Eric Swanson Hot Topics presentation: Clinical Translation in OCT -- The Role of Research, Funding, and Entrepreneurism

Presented at SPIE Photonics West 2014

04 March 2014

Eric Swanson discusses the migration of optical coherence tomography (OCT) into clinical practice in, "Clinical Translation in OCT: Role of Research, Funding, and Entrepreneurism."

The translation from research to successful clinical impact is challenging and often the process passes through several stages including product development, initial sales and product iteration, market growth, and, finally, the next generation products. Each step can take several years, requiring persistence and perseverance on the parts of technologists and investors alike. The first release of a reliable, manufacturable, and supportable commercial product into the hands of clinicians is a critical milestone. It allows for fine tuning of the product attributes on the road to proving clinical utility and sometimes results in discovery of unforeseen applications.

Clinical translation of OCT has been impactful, scientifically, clinically, and economically. Over 20M patients per year undergo OCT diagnostic imaging and the cumulative OCT system sales over the past decade are well in excess of $1B. Many applications remain to be commercialized could potentially further benefit healthcare and improve quality of life. Startups have played, and continue to play, an important role in the translation of new applications of OCT.

Swanson is a director, advisor, and participant in a variety of industrial, academic, entrepreneurial, government, and non-profit activities. He serves as a director for Acacia Communications, Curata Incorporated, and NinePoint Medical. He also serves as a research affiliate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), consultant at Draper Laboratory, catalyst at the MIT Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation, does a variety of volunteer activities, and is editor of the non-profit news outlet, OCT News.

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