Trends in Medical Imaging

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FountainBlue’s Life Science Entrepreneurs’ Forum on the topic of Trends and Opportunities for Medical Imaging. Below are notes from the conversation.

Our panelists represented the full range of medical imaging innovations, from PET/CT to MR/monoclonal tags to radiation therapy. They also commented on the importance of making cost-effective, easy-to-use solutions that generate quick, easy-to-interpret results, and adding clear value to doctors, patients and providers up-front. Policies and regulations and openness of the medical community will impact whether these solutions get into the hands of physicians who would use them. In fact, sometimes, it’s more about incentives and ease-of-use than it is about how sophisticated the technology is.
Below is advice proposed by our panelists for entrepreneurs innovating in this space:
• Adapt a medical device solution for ultrasound rather than MR or CT where possible as it is cheap and readily assessable and much less expensive.
• Consider hybrid solutions which leverage existing and proven technologies and approaches, applied to different patients, locations, conditions, etc.
• Build more reliable hardware and software for existing solutions and markets.
• The market will continue to be driven by reimbursements and policies, so entrepreneurs need to be aware of what these are and how they would impact their business.
• Consider launching outside the US in Europe or Asia for example, as it is less expensive, less time-consuming to do so.
• Solve the problem at hand, rather than filtering the problems you can solve by current financial resources.
• Get your products into the hands of the doctor, and don’t overly-prescribed how the doctor should leverage your solution. He or she would best determine how the solution would be helpful to her or his patients. And if you listen to this feedback and shift your messaging and strategy, you may find yourself targeting a slightly different and more tangible and immediate market.
• Offer solutions which doctors would appreciate – see it from their point of view.
Below are some of the opportunities they see in this space:
• Hybrid approaches leveraging different technologies, approaches and modalities.
• Genome-focused imaging.
• Localized imaging.
• Miniaturization, which will help drive down costs.
• Apply medical imaging to regenerative medicine or cancer solutions.
• There is an upcoming trend toward lowering and limiting radiation exposure, especially for children. What are the opportunities to provide similar information with the dangers of xrays?
• There is another movement to limit stents, and to ensure that those inserted are done right the first time. What are the medical imaging opportunities to support this trend?
The bottom line is that no matter what type of medical imaging solution you offer, make sure that you provide physicians with diagnostic confidence so that they feel *better* using your solution as additional data points, as additional background information as they treat their patients, while limiting their risk and exposure.

FountainBlue’s Life Science Entrepreneurs’ Forum was on the topic of Trends and Opportunities for Medical Imaging and featured:
Facilitator Dennis F. Falkenstein, President and CEO, iOnTrends LLC
Panelist Tom Thomas, Director of Imaging Systems R&D, Boston Scientific
Panelist Brian Wilfley, Ph.D., Director, Chief Scientist, Triple Ring Technologies
Presenting Entrepreneur Caleb Bell, PhD, CEO, Bell Biosystems
Presenting Entrepreneur Kendall R. Waters, PhD, Manager, Intellectual Property and Technology Development, Silicon Valley Medical Instruments, Inc.
Please join us in thanking our panelists as well as our hosts at UCSC Extension and our sponsors KPMG for sponsoring this event and for their ongoing support of the series.

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