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Understand.com® named “Software Company of the Year”

Technology Company Recognized for Growth and Innovation

Understand.com, a global medical education company headquartered in downtown Reno, was one of two technology companies named “Software Company of the Year” by the 2012 NCET Technology Awards and Reno Gazette-Journal Entrepreneur of the Year Awards. These awards recognize companies and individuals that have significantly enhanced the growth and prestige of the technology community.


Nevada Lt. Governor Brian Krolicki will honor Understand.com at an awards event held February 16, 2012 at the Eldorado Hotel & Casino, along with 3G Studios who was also awarded in the category.

Understand.com was honored for its innovative use of 3D animation to educate more than 10 million patients in 150 countries about complex healthcare topics. The company was named by Inc. Magazine in 2010 as one of the country’s fastest growing privately held companies with a three-year average growth rate of 215 percent. Understand.com continued that pace in 2011 by achieving another record year in sales and hiring seven new employees.

Additionally, Understand.com issued three major software releases last year alone:

  • Launch of Understand University, a medical education e-learning platform designed for medical device and pharmaceutical companies to educate users on anatomy and surgery;
  • Creation of “Understand the Knee,” a new 3D multimedia web application that combines High-Definition (HD) animation, surgical video and still images to give patients a complete understanding of the anatomy of the knee; and;
  • Development of U Stock, a digital platform that allows users to license and download content from the world’s most comprehensive collection of medical images for orthopedic and plastic surgery.

“The NCET Technology Awards received a record number of inspiring entries this year, and Understand.com stood out from other nominees due to its unique combination of imagination and corporate responsibility,” said Dave Archer, president and CEO for NCET. “After nine years in business, Understand.com continues to demonstrate a high degree of innovation typically shown by a start-up company. NCET is proud to recognize a company that has contributed so much to building the Northern Nevada technology community.”

“Being recognized for the work the Understand.com team does on a daily basis and the commitment we have for seeing Reno-Tahoe grow as a tech hub, is truly gratifying,” said Darik Volpa, Understand’s founder and CEO.

Understand.com is the driving force behind “Wi-Fi on the River,” a free Wi-Fi network being built in downtown Reno along the Truckee River that is expected to go live early this year. The company also stays involved within the community in other ways including sponsoring NCET’s Governor’s Cup and the Reno Gazette Journals “20 Under 40″ Awards, acting as a “Dream Maker” for the Nevada Discovery Museum, and creating the new Boys & Girls Club of Truckee Meadows website.

Two HD animations added to the Plastic Surgery Library

Understand.com is proud to announce the release of two newly upgraded animations to the plastic surgery library. “This is our second installment of upgrades for our plastic surgery patient education library,” said CEO, Darik Volpa. “These upgrades will be ongoing for all of our plastic surgery content at no additional charge to our clients.”

The new 3D animations are available to view here:

Previous upgrades included Liposuction, Mini Tummy Tuck, Mini Facelift, Lower Facelift, and Lower Eyelid Surgery.

Upper Eyelid, Nose Reshaping and several other procedures are currently under development and will be added to the library later this year.

New animations to be added to the Orthopaedic Library

Hand, Wrist, Foot, & Ankle Procedures Added to Orthopedic Patient Education Library

Orthopedic and sports medicine doctors looking to explain to patients what they can expect from hand, wrist, foot and ankle operations, have a new tool at their disposal. Understand.com today announced the expansion of its orthopedic patient education library with the addition of animated procedures for hand, wrist, foot and ankle.

Research shows that 84 percent of patients use the Internet to select a surgeon. Understand.com’s orthopedic patient education library helps to answer common questions and concerns patients have about a surgery, and provide an educated idea of what they can expect from the procedure.

“It was time to expand our orthopedic library to cover all joints. Existing clients who license our orthopedic content will automatically get this update for no additional charge,” said Darik Volpa, founder and CEO of Understand.com. “Additional procedures are under development for this area to make the library even more robust.”

New procedures that Understand.com currently has in the works include carpal tunnel, wrist arthroscopy, bunionectomy, and ankle arthroscopy.

