Biophotonics trailblazers drive mobile health

The ability of low-cost photonics to enable point-of-care systems is part of the mobile health market, which Lux Research (Boston, MA) says is forecast to grow 8X in the next decade—from $5.1 billion in 2013 to $41.8 billion in 2023. Lux notes that once clinical devices clear regulatory hurdles and gain acceptance of physicians, they will far surpass consumer-focused counterparts.

The report also quantifies a sharp rise in venture funding for mobile health devices, to $480 million in 2013, and says that large electronics and medical device companies are starting to make acquisitions in this arena.

As Dennis Matthews, director of the National Science Foundation’s Center for Biophotonics Science and Technology (University of California at Davis), stated at the 2014 Lasers & Photonics Marketplace Seminar, even a cell phone can be a powerful biophotonics device. One of the folks who has proven the truth of that statement again and again is UCLA Chancellor's Professor Aydogan Ozcan.  Ozcan, who is also associate director of the California NanoSystems Institute, develops inexpensive, lightweight attachments that turn ordinary smartphones into devices able to detect mercury in water, malaria in blood cells, and allergens in food.

This week, Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI; Chevy Chase, MD) chose to honor Ozcan among 14 other researchers nationally by naming him a 2014 HHMI Professor. The award comes with a $1 million grant to pursue high-impact, interdisciplinary research in the coming 5 years, and to effectively integrate this work with creative approaches to undergraduate education. HHMI's goal is to transform science education in the U.S. by encouraging hands-on, research-oriented, and interdisciplinary instruction; Ozcan plans to use the grant to launch a program in which undergraduates form interdisciplinary teams annually to design, build, and test novel technologies for telemedicine and global health applications.

Such efforts will be the focus of Ozcan's talk at the Strategies in Biophotonics conference in September in Boston. The event will address the important trend of affordable, mobile devices for global health in other ways as well. For instance, Nanobiosym Chairman and CEO Anita Goel will follow Robert S. Langer’s opening keynote to discuss her goal to decentralize, mobilize, and personalize medicine through new game-changing technologies. In addition, Randal Chinnock of Optimum Technologies will discuss disposable optics, a key enabling component.

It is exciting to watch as these talented pioneers work to develop and hone technologies that will surely benefit us all.

Get All the BioOptics World News Delivered to Your Inbox

Subscribe to BioOptics World Magazine or email newsletter today at no cost and receive the latest news and information.

 Subscribe Now
Related Articles

FDA authorizes emergency use of Zika virus molecular detection assay

The xMAP MultiFLEX Zika RNA assay combines optofluidics and digital signal processing to detect Zika virus in vitro.

Merz acquires laser tattoo removal device maker ON Light Sciences

Merz North America has acquired ON Light Sciences, which develops technologies to enhance laser-based dermatology procedures.

Shortwave-infrared device could improve ear infection diagnosis

An otoscope-like device that could improve ear infection diagnosis uses shortwave-infrared light instead of visible light.

Laser therapy extracts rare tumor that grew human hair, skin in boy's skull

About four years ago, a tumor comprised of human skin, hair, bone and cartilage was fast-growing inside a Ramsey, MN, 10-year-old youth's brain.
BLOGS

Neuro15 exhibitors meet exacting demands: Part 2

Increasingly, neuroscientists are working with researchers in disciplines such as chemistry and p...

Why be free?

A successful career contributed to keeping OpticalRayTracer—an optical design software program—fr...

LASER Munich 2015 is bio-bent

LASER World of Photonics 2015 included the European Conferences on Biomedical Optics among its si...

White Papers

Understanding Optical Filters

Optical filters can be used to attenuate or enhance an image, transmit or reflect specific wavele...

How can I find the right digital camera for my microscopy application?

Nowadays, image processing is found in a wide range of optical microscopy applications. Examples ...

CONNECT WITH US

            

Twitter- BioOptics World

Copyright © 2007-2016. PennWell Corporation, Tulsa, OK. All Rights Reserved.PRIVACY POLICY | TERMS AND CONDITIONS