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New Optiscan tech opens door to precision surgery market


Optiscan Imaging is making impressive progress with its medical imaging technology.

ASX-listed Optiscan Imaging (ASX: OIL) has unveiled its latest next-generation microscopic medical imaging device, with its new “InVue” technology giving the company an entry point into the precision surgery market.


Management says its latest device can be used within a range of clinical settings, but will be immediately focused on cancer diagnosis and treatment and the potential to reduce the need for multiple diagnoses and repeat surgeries.


InVue will provide surgeons with the ability to make on-the-spot decisions and treatment adjustments through more precise surgery. The device is also greater than 1000-times more powerful than traditional CT and MRI scanners.


It has been designed to integrate with Optiscan’s cloud-based telepathology platform, which is due to be released next year. When combined with the new platform, InVue will allow surgeons and pathologists to collaborate on surgical cases in real-time from anywhere in the world.


Optiscan says by improving the accuracy and speed of treatment, InVue should also help lower healthcare costs and improve patient outcomes.


The company plans to initially use its device for breast cancer surgery and margin determination. Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among women in Australia, with more than 20,000 of them diagnosed each year, while in the United States, the number is as high as 300,000 annually.


The unveiling of Optiscan’s InVue device follows its important recent signing of a “know-how” agreement with the renowned Mayo Clinic in the US to co-develop digital laser technology for use in robotic surgery. The two companies will combine different areas of expertise to develop the imaging system within a two-year period and Mayo – the world’s biggest integrated, not-for-profit medical group practice – has committed to taking a financial interest in Optiscan’s revolutionary technology.


The deal will combine Optiscan’s expertise in endomicroscopic hardware and software development, with Mayo’s robotic surgery know-how and vast history of patient care. The agreement is also part of the medical imaging company’s strategic focus on the lucrative US market.


The potential benefits flowing from the InVue cannot be over-estimated. Diagnostic pathology is such a critical component in the surgical treatment of cancer, and for so long it has been disconnected from this process. InVue brings pathology and surgery together in the operating theatre to enhance the capabilities of both and ultimately facilitate faster and more accurate patient care.
Optiscan Imaging Managing Director and CEO Dr Camile Farah

InVue is not Optiscan’s first foray into the medical imaging market. It plans to use a $3 million industry grant to further develop its gastrointestinal (GI) endomicroscope – and it says recent research suggests the device could generate an eye-watering $8 billion in additional market revenue in the US.


The Cooperative Research Centres Projects (CRC-P) grant from the Federal Government’s Department of Industry, Science and Resources will be directed towards the company’s second-generation project being led by its chief technology officer Dr Sanchitha Fernando.


Its patented imaging technology houses miniaturised componentry to create a pen-sized digital microscope that offers the power of real-time 3D single-cell imaging – all in the palm of a medical practitioner’s hand.


The company’s endomicroscopes are small, hand-held devices that can be touched against a sample of interest. Basically, they are fibre-optic fluorescence confocal microscopes that utilise a miniaturised optical fibre-scanning mechanism to generate an image.


Images are then generated by simply touching the probe against the tissue of interest.


Optiscan recently received a research-and-development tax incentive of $672,000 from the Australian Government and ended the last financial quarter with cash and equivalents of $7.12 million.


Its latest announcement also prompted a flurry of interest from the market, with its share price jumping more than 25 per cent on last week’s closing price of 11.5c to touch 14.5c today during intraday trading. Nearly five million of the company’s shares changed hands in the past two days.


With its latest imaging device officially launched and an important agreement with the world-renowned Mayo Clinic in place, Optiscan appears to be in good health as a company as it continues to build its impressive range of medical imagery technology.


Is your ASX-listed company doing something interesting? Contact: office@bullsnbears.com.au


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