InnerOptic surgery visualization productsInnerOptic surgery visualization products


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"Injuries during MIS is the leading cause for malpractice claims against general surgeons."

- Physicians Insurers Association

If your car can have a GPS, shouldn't your surgeon?

With a bold vision of “Simpler, Safer Surgerythrough visualization technology, InnerOptic is improving minimally invasive surgery (MIS) with its patented image-guidance products. InnerOptic's innovative InVision™ System is a “GPS” for minimally invasive interventions, providing an intuitive 3D stereo interface that improves a surgeon or radiologist's ability to accurately perform complex MIS procedures using intra-operative ultrasound.

Minimally invasive surgery is inherently more difficult for surgeons to perform than open surgery, due to poor visualization and difficult spatial coordination. Injuries and errors occur far more frequently during MIS procedures than in open surgery, costing hospitals over $1B to repair annually and are the leading cause for malpractice claims against general surgeons.

The Market

More than 50% of surgeries are now performed using minimally invasive techniques. According to BCC Research (2006), the overall MIS market is $7.7 billion in 2006 for the US alone, growing to $18.5B by 2011 (19.2% CAGR). InnerOptic addresses the $704M medical robotics & computer-assisted surgery (MRCAS) market sector, which is projected to have a 5-year 31.4% CAGR. InnerOptic is targeting the 2,100 medium and 900 large surgical hospitals in the US, representing the majority of the $560M laparoscopic equipment market.

Poor visualization and difficulties with spatial coordination result in, for example, over 10,000 injuries per year during laparoscopic interventions, which is the leading cause for malpractice claims against general surgeons (Physicians Insurers Association of America, 2000). These injuries cost the industry over $500M in repair costs in the US alone.

There are 2 million “soft-tissue” MIS procedures performed annually in the US. The overall MIS market is $7.7 billion (2006) for the US alone, growing to $18.5B by 2011 (19.2% CAGR). InnerOptic currently addresses the $1B (2007) image-guided surgery market, which is projected to have a 5-year 31.4% annual growth rate.

Ablation is Common for Cancