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Optical Detection: From Physicists to Physicians

This article was originally published in Start Up

Executive Summary

Several companies formed in the 1990's are poised to validate the clinical potential of light-based diagnostics as they guide through clinical trials products for a wide variety of applications in cancer, dermatology, gastrointestinal and cardiovascular diseases. Developers of the new optical imaging technologies ultimately hope to improve the way physicians diagnose diseases, by enabling insight into conditions where detection is currently inadequate. They hope to improve outcomes by detecting diseases at earlier stages, before pathological changes become visible. Finally, they aim to develop non-invasive systems that offer rapid diagnosis at the point of care, so that physicians can see and treat patients in a single visit. For now, though, companies are approaching the market cautiously. Most have a strategy of getting their products approved for adjunctive applications rather than attempting to win approval for the devices as standalone diagnostic systems that replace current screening methods.

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