Making a Difference.
Learn About Our Research, Non-Profit Organization Endovision.
Historically, the main role of flexible endoscopy has been diagnostic. This is changing with the development of new endoscopic devices and procedures that are replacing surgery. The most exciting are devices that enable the curative removal of cancerous and pre-cancerous growths while maximally preserving healthy tissue anatomy and physiology. With early detection, digestive tract cancers – currently the most common and deadliest worldwide – can be eradicated with endoscopic therapy.
True paradigm shifts in endoscopic treatment are occurring, but these shifts need a constant infusion of innovation. New procedures require enabling tools. The traditional pathways for device development have been through either a med-tech “start-up” or an existing large device company. Over the past decade, there has been a steady erosion of both pathways due to changes in the economic climate of health care. Both start-ups and device companies depend on substantial investments (venture capital or profits from sales, respectively) for device development. Investment sources are dwindling. Only those innovations that are expected to generate a very high return on investment receive funding. This discriminates against innovations that serve smaller patient populations or have uncertain market potential. Because interventional endoscopy is constantly reinventing itself, future progress is threatened at its core.
Endovision offers an alternative physician-driven pathway for device innovation through a non-profit “incubator” model. Importantly, the non-profit model removes all potential conflicts-of-interest inherent to industry and investor-sponsored ventures. The goal is to provide endoscopists around the globe with an easily accessible, practical pathway to incubate “better way” ideas. Endovision is non-biased, which means the value of the idea is defined solely by the potential benefit to the patient. Prototypes are generated by Endovision’s engineers specialized in the gastrointestinal device space and tested in bench-top and animal models to establish “proof-of-concept.” Once established, devices are licensed to industry for commercialization.