02 Aug Q&A with Mark Foster, CEO & President of Trice Medical
Mark Foster is President and CEO of Trice Medical, the Pennsylvania-based pioneers of fully integrated camera-enabled technologies that provide a clinical solution optimised for minor procedure rooms of surgery centres and physician’s offices.
An experienced professional with more than 20 years’ experience in the medical device industry, Mark joined Trice Medical in 2016 from Smith & Nephew, where he had been responsible for all US commercial operations, and also held several leadership roles at Boston Scientific.
Trice Medical was founded in 2012 to fundamentally improve orthopaedic diagnostics for patients, physicians and payers through providing instant information for sports medicine injuries in an office setting.
Their latest product, the mi-eye 3 needlescope™, is the world’s first and only angled disposable camera. It allows surgeons to perform small joint arthroscopy on a HD tablet with a camera and light source integrated into the needle.
We spoke to Mark about the growing field of disposable optics, and the opportunities presented by new markets with their own set of challenges.
Thank you for talking to us, Mark. How did Trice Medical’s mission begin and what is the company’s purpose?
“Trice Medical started as an in-office arthroscopy company with a very simple mission.
“That original market is now a small part of what we do. While our core purpose of building a great company that enhances quality of life has not changed, our business model has changed drastically towards therapeutic extremities procedures in surgery centres. It’s a real testament to our employees that they have the attitude, aptitude and desire to change and find success. We have significantly “moved their cheese!”
“There is no going backwards, the future is disposable. It’s just a matter of time and who gets there first. There are millions of endoscopic procedures in the US every year using some form of optics, but we currently have less than one per cent adoption in orthopaedics.
“Everything we do at Trice Medical is about developing new markets, and we don’t compete with other companies in a traditional way. Instead, we’re focused on changing minds, which comes with its own challenges.”
You recently introduced the mi-eye 3 needlescope™ in the US, the third generation of your disposable needle camera. How is this impacting physician-patient experiences?
“Utilising our core product, a disposable needle camera, we have been able to quickly identify patients waiting in line for an MRI and speed up the process of getting information.
“We subsequently added ultrasound to our tablet-based system giving us two fantastic imaging modalities on one portable tablet. We can take an $80,000 arthroscopy tower and a $50,000 ultrasound system and put in on a $3,500 portable tablet.
“The mi-eye 3 needlescope™ is the only angled disposable camera on the market with horizon levelling technology. The 25-degree angle allows physicians to see 16 times more information with our camera versus a 0-degree camera. In 2022, we will perform over 50,000 procedures with our portfolio of products. Our disposable Seg-Way™ system is the only fully disposable endoscopic carpal tunnel system on the market and the Tenex™ TX® allows for a minimally invasive, one time treatment for chronic tendon pain. Almost ALL of our procedures took under 20 minutes, could be done with local anaesthetic, and had patients leaving with band-aids and not stitches.
“This is a major shift. We speak to surgeons all the time who struggle to get rooms to perform relatively simple, sterile procedures. The portability of the tablet allows us to maximise the footprint within those facilities, allowing them to manage their days and patient flows.”
How do you view the future of disposable optics?
“Our focus is on developing better, simple tools for the extremity surgeon that are less invasive in any number of ways from the size of the device to the sites it can be used within.
“Since we launched two other competitors have come on the market. We have leadership in our space, and we believe having competitors is a good thing. Less than one per cent of arthroscope cameras are currently disposable. We have good relationships with the other businesses in our space and think a rising tide will be good for the market as a whole.
For more information about Trice Medical, visit www.tricemedical.com
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