Ralph Highnam, PhD Oxford
BSc (Hons) 1st Class, MSc, PhD
Ralph, a founding Director of VHT, has been at the forefront of the digital breast imaging field for over 25 years. Initially a research scientist at the University of Oxford, Ralph’s innovative work in quantitative breast imaging technology led him to form first OXIVA Limited and then Mirada Solutions with Professor Sir John Michael Brady. Under Ralph’s leadership Mirada became the number-one provider of image registration and fusion tools before being acquired by CTI Molecular Imaging Inc. and later Siemens Medical Solutions USA, Inc.
Before founding VHT in 2009, Ralph consulted for many of the world’s top medical imaging companies, including R2, Siemens, Hologic and Dexela, as well as many leading breast screening programs. During this time, he continued his academic research as part of an international circle of collaborators.
Ralph is the author of numerous articles and, with Brady, the seminal book Mammographic Image Analysis. As CEO of VHT, Ralph is dedicated to providing the most accurate measurements possible of breast composition (“breast density”) in order to improve the health outcomes of women around the world. Based in Wellington, New Zealand, in 2015 he was named a Wellingtonian of the Year finalist.
Chief Commercial Officer
Mark is a medical industry executive who has led companies in the medical imaging, software and medical device space for over 27 years.
Mark has extensive commercial experience working with both start-up and established companies, leading high-performance teams and launching new products in domestic and international markets. Mark started his career at GE Healthcare and took on roles of increasing responsibility in marketing and sales, operations and finance. His executive global leadership roles include those at Cardioptimus, Estech, Ziosoft, R2 Technology and Stereotaxis.
More recently, Mark was Chief Commercial Officer at UL Workplace Health and Safety, a global leader in e-learning and electronic medical record software supporting the occupational healthcare industry. He is based in Nashville, Tennessee.
Chief Marketing Officer
Julian is a breast imaging expert of 30 years’ experience whose breadth of knowledge spans all major areas of the medical imaging industry.
Initially a software developer and consultant for Sun Microsystems, Julian ran Alpine Image Systems for 8 years before joining companies like R2 Technology, acquired by Hologic in 2006. At R2 and Hologic he held leadership roles in software and hardware development, marketing and product management. In this last capacity he continued his work in product innovation for Hologic, where he served in several director-level positions. He led the team responsible for managing all of Hologic’s breast imaging products, including tomosynthesis, before moving to Hologic’s Global Strategic Innovation group.
An engineer by training, Julian holds numerous patents in computer-aided detection and breast imaging, including user interface design, and has worked in cardiac ultrasound, digital subtraction angiography, image processing and mammography. He is based in San Francisco, California.
Chief Technology Officer
David has been a member of the VHT management team since 2011 and has 25 years of experience in the medical device industry. After eight years in Europe in engineering roles for GE Healthcare, David was Director of Product Development for TomoTherapy Incorporated, a US-based start-up that developed a medical linear accelerator (and subsequently was NASDAQ listed and acquired by Accuray). He also worked as a freelance medical device consultant, primarily in the US, helping to bring new devices to market and improving the DICOM capabilities of existing ones.
David is an expert in medical device integration and the DICOM medical communication standard, serving for over 10 years as chair of DICOM Working Group 7 (Radiation Therapy), an international standards organisation for medical device communication in radiation therapy. He is based in Wellington, New Zealand.
Chief Financial Officer
Brian has been a member of the VHT management team since 2010. He has 40 years’ experience in senior financial management, including positions in New Zealand with Hewlett Packard, Spark (previously Telecom New Zealand Limited) and No 8 Ventures Management Limited.
Brian was a member of the Energy Reform Unit of the Victorian State Government during the privatisation program of the electricity and gas industries. He also held roles as Establishment CEO and director of Multinet Gas and Ikon Energy, and was a member of the board of VENcorp. He project managed the sale of Hazelwood Power Station and Loyang A power station.
Brian also project managed the establishment of Genesis Energy as part of the disaggregation of Electricity Corporation of New Zealand, setting up its retail operation activities, the largest in New Zealand. He has previously advised the Asian Development Bank on several Asian energy development projects.
In addition to his current role at VHT, Brian holds directorships on two other health technology companies. He is based in Wellington, New Zealand.
VP Sales, North America
David has nearly 30 years of sales experience in the medical imaging field, specifically in breast imaging and channel sales.
Before joining VHT’s management team in 2012, David served as Vice President of Channel Sales for Carestream Health, where he was responsible for channel sales for digital imaging equipment and x-ray film in the US. Previously, he held sales positions with Fuji Medical Systems USA and R2 Technology, the breast computer-aided detection company. He is based in Rochester, New York.
Quality and Regulatory Manager
MCQI, CQP, IEng, FIHEEM
Ian has over 20 years of experience in medical devices and diagnostic imaging, including quality management systems.
Ian spent 14 years with the UK Department of Health Scientific and Technical Branch, where he undertook commissioning audits of new installations of NHS diagnostic imaging equipment, investigated safety incidents and, under the DHSS Manufacturer Registration Scheme, audited supplier quality management systems.
In 1988 Ian became the first Quality Manager for Bureau Veritas Quality International, a major accredited certification body including certified ISO 9001 quality management system. In 1992 Ian emigrated to New Zealand to set up the first accredited certification body in the Southern Hemisphere, including substantial client contact as a quality systems auditor. Later he served as Manager Audit Compliance at the Airways Corporation of New Zealand, working in the highly regulated civil aviation sector.
Ian now manages his own consultancy and has provided regulatory services to VHT since 2011. He is based in Wellington, New Zealand.
Intellectual Property Manager
BA (Jt Hons), MSc, PhD
Penelope is an expert in intellectual property law and practice. She qualified after working as a technical author and translator (electronics) and business development manager (appraising technology and intellectual property in Eastern Europe), and as director in the UK's largest independent intellectual property rights management group, pioneers of new models for monetarisation of intellectual property.
Since 2003, Penelope has worked with high-growth technology companies, research organisations and investors in Europe, the US, Russia, China, Australia and New Zealand, advising on cost-effective protection and use of intellectual property for international growth.
Penelope has been listed among the world's top strategists (IAM) and her work has been cited by the UK government as “best practice” (Gowers Review). She has been a regular speaker at APEC forums, has advised governments and national patent offices on intellectual property policy and her materials are used in universities in the US and China. Her professional memberships include Licensing Executive Society International, Chartered Institute of Linguists (for technical Russian) and the Royal Society (New Zealand). Penelope has consulted for VHT since 2009. She is based in Bordeaux, France.