is a wireless hemodynamic monitoring (HDM) system, which uses X-wave technology to measure blood flow through the cardiovascular system and is a critical instrument used to monitor heart attack and stroke patients. Once data is gathered from a patient, it can be delivered wirelessly to a HIPAA-compliant portal safely and securely. Linder is quick to add that both of these devices will be highly encrypted and will feature the “highest security that we know.” 

This company aims to predict health problems and create custom healthcare using machine learning.

Customizing health care

In addition to engineering futuristic devices, which Linder hopes to launch sometime in 2024 or 2025, Xenter plans to enter the pharmaceutical realm. This space regularly makes headlines for creating innovative drugs that are often inaccessible to the general public because they are too costly. (Case in point: Zolgensma, a revolutionary gene-therapy drug out of Switzerland with a $2.1 million price tag that eventually had to create a lottery-like system to offer the drug for free after the company received endless criticism.) 

“We want to develop drugs that are better, faster, and cheaper,” Linder says. “It used to be that drug companies and medical device companies were separate, but with Physical Intelligence and the data we gather, they can work together.” 

One example of a drug that Xenter’s team is developing right now is XT-0528, a cancer drug that successfully completed phase one of trials. This therapeutic checkpoint inhibitor is expected to enter phase two trials later this year and is intended to improve patient outcomes in battling certain types of cancer. 

While it may be easy to conclude that Xenter’s solutions feel like something out of The Jetsons or Star Trek, the company’s future goals to shake up the healthcare sector are actually quite attainable. For starters, Linder has played an active part in the medical sector for most of his career. Before founding Xenter (the company was originally called R J Linder Enterprises), he served as the chairman and CEO of CoNextions Medical, a Salt Lake City-based company that specializes in the development and manufacturing of medical devices for orthopedic surgery. 

Prior to that, Linder held executive-level positions at Remedy Informatics, a company that provided medical registries of Electronic Health Record (EHR) data; Coherex Medical, Inc., another medical device company; and Boston Scientific/Rubicon Medical, where he invented the underlying medical equipment for the Rubicon Vascular Protection Filter, a device for patients undergoing certain cardiovascular procedures. 

In addition to his business achievements, Linder holds more than 100 patents and patent applications in the United States for medical devices, as well as numerous international patents. He is also the recipient of the Utah Governor’s Medal for Science and Technology.

Currently, Xenter has about 100 employees and is on target to open a facility in Carlsbad, California, as well as international offices in Singapore and London. Xenter has also tapped some of the brightest minds in the medical community to join its board, including Dr. Robert Langer, co-founder of pharmaceutical giant Moderna and a professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT); David Bearrs, Ph.D., founder and CEO of Tolero Pharmaceuticals; and Jim Tobin, the former president and CEO of Boston Scientific, the medical device manufacturer where Linder once worked. 

While the company has its hands full engineering devices and drugs, the team at Xenter wants to stay one step ahead of the competition in terms of innovation. Xenter is responsible for designing all of its microchips and owns 100 percent of its intellectual property. No idea is too farfetched for Linder and his team—the company even expects to roll out a voice-recognition technology in some US hospitals later this year that is similar to Alexa and Siri. 

“We anticipate that these technologies will save hospitals millions of dollars over the years,” Linder says. 

In the grand scheme of things, Xenter is in the business of helping make things easier for patients who are going through what are often very stressful times. Linder uses his own experience as a patient as an incentive to help others currently in that position.

“Everyone has been a patient either in the past, or right now, or will be sometime in the future,” he says. “I want to make things easier for them with the help of technology.” 

This company aims to predict health problems and create custom healthcare using machine learning.

Jennifer Nalewicki is a Salt Lake City-based journalist. Her work has also been featured in Smithsonian Magazine, Fast Company, and more.