A complicated late night surgery to reattach a severed hand lead orthopedic surgeon Greg Kolovich to invent a more efficient way to take the X-rays and photographs that help guide him through surgery.
Founded in 2016, by Kolovich and Evan Ruff Micro C is the world’s first handheld X-ray device for orthopedic surgery. The small device will replace the current fluoroscopy equipment, known as a C-Arm, which is similar in size to a hospital bed and is used by a physician to guide a needle to a specific area while watching that needle on a live X-ray screen.
What makes your business stand out?
We have invented the world’s first handheld X-ray device for orthopedic surgery. Miniaturizing an X-ray unit into a five-pound, hand-held device is an engineering marvel and we have since added numerous innovations to make it the epitomic tool of intraoperative imaging. We have really pushed innovation forward in a market that has been ergonomically stagnant for 60 years. Our devices are faster, safer and provide higher quality images and emit significantly less radiation to the patient. Not bad for a startup founded by a couple of Georgia Tech graduates.
What is the most valuable lesson you’ve learned since starting your business?
The value of staying focused on the ultimate goal. For us, that was simply to invent the best possible device. Some startups get distracted by side projects, internal power struggles, demanding investors, competition, negativity and all sorts of noise associated with the process. Our first year, we were constantly petitioned to change our design or to allocate resources to side projects. Many interested parties told us were just out of league and some engineers tried to convince us that our device was physically impossible to execute. We didn’t blink and the parts all fell into place.
What has been your biggest challenge and how did you overcome it?
Our biggest challenge was overcoming the engineering hurdles associated with miniaturizing the device. Creation of a tiny X-ray tube with high-end power capacity requirements while cooling the device with custom heat sink was no small task. Designing positioning systems to allow the device to function in a compliant and safe manner was tough. After numerous failed prototypes, we created a design that addressed those issues and have begun incorporating operator input to improve the device further.
What would you like people to know about your business?
We successfully invented the world’s first handheld X-ray device for orthopedic surgery and have since pioneered robotic tracking innovations that will ultimately change the face of the orthopedic operating room. Surgeons will be able to access intraoperative images more efficiently, accurately and precisely with far less radiation exposure and superior quality. They can readily document and securely transmit the images into electronic medical records systems within a facility or across continents.
What is your long-term plan and how are you working to get there?
We plan to sell our patent-pending Micro C handheld devices as both a clinical embodiment and surgical embodiment. The clinical embodiment can be used in the outpatient setting, in ambulances or on sidelines. It can be used in remote, hard to reach parts of the world or travel portably with a home health nurse right to a patient’s home. Images will be instantly triaged on secured mobile devices by practitioners and patients will receive faster, safer, more accurate diagnostic imaging, diving down costs. In the operating room, our robotically tracked x-ray system will have infinite degrees of freedom to image any part of the human body and any desired angle. Precision and accuracy will be automated and our software algorithms will assure superior image quality. The surgeon will become more efficient and the patient will have less time under anesthesia with hopefully better outcomes.
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