Diagnostic Photonics, Inc. is a Chicago-based startup company founded in 2008 on technology pioneered at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology at the University of Illinois. The company creates high-resolution imaging probes for cancer surgeons to help them operate better in nearly all cancer surgeries (lung, kidney, prostate, etc.) and to prevent the need for repeat cancer surgeries. Their product, the Foresee™ Imaging System, uses near-infrared light to provide physicians with a better view of tissue structure.
The company has partnered with manufacturers and vendors throughout the Chicago metropolitan area and aspires to export to markets where they have regulatory clearance. Their goal is a European market roll-out in 2017 to expand their global presence in the surgical oncology market, which is why they applied for and received a grant from the 2015 Metro Chicago Exports Grant Program, presented by JPMorgan Chase.
In Europe, substantial clinical evidence of effectiveness is required before coverage is provided for a new medical device and purchase approval decisions are made on either a hospital-by-hospital basis (e.g., Germany) or on a national basis (e.g., the United Kingdom.) Due to this requirement, Diagnostic Photonics used the 2015 Metro Chicago Exports Grant Program funds for an assessment of their imaging probe and clinical trial plans by the UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, which evaluates all new medical devices prior to their sale into the National Health Service (NHS.) Through this process, the company received positive feedback on clinical study plans, verified the scope and costs of the clinical problem in the UK and validated their economic cost models.