Leave it to a concerned parent to invent a solution for his children’s recurring ear problems. This was part of the driving force leading to a pediatric start-up medical device that will clarify what is going on when a child has an ear infection.
Using funds from a $5 million NIH grant, team members Dr. Ryan Sheolton, PhD, and otolarynologists Diego Preciado, MD, PhD and Nancy Bauman, MD at Children’s National Research Institute, created a handheld imaging device named CLEARVIEW. The device lets a doctor look through an ear drum using optical tomography to more reliably identify middle ear infection severity. This capability accelerates identifying and effectively treating ear infections thereby improving outcomes and reducing provider costs.
Dr. Shelton who is the CEO of PhotoniCare says that their CLEARIEW technology looks at both the ear surface and directly through the ear drum in order to observe fluid or biofilm in the middle ear space which would suggest surgical intervention.
Although this practice area has not had a lot of innovation, other technology development has preceded this device’s introduction. One company attempted to introduce an ultrasound procedure to image the middle ear but it required filling the ear with water or gel, not a pleasant experience for an upset child. With CLEARVIEW, nothing goes in the ear.
The device was one of the winners in the 2015 National Capital Consortium for Pediatric Device Innovation Competition. The consortium is accepting applications for the 2016 competition.
Using the NIH grant, PhotoniCare produced extremely functional prototypes allowing them to garner $2 million in additional grant awards, private capital and to spin out the company.
Now operating out of the EnterpriseWorks incubator, PhotoniCare’s CLEARVIEW is a FDA registered device and the company is expecting 501(k) approval early next year. They will also be obtaining clinical data throughout 2017.
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