1. Finding “Big Ideas” in Ophthalmic Innovation - Venture Capitalists Will Back Potential “Game Changers”

    Finding “Big Ideas” in Ophthalmic Innovation - Venture Capitalists Will Back Potential “Game Changers”

    Ophthalmologists are well known for coming up with original ideas for devices and instruments that allow them to treat patients in a more efficient and cost-effective manner. If you're thinking of bringing your concept to an ophthalmic company or VC firm, it had better offer more than an incremental improvement over what's currently available ...In the area of diagnostic instruments, by far the most outstanding innovation of recent years that has greatly transformed the way ophthalmologists practice is optical coherence technology (OCT). The development of OCT is chronicled in an accompanying article by Eric A. Swanson, entrepreneur, editor ...

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    1. There is little argument that ever-improving OCT has by far proven to be the most valuable and versatile technology added to the ophthalmologist's diagnostic arsenal in recent years. In addition to the jump from early time-domain OCT to more sophisticated spectral-domain OCT, we have recently heard from German ophthalmologists who have had great success using OCT intraoperatively to improve visualization in procedures such as corneal transplants. Though OCT has been the shining star of recent advances in diagnostic instrumentation, it should not be forgotten that there have also been significant advances in specular microscopy and intraoperative wavefront aberrometry, to name two important areas of innovation.
    2. I think OCT is one of the most important developments in diagnostic ophthalmic imaging in the history of ophthalmology, ranking up there with the invention of the ophthalmoscope in the 1800s. OCT has become a standard of care in ophthalmology and has helped diagnose various eye conditions for millions of people worldwide and proven to be a major sight-saver. In addition to OCT functioning as a unique, high-resolution, general-purpose ophthalmic diagnostic tool, OCT has played an important role in the development of new pharmaceuticals as well as the management of various macular diseases, glaucoma and corneal disease. One very important impact of OCT is that it enables nonspecialists, such as comprehensive ophthalmologists or optometrists, to detect early disease at a level approaching retinal or glaucoma specialists. OCT generated more than $1 billion of reimbursement worldwide in 2010 alone, has imaged ~100 million people over the past decade and generated over a billion of dollars in capital equipment revenue. Ophthalmic OCT technology and applications continue to develop at a rapid clip and the future looks very bright for continued impact on improved patient care.
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