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Mini-interview: Eric Converse, CEO of AMRA Medical

Tommy and Eric AMRA

Sprung from the University of Linköping’s world-renowned Center for Medical Image Science and Visualization and the departments of Biomedical Engineering and Medicine and Health, AMRA has become an international digital health company.

Intended to aid in disease prediction, AMRA’s body composition analysis is an automated method designed to convert a six-minute whole body MRI scan into 3D-volumetric fat and muscle measurements. The company has around 23 employees and last year had a turnover of 8.7 million SEK. Nordic Life Science (NLS) asked their new CEO, Eric Converse (EC), about their journey so far and what lies ahead.

NLS: What attracted you to the job of CEO at AMRA?

EC: I was initially attracted by the chance to build on my success as the CEO of VirtualScopics, where we were able to increase sales by 4-fold during my tenure. Once I met the management team and the employees, it became less about my ambition and more about what this technology will actually do for global health and how I can help make that happen.

NLS: What do you think are the key factors behind the success of AMRA?

EC: That’s an easy one. The team. AMRA has assembled an incredibly talented group of individuals with a true team effort solely focused on improving the healthcare of the population.

NLS: What are the advantages of being a Swedish digital health company? What could be improved?

EC: The level of education in the Swedish workforce is a tremendous asset. The entrepreneurial environment fostered in Sweden is remarkable. Specific to AMRA, the relationship with the University in Linköping and the constant stream of potential employees with a world-class education is what sealed the deal for me. Fortunately, I am not looking at what needs to be improved, but rather what and where the untapped opportunities are and what can be even further enhanced. There is so much this company has to offer.

NLS: What vision do you and your colleagues have for the future of precision medicine?

EC: Precision medicine is developing at a rapid pace. The path may not always be a straight one, but the advancements being made in this area are impressive. The AMRA team may be able to help narrow the path of potential patient outcomes and treatments by comparing patients to others in a similar cohort from the general population. What’s exciting is that this real-world data can then be used to more precisely treat a patient based on the most likely outcomes.

NLS: What’s next for AMRA? What strategy and goals do you have for the company?

EC: As you can imagine, I have a lot to absorb about AMRA and the potential of my new colleagues. The overall strategy of exploiting more imaging endpoints remains unchanged since the company launched. As our journey continues, we are constantly demonstrating new proof-points around our technology in areas such as musculoskeletal (MSK), metabolic and liver disorders, however, with each new meeting or discussion; we are also seeing our potential broaden across multiple therapeutic areas. In terms of goals, the natural next step for AMRA is global commercialization. A focus on developing a stronger presence in the USA, the biggest market, is a natural next step.

In December, the company received FDA clearance for AMRA Profiler, now available for use in a clinical setting in the US.

Photo of Tommy Johansson, former CEO of AMRA, and Eric Converse, CEO of AMRA