Poppy Phillips, founder of Equine Alternatives, LLC, sat down with Assisi’s very own Dr. Judy Korman, VMD, MBA, to learn more about Assisi Animal Health and targeted pulsed electromagnetic field (tPEMF™) therapy.

PP: How did you get started with Assisi?

JK: About ten years into managing my practice, Frank Russo gave me a ring and said “Hey, I just started this company with John Wilkerson. It’s an animal health company, would you be interested in consulting?” And that was Assisi Animal Health. So I started consulting with them and got to know the technology – the Assisi Loop – really well. They had brought the Assisi Loop from human medicine into veterinary medicine about a year and a half before I started consulting with them. It was fascinating. I got a good education on what targeted pulsed electromagnetic (tPEMF) therapy is, how it works, why it works, what it can be used for, and became more and more intrigued and more interested. I officially joined the company a year and a half into consulting for them. So I’ve been with Assisi for about four years.

PP: That’s amazing. So you’ve covered the whole gambit of veterinary research and practice, then back again!

JK: Yes, definitely. I’ve been involved in so many aspects of human and veterinary medicine, studying drugs and devices that help people with their medical problems. And now, over the last four years, really concentrating on the devices that will help pets with their medical problems. Helping to develop these devices is my current job at Assisi as the Chief Business officer. I’m really focused on the future – not tomorrow’s future, but the further future, a year, two years, four years down the road – seeing what we can do to improve upon our current technology, and also develop it for new applications to help more animals.

PP: The PEMF field is so exciting – there’s so much emerging science, so many new products hitting the market all the time. And everyone seems to have a different spin on it – maybe a little different technology. So, can you explain the technology behind the Assisi Loop?

JK: PEMF is certainly an older technology. When PEMF was “born” in the 1970’s, its first application in human medicine was for non-union bone fractures that wouldn’t heal. So, these PEMF devices were large devices and they were in-office devices, not for home use. 

As time went on, the devices got smaller, more portable, and used in more indications. The predecessor of the Assisi Loop was a technology, still a Loop shape, for pain and inflammation post-surgery in human medicine. The studies were done on breast reduction and mastectomy surgeries. Those studies turned out great. It was also studied in knee arthritis in human medicine.

So, the FDA had cleared the device for human use, and John Wilkerson was actually on the board of that human company. Wilkerson saw the opportunity to bring the PEMF technology from the human world to the animals. So, our signal comes from the FDA-cleared signal – the exact same signal that was FDA cleared for human medicine. That makes it pretty unique in the world of PEMF devices. Also, what’s unique is the fact that we’ve done two studies now – and are starting a third study – on animals with health conditions. Both studies we did were with two outside institutions (Animal Medical Center and North Carolina School of Veterinary Medicine) on dogs with disc disease. This is a very painful condition that often requires surgery. The surgery can have complications, resulting in pain and inflammation. Both these institutions, separately, used our Loop technology to reduce pain and inflammation after surgery. Both studies got statistically significant results. So, that’s kind of the “gold standard” study to do, and we’ve done two of them now – and they were both positive. All the other PEMF devices that I know of haven’t done these studies in animals to prove that their signal is useful in reducing inflammation. 

PP: That’s so exciting.

JK: It really is. It shows the commitment of Assisi to researching the science, to making sure what we do and produce is going to have the efficacy that people expect.

PP:  By the way, I think the Assisi Loop is so attractive, I feel like, whenever I see one, I think about the titanic – that blue gem! And I want to sing “ My Heart Goes On” any time I see the Assisi Loop!

JK: It does have a unique look to it and I think it photographs really well because all the social media photos turn out really great! 

PP: I love the fact that the Assisi Loop was already human-trialed and tested, and it’s FDA-approved. Can you use it on all animals? Like is it safe for rodents and birds? What can’t you use it on?

JK: So far, we haven’t seen any animal you can’t use it on. Because, with exotics that don’t use the same medicine as cats and dogs, it is tricky to help animals that aren’t dogs/cats/horses with their problems. But yes, the Assisi Loop has been used in birds, in reptiles, lions, tigers and bears, zoo animals…There were a lot of fires in Australia – lots of burn victims, wildlife burned, and the Assisi Loop came in very handy for treating those burns in some of those patients.

I have to say, I don’t know of any animal that it cannot be used on, that it’s contraindicated for use, and it could definitely help other species outside of the traditional ones that we treat.

PP: That’s so beautiful, I love that. 

Want to learn more about the research behind Assisi?

Check out part 3 of Judy’s interview!