Favorable Medical Economics:
Current medical best practices recommends the visual inspection and documentation of all reusable devices during sterile reprocessing. This has created a significant new market opportunity for small-diameter optical inspection systems. These systems are intended to verify that the cleaning systems of hospital sterile processing departments and independent sterile processing laboratories are doing their job.
The promise of MIS is still in its infancy. The surging demand for minimally invasive surgery (MIS) has grown from a marketplace of 750 million addressable patients, largely comprised of patient populations in the US, Europe, Canada and Japan, to a vast new global marketplace comprised of 3.1 billion addressable patients. The affordability and portability of the MicroCam represents an exciting new opportunity to promote the expansion of MIS across emerging global markets.
Primary customers include hospitals, surgery centers, clinics, offices and mobile medical stations, among others. There are approximately 81,315 hospitals, worldwide. It is estimated that only 30% of these hospitals are equipped to provide MIS to their respective patient populations. The MicroCam has the potential to increase the expansion and adoption of MIS to an additional 50% of these hospitals by 2020. Nonetheless, the total global hospital market potential for MicroCam products and technologies exceeds $14 billion, annually.
Significant Unmet Clinical Need:
The MicroCam’s proprietary micro optics, electronics and software systems are easily packaged into a singular endoscope of any type (rigid or flexible, or semi-flexi-rigid) and dimensions (length and diameter) that plugs into any monitor or smart phone. These features are a highly disruptive leap in technology, cost and portability. The MicroCam represents a new platform of small diameter “Plug-N-Play” optics that effectively eliminate 90% of the components inherent in existing cart-based surgical imaging systems, such as the camera consoles, processors, camera heads, light sources, light cables and digital capture devices.
The advantage of the MicroCam is further reflected in the fact that MicroCam’s efficiency in design makes it very economical and highly portable. These benefits save hospitals and clinicians 80% of the acquisition and 80% of the maintenance costs of existing endoscopic imaging systems. These benefits further allow MicroCams to be transported and used in virtually any setting conducive to performing a diagnostic or interventional procedure in a hospital, clinic, office, or military or paramedical field operations. In addition, the MicroCam is perfectly suited to address the growing veterinary medicine market.
MicroCam also creates new opportunities for manufacturers of medical technologies to incorporate small- diameter optics into their existing devices. Incorporating imaging into instrumentation enables the autonomous use of these instruments and supplants the cost of bulky, cart-based systems with cleaner, simpler designs which cost less and offer more capability. The ability to couple small-diameter, high-resolution cameras in tandem can create stereoscopic vision at a fraction of the size and cost of the present 3D-operating systems, such as that of the DaVinci Robot. Doing so would give surgeons visualization and instrument control in one hand where they now may use two. Moreover, they would have greater visibility, access, precision and control over procedures leading to increased capabilities.
Companies that sell surgical products, such as laparoscopy, gynecology, urology, orthopedic and ENT instruments, whether reusable or disposable, will find it advantageous to add optical components into their devices to expand and upgrade existing product lines, thereby improving their products utility and competitive advantage. The cost of adding MicroCam optics to instrumentation is low, enabling these hybrid devices to be sold as single-use disposable products, precluding the need for the sterile reprocessing of instruments, to reduce patient safety risks and the increasing rates of infection from reprocessed instruments. The MicroCam offers surgical instrument companies and their clinical customers a win-win proposition.
The rising rates of hospital and community acquired infections are creating new opportunities for infection control systems. For the past four years, the ECRI Institute has named the reprocessing of flexible endoscopes as one of the top- ten technology risks in healthcare today. With over 24 million GI endoscopy procedures and over 3 million airway endoscopies (laryngoscopy, tracheoscopy and bronchoscopy) being performed this year in the United States, infection control remains a serious concern.
Significant Competitive Advantages for OEMs
MicroCam represents a revolution in design, utility and economy of endoscopic devices. MicroCam Medical Cameras represent a new platform of small-diameter “Plug-N-Play” optics that effectively eliminate 90% of the components inherent in existing cart-based surgical imaging systems, such as the camera consoles, camera heads, light sources, light cables and digital capture devices.
