20Lighter Announces First 12 Patients Enrolled in Joint Replacement Pilot Study
The study compares surgical eligibility, laboratory blood tests and patient-reported outcomes of 20Lighter patients to standard of care in rural Arkansas.
Little Rock, AR. – April 12, 2022 — 20Lighter, LLC, a private company developing a unique, comprehensive digital program aimed to improve access to care and visceral adiposity and chronic inflammation, announced the enrollment of the first 12 patients in its ongoing pilot study with orthopaedic surgeons at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS).
The study’s principal investigator is Jeffrey B. Stambough, M.D., an assistant professor of hip and knee reconstruction in the UAMS Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. “Options for obesity treatment are limited, particularly for our patients with mobility issues,” said Stambough. “Our initial investigation focuses on establishing program feasibility and carefully selected endpoints, which will hopefully generate data to justify larger clinical studies and make a bigger impact on rural health access beyond Arkansas,” he added.
Due to the well documented perioperative risks, a body mass index (BMI) of greater than 40 has become the recognized cut off for patients pursuing hip or knee replacement. As the prevalence of obesity increases, a growing percentage of patients who live in rural areas who would benefit from joint replacement are ineligible and unable to access the care they require. Arkansas has the sixth highest rural population in the United States, so this scenario presents unique challenges for Arkansans and their surgeons, as rural areas have a lack of validated, safe and effective weight loss and cardiometabolic health programs.
“It’s a privilege to work with our orthopaedic surgery partners at UAMS to potentially establish a new standard of care for Arkansans unable to proceed with hip or knee replacement because of an excessive BMI,” said Gerald Dembrowski, D.C., 20Lighter’s co-founder and chief medical officer.
The study, which began enrolling in January, will include 70 patients, with half randomized to standard-of-care dietician consultation and half to the 20Lighter telehealth program.
“Obesity and chronic conditions are a growing barrier to care, especially in the American heartland and South. We are thrilled to be working with the UAMS joint replacement team, who are among the top 10% hip and knee replacement surgeons in the nation,” said the company’s co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Jessica Barnes, Ph.D., who is also an adjunct assistant professor in the UAMS Division of Cardiology. “The goal is to not only enable a path to joint replacement, but maximize the opportunity for positive recovery, rehab, and future quality of life,” she added.
UAMS is the state’s only health sciences university, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; a hospital; a main campus in Little Rock; a Northwest Arkansas regional campus in Fayetteville; a statewide network of regional campuses; and seven institutes: the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, Psychiatric Research Institute, Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging, Translational Research Institute and Institute for Digital Health & Innovation. UAMS includes UAMS Health, a statewide health system that encompasses all of UAMS’ clinical enterprise. UAMS is the only adult Level 1 trauma center in the state. U.S. News & World Report recognized UAMS Medical Center as a Best Hospital for 2021-22; ranked its ear, nose and throat program among the top 50 nationwide for the third year; and named five areas as high performing — colon cancer surgery, diabetes, hip replacement, knee replacement and stroke. Forbes magazine ranked UAMS as seventh in the nation on its Best Employers for Diversity list. UAMS also ranked in the top 30% nationwide on Forbes’ Best Employers for Women list and was the only Arkansas employer included. UAMS has 3,047 students, 873 medical residents and fellows, and six dental residents. It is the state’s largest public employer with more than 10,000 employees, including 1,200 physicians who provide care to patients at UAMS, its regional campuses, Arkansas Children’s, the VA Medical Center, and Baptist Health. Visit www.uams.edu or www.uamshealth.com.
About 20Lighter, LLC
20Lighter is a unique, comprehensive cardiometabolic telehealth program, delivered virtually over 2 months via smartphone. The program incorporates patented treatment algorithms providing a personalized approach to better cardiovascular and metabolic health. A multimodal approach enables patients to achieve clinically meaningful improvements of visceral adiposity and chronic inflammation, blood pressure, HbA1c, blood lipids, and CVD risk and health. 20Lighter clinical data has been presented at over two dozen international medical conferences, including the American Heart Association (AHA) Scientific and Hypertension Sessions, the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) the Liver Meeting, and is the subject of six peer-reviewed publications. For more information on 20Lighter’s work improving access to and outcomes of outpatient surgery, visit www.20Lighter.com/preoperative
Jessica W. Barnes, PhD
CEO & Co-founder