Guiding Advancements In Healthcare.
With a toaster oven, a trailer hitch, and deer-spine phantom, the initial Accuro prototype was a functional ultrasound scanning system due to resourcefulness and shared vision and responsibility.
Rivanna Medical, LLC (“RIVANNA”) was founded in 2010 by graduate students at the University of Virginia. Co-founder Will Mauldin initiated the founding of RIVANNA after taking a course at the Darden School of Business as a Ph.D. student in Biomedical Engineering (BME). Will saw an opportunity to apply his expertise in medical ultrasound technologies to address the high failure rates associated with the placement of epidural and spinal anesthesia. Fortunately, one of Will’s fellow BME graduate students had a long history of industrial product development experience, and so Kevin Owen was recruited to round out the team and formally establish the company.
With no company facilities or funding, early development efforts were performed in Kevin’s home attic, including assembly of the first circuit boards in a toaster oven. Will devised a system using a trailer hitch and hot glue to inexpensively manufacture the first ultrasound transducers and shot a deer to make a spine phantom. Encouragingly, this initial prototype was a functional ultrasound scanning system and was tested in the deer spine phantom. Although this early stage development was not clinically useful, the basic concept and preliminary data were sufficient to attract RIVANNA’s first outside funding from Wallace H. Coulter Foundation in collaboration with Dr. John Hossack’s laboratory at the University of Virginia. Private seed investment followed, which allowed Will and Kevin to lease office space and hire the company’s first employees. From that point onward, RIVANNA continued to grow by improving product technology and obtaining subsequent rounds of funding until the Accuro product obtained FDA clearance and started the commercialization process in 2015.
Will Mauldin, Ph.D., Chairman, CEO, and Co-founder
Dr. Mauldin received his PhD in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Virginia with an undergraduate degree in Applied Science from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. At the University of Virginia, Dr. Mauldin held an appointment as an Assistant Research Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering. As a co-founder and CEO of RIVANNA, Dr. Mauldin co-invented, engineered, and is leading the commercial launch of Accuro, the world’s first ultrasound-based epidural guidance device. Dr. Mauldin has an extensive record in clinical ultrasound with over fifty peer-reviewed publications and patents and his research has won numerous funding awards from the National Science Foundation and National Institutes of Health.
Adam Dixon, Ph.D., VP Engineering
Dr. Dixon received his Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Virginia with an undergraduate degree in Biomedical Engineering from Duke University. Dr. Dixon is a seasoned engineer who has led medical image processing algorithm development in both academia and industry for over ten years. While at GE Healthcare, Dr. Dixon was the lead or co-developer of several image processing algorithms that have been implemented on clinically available platforms. At RIVANNA, Dr. Dixon leads an engineering team focused on delivering innovative ultrasound solutions for bone-imaging applications and interventional procedures. Dr. Dixon’s contributions at RIVANNA include the development and implementation of algorithms that enhance bone-image quality within ultrasound images and automatically detect anatomical features in the lumbar spine. He has 15 peer-reviewed journal articles, over 30 conference papers, and numerous patents.
Taisiya Novopachennaia, Operations Manager
Taisiya holds a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering with a Minor in Business, Entrepreneurial Track from the University of Virginia. While at the University of Virginia and as a member of a multidisciplinary team between the School of Medicine and the Department of Biomedical Engineering, Taisiya collaborated with surgeons and physical therapists to develop novel tools to improve the quality of care. Since joining RIVANNA in 2016, Taisiya has quickly established herself on the Management Team through her position as Operations Manager. Taisiya is responsible for all manufacturing operations as well as actively improving internal operations to drive costs down, ensure regulatory compliance, and provide consistent customer service across the globe.
Taisiya was born in Russia and now resides in Charlottesville, VA where she enjoys cycling and backpacking in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Joel Weinstein is a CIMIT Accelerator Executive and has a robust history as a serial entrepreneur and marketing expert in medical imaging and women’s health. Joel was a founding member of the management team at Hologic for its first 12 years of growth. He was Founder of Assurance Medical, CEO at VueSonix Sensors and Andrew Technologies, and Chief Marketing and Sales Officer at BioSphere Medical.
G. Wayne Moore, B.Sc., MBA, FASE
G. Wayne Moore is a 30-year veteran of the diagnostic ultrasound market. Wayne has held senior-level positions with several major medical equipment manufacturers, including Honeywell Medical Systems and Siemens Healthcare.
Tim Ober, DVM
Tim Ober is an angel investor and world-renowned horse veterinarian who serves as the veterinarian for the U.S. Olympic Equestrian Team. Tim graduated from Tufts University School of veterinary medicine. He is a regular user of ultrasound for guided joint injections, working with the major medical ultrasound manufacturers.
Kevin Owen, Ph.D.
Dr. Owen has a bachelor’s in engineering physics and a master’s in digital signal processing. Following a career in embedded software and hardware design with stints at GE and the telecoms, defense, and entertainment industries, he returned to academic study, earning a doctorate in biomedical engineering in 2012, with a specialization in hand-carried ultrasound imaging. As co-founder, VP of Engineering, and system architect for RIVANNA, Dr. Owen oversaw and drove the technology development from concept to pre-production prototype and FDA clearance. He has more than a dozen publications to his credit and is an inventor on several patents.