The advantage of the MicroCam is further reflected in the fact that MicroCam’s efficiency in design makes it very economical and highly portable. These benefits save hospitals and clinicians 80% of the acquisition costs of existing endoscopic imaging systems. In addition, the economy and durability of the MicroCam eliminates 80% of the maintenance costs that sorely impact the operating budgets of hospital ORs. This affordability and portability inherent in the MicroCam design further allow MicroCams to be transported and used in virtually any setting conducive to performing an interventional procedure, such as a hospital, clinic, office, veterinary facility or military field operations. The utility of the MicroCam reaches beyond the existing and emerging medical and veterinary markets into industrial, security and commercial applications.
Existing Endoscope Market Opportunity: The “Plug & Play” features of the MicroCam will afford hospitals and office-based clinicians both significant procedural advantages and cost savings that could swiftly gain market share in the existing markets and drive new sector growth in the emerging global markets. The value of the “Plug-&-Play” features of the MicroCam is its ability to be fashioned into any existing endoscope configuration, at a fraction of the cost of existing endoscopic imaging systems. The endoscope marketplace is divided into two types of endoscopes, rigid eEndoscopes and flexible endoscopes . The total market potential for the rigid endoscope marketplace is $5 billion. The total market potential for the flexible endoscope marketplace is $9.4 billion.
OEM Medical Opportunity: MicroCam is offered as an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) to prospective customers, (both medical and industrial) as a core component set that can be built out into a wide range of medical or industrial finished products. Customers may buy an evaluation kit, or they may buy individual components, from which to build rigid, semi-rigid or flexible endoscopes, borescopes, optical surgical instruments and other constructs. Customers without the resources to complete the finished product themselves have the option of buying engineering, manufacturing and regulatory services. MicroCam offers its OEM customers the ability to easily incorporate micro digital imaging components into their products and technologies in ways they may have never imagined. This is their exciting opportunity to Re - IMAGINE. . . Re - INVENT. . . and Re - PURPOSE their product portfolio.
Veterinary Medicine Opportunity: The veterinary medicine market has become a rapidly growing field with numerous applications for large, small, avian and exotic animals alike . The expectations of pet owners and veterinarians are to provide the same sophisticated diagnostic and surgical techniques for their animals that are available to humans. Accordingly, veterinary endoscopy is being actively promoted by veterinary trade groups such as the Veterinary Endoscopy Society to improve animal welfare. Every improvement in diagnostic and therapeutic technique, particularly those that minimize trauma, and return animals more rapidly to normal health, represents progress for the welfare of both animals and people. Veterinary endoscopy affords veterinarians the ability to offer livestock and pet owners less painful, faster-healing alternatives to common procedures. It is being promoted to improve client satisfaction, elevate veterinarians practice reputation, grow their client base, increase their practice revenues and ensure the continued growth of their practices. According to the American Pet Product Association, “In 2009, US Consumers spent more than $45 billion on their pets, with more than $12 billion spent on Veterinary care“. The number of veterinary practices in North America is 29,775.
Industrial (Inspection) Opportunity: MicroCam has opportunities in a wide range of industrial applications for inspection of turbines, auto transmissions and engine parts, military vehicles, military and police applications in bomb disposal and personnel-sparing “around the corner” viewing, and others. The company has already been approached to build first- concept designs in automotive and in hospital inspection cameras. For example, MicroCam has received interest from the automotive industry as a prospective tool to help them improve their engine diagnostic capabilities.
Industrial (Machine Vision) Opportunity: MicroCam presents global opportunities for industrial clients wherever Micro-HD cameras can be employed. A new field in which MicroCam could play a major role is in machine vision . Machine vision includes the technology and methods used to provide imaging-based automatic inspection and analysis for such applications as automatic inspection, process control, and robot guidance in industry. The machine vision marketplace is expected to exceed $5.1 billion by 2018.