Local Doctor’s Invention Gives Rise to Sanford Vascular Innovations
By 2012, Dr. Kelly, who started his career as a structural engineer, had invented a solution. That solution has now become the Medtronic Valiant TAAA Stent Graft System which allows for minimally invasive repair of these aneurysms, independent of anatomy. It has been FDA approved for a single-center clinical trial.
“As that project evolved and with the success of that, I realized that I’ve got solutions for other problems,” says Dr. Kelly. “So I started working on some other ideas and we filed patents for those and, before I knew it, we had a small group of solutions.”
It was not long before Dr. Kelly realized that he needed help to manage this growing portfolio of vascular solutions and Sanford Vascular Innovations was formed.
“We hired a biomechanical engineer to help with prototyping and computer modeling. Then we
needed help with the regulatory arm of this, so we hired someone to begin putting that in place,” says Dr. Kelly, who now has a portfolio of a dozen patent applications and more ideas brewing. “That becomes quite a handful of patents to manage and maintain and before long you realize you had better have a budget.”
SVI now includes engineers, chemists and other professionals and draws expertise from area
“If we can keep people ambulatory and independent, we can significantly reduce the cost of medicine,” says Dr. Kelly.
Kelly estimates that he still spends as much as 90 percent of his time practicing medicine, a situation made possible by the behind-the-scenes work of the SVI team.
“SVI is essentially an incubator for early innovation in vascular care that requires a huge amount of effort from lots of different people at centers both locally and nationally to become reality,” says Dr. Kelly. “Pat Kelly couldn’t possibly run this steam engine. I’m just the guy who lit the first match.”