Thousands of physicians and medical associations partner with Understand.com for its medical animations and educational tools, including the American Orthopedic Society of Sports Medicine, American Society of Plastic Surgeons, Canadian Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, American Cancer Society, Hair Foundation, National Eczema Association, and the Skin Cancer Foundation, among others.

Three new HD animations added to Plastic Surgery Library

Understand.com is proud to announce the release of the first phase of the upgraded 3D plastic surgery animations. “These three plastic surgery animations are the first in a complete redesign of our existing library incorporating new models, better story-telling, and HD quality 3D animation.” said Don Massie, Content Director at Understand.

The new 3D animations are available to view here:

“This has been a significant project for the team and I am pleased with the results. We are well on our way to fundamentally changing the way patients learn about healthcare topics. There is simply no better way for individuals to learn about complex healthcare topics than 3D animation.” said CEO, Darik Volpa.

Understand.com® earns a spot in the Inc. 500|5000

Understand.com, the leading provider of 3D medical animations for physicians and healthcare companies, is proud to announce it has made the prestigious Inc. 500|5000 list as one of the fastest-growing, private companies in America.

Understand.com has educated well over 5,000,000 patients worldwide through its innovative 3D medical animations. What started with a handful of surgeons licensing content in 2003 has grown to over 2,000 physicians in 40 countries worldwide and corporate clients including Allergan, Stryker, Johnson & Johnson, GE Money and PharmaDerm.

Undertand.com was ranked 1,354 with an extraordinary three-year growth rate of 215 percent. “Understand.com is a blend of healthcare and technology; two market segments that have faired well in this economy”, says Darik Volpa, Founder and CEO. “We have a diversified customer base around the world with strong retention rates. Understand.com is well positioned for continued growth with expansion into more than 30 additional medical specialties.”

“The company was started to address the need for better patient education. Coming from a medical device background, I saw first-hand the huge disconnect in communication between physicians and patients,” states Volpa. “Doctors are pressed for time and may not be good at communicating complex healthcare topics and patients are nervous with generally poor healthcare literacy. I believed that Understand.com could successfully bridge this gap with engaging, visual content. Being recognized by Inc. as one of the fastest growing companies validates what I knew back then.”

Starting with an orthopedic library, Understand.com quickly expanded into Plastic Surgery, Dermatology and Hair Restoration. “Our approach to creating a library has always been, ‘an inch wide and a mile deep’”, continues Volpa. This deep-dive strategy has paid off through endorsement and/or partnerships with leading medical societies and associations such as the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine, American Cancer Society, and the Skin Cancer Foundation.

“Having these leading medical societies’ seal of approval speaks to the quality of our content. Being named to the Inc. 500|5000 list is nice recognition for the team and for our hard work and commitment to providing cutting-edge patient education,” smiles Volpa. “Look for us to crack the top 500 next year.”

New Photo-Realistic 3D Animation Enhancements Across All Animation Libraries

As the industry leader in web-based patient education content, Understand.com has once again raised the bar with the announcement of their new photo-realistic 3D animation model upgrades. The new models are incredibly life-like, depicting greater anatomical detail, features and overall beauty. The animation upgrade will automatically take place for existing clients throughout 2010 as Understand.com upgrades current content, as well as all new content in development. Upgrades are scheduled to begin in Q1 of this year.

“We place an extremely high value on the quality of our animations,” stresses Darik Volpa, Founder and CEO of Understand.com, “by constantly re-investing in our content, we continually deliver great value to our physician and corporate clients and remain the gold standard in 3D patient education.”

Through innovative developments in 3D animation modeling, Understand.com has the ability to quickly and effectively render extremely high quality content. “Not only will our existing animation libraries be enhanced, but this commitment to a higher standard of quality allows us to better serve the medical device and pharma industries,” states Rob Griffin, Senior Vice President of Business Development. “With this new photo-realistic modeling, we can more accurately highlight the mechanism of action (MOA) of a company’s specific device or drug, which ultimately leads to better teaching and educational material for sales professionals, surgeons, and patients.”

Along with the upgraded animation, Understand.com has expanded its in-house animation team. “The new animators bring a wealth of experience, along with a diverse background and advanced degrees in medical illustration.” adds Don Massie, Director of Content Development. “We have conducted a nationwide search for the best and brightest medical animators and are thrilled with the new additions to our animation team.”