Medtech Startup Showdown 2017: Round 1—NeoLight vs Clarify Medical

NeoLight vs.Clarify Medical

March 20, 2017

4 Min Read
Medtech Startup Showdown 2017: Round 1—NeoLight vs Clarify Medical


Describe your device and how it will benefit healthcare.

NeoLight's Skylife is a uniquely designed phototherapy device designed to meet the needs of neonatal caregivers in multiple settings.  Skylife is intended to treat hyperbilirubinemia, a condition that leads to jaundice in newborns, and can cause brain damage or even death if left untreated. While we consider all its features important, the design particularly emphasizes our commitment to empathy-driven innovation and our technology will enable health care professionals to treat hyperbilirubinemia faster and without any of the side effects caused by existing devices in the market. We have invented a new light-channeling technique, which ensures tunable intensity from 30 to >55 µW/cm2/nm with a uniform light distribution as mandated by the American Association of Pediatrics (AAP).  Today, most of the devices use halogen lamps or an array of 200 to 300 LEDs to produce 25 to 30 µW/cm2/nm intensity of light. This generates a large amount of heat, requiring dissipation by massive cooling units on top of the device. Some of this heat is transferred to the infant which frequently leads to dehydration, weight loss and possible erythema. NeoLight's innovative light-channeling technique produces minimal heat, thereby eliminating side effects, and ensuring newborn's safety and comfort.

The Clarify Medical Home Light System is a UVB phototherapy system for treatment of skin conditions such as psoriasis, vitiligo and eczema.  UVB Phototherapy is widely accepted as an effective treatment for these skin conditions, however treatment in a clinic (i.e. 3X per week for 10 weeks) is not convenient for patients, and physicians are not comfortable prescribing home treatment solutions that don't have controls. 

Clarify Medical has invented a system that can deliver precision doses of UVB treatment to targeted body locations, and do this with the same protocols that are being administered in the clinic.  The system consists of a Physician Web Portal, SmartPhone App and Treatment Device, which are all wirelessly connected.  This system allows the physician to be in control of the treatment protocol, but enables the patient to administer the treatment at the time and place they choose.

The system that we have created will provide access to phototherapy treatment for millions of people that suffer from chronic skin conditions.  By bringing this treatment into the home we hope to create a more comfortable treatment experience, improve patient outcomes and significantly reduce the cost of healthcare.

How does your product differ from the competition?

Existing devices offered by the leading competitors in this space, are expensive, large and bulky, cumbersome to use, require longer treatment times, and can sometimes cause adverse side effects. Skylife, on the other hand, is designed with features that render it small, lightweight, and easy to use. In addition, Skylife provides higher intensity light emission that reduces treatment times, has much lower energy needs, negligible side effects, costs less to operate, and supports kangaroo care which allows for continued parent-newborn bonding.

We have two core technology differentiators, which are both patent pending.  

Our first core technology covers our SmartPhone mediated phototherapy system.  Other systems require the user to find a protocol and calculate doses using charts prior to each treatment.  Our system automatically determines dose changes based on the prescribed protocol.  The system sets up all of the treatments and guides the user through the treatment process using both the Device and the connected App.

The second core technology covers our precision phototherapy lighting engine, which includes an array of UVB LEDs, reflectors and an optical filter to optimize the UVB output at the treatment surface.   With this technology we have eliminated warm-up times, improved uniformity and resolved output degradation that are inherent to other competitive devices which are based on fluorescent bulbs.

Do you have customers yet?

Our device has not yet been cleared for sale by the FDA, but has gone through extensive validations including usability testing in preparation for the FDA submission. After FDA clearance, we plan to pilot the device.  

The device is not yet cleared for sale, but we have a high level of interest and are currently taking reservations.

How much money have you raised?

$2.3 million

Undisclosed amount sufficient to bring the product to market.

Who are your investors?

Neolight has a pool of strategic investors that include hospital groups and individuals such as Steve Case (founder of AOL).

Undisclosed individual investors.

What is the next milestone for your device?

The next milestone for Skylife device is FDA approval.

We are pending FDA clearance and believe we will be available for sale by the end of 2017.

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