When it comes to tackling some of the hardest medical innovations, patience becomes a fundamental requirement. Because of the regulatory challenges of getting government approval, its not uncommon to wait for years before an innovation is approved for use. That assumes you can solve all of the technical and medical issues before even starting to secure government approval.
In the case of Dean Irwin, the innovation he envisioned needed innovation in components before the product could be created. How long would you be willing to wait? In Dean's case, that wait was for 15 years.
Waiting 15 years to bring an innovation to market is the ultimate example of patience. Why did it take so long? To achieve the design objectives, the product needed innovation in a number of areas including smaller and cheaper lasers, improved delivery approaches and confidence in the vision of using lasers to address a medical need that no one else considered.
So how do you fund innovations that take so long?
Dean's company took the basic elements and went after a market that was less demanding and that could generate enough margin to fund the long term vision. The result was a bootstrap approach to ensure control of the vision and funding to drive the innovations needed.
What's the status of the innovation Dean has waited so patiently for?
About Dean Irwin
Dean Irwin is founder and CEO of Ra Medical Systems. Since founding Ra Medical Systems, he has spearheaded the successful design, development, and commercialization of the Pharos excimer laser for dermatology as well as the investigational DABRA excimer laser and DABRA catheter for peripheral artery disease (PAD).
Over his career, he has published numerous engineering and scientific papers including consulting to the Plasma Research Center at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the Institute of Plasma Physics at Nagoya University in Japan. Dean has been issued eight patents in the field of ultraviolet light and phototherapy, four patents for advanced display technologies, and has numerous patents pending for methods, devices, and catheters for cardiovascular applications.