Deep Tissue Probe with OCT Variable TuningHow does the device work?

October 17, 2016

3 Min Read
2016 Dare-to-Dream Medtech Design Challenge Finalists: Deep Tissue Probe with OCT Variable Tuning

Deep Tissue Probe with OCT Variable Tuning

How does the device work?

Optical Coherent Tomography (OCT) is an invaluable advanced imaging technology capable of providing in vivo microscopic visualization of tissue. Since OCT leverages light waves, the depth of view for OCT is usually 2 mm or less in tissue. Therefore, OCT has been limited in practice to applications which primarily investigate internal and external surfaces such as surgically removed cancer, gastrointestinal tract, and coronary arteries.

This deep-tissue OCT surgical probe system is designed to capture the OCT signals at a surface focal point and extend its diagnostic and therapeutic capabilities deep into the anatomy of animals and humans. 

What healthcare problem does it solve?

Millions of procedures are performed by anesthesiologists, surgeons, and pain doctors to diagnose and treat a multitude of medical issues. These are essentially done blindly. Ineffective results, collateral damage and patient harm are inevitable which results in high costs.

The dramatic rise of ultrasound as an imaging assist underpins essential change. Ultrasound is hard to learn and fails to provide definitive images.

This medical device system is designed to complement currently applied and reimbursed procedures to accurately identify the required target, apply a treatment that is target specific, and document the outcome that will justify reimbursement. "Pay for Performance." 

Why should the device be commercialized?

The probe system will transform existing minimally invasive surgical interventions by reducing risk, minimizing harm to patients, improving outcomes, reducing malpractice claims. Many major surgical procedures will become minimally invasive interventions. The result will be lower medical costs.

Integration into existing needles and CPT codes will make the commercialization seamless and expansive. In one initial embodiment, market access may be expedited since Radiofrequency ablation and OCT technology are FDA approved. In a preferred embodiment the Radiofrequency ablation will be replaced by laser ablation.

Global market for radiofrequency ablation in pain management alone is expected to be $1.1 billion by 2023. 

What inspired you to design this device?

As an anesthesiologist and pain management doctor for 38 years, I have performed thousands of "blind" interventions and I have experienced the inevitable failures. In every situation, I have felt the stress of the risk for both me (the "needle jockey") and the patient. I have felt the frustration of not being perfect all of the time. Fortunately, I have been very lucky in my career.

My vision is to remove the blindfolds from the minimally invasive procedures and release them from the dark into the light - literally.

It will open up a whole new world. It is imperative. 

Submitted by: Thomas Mowery  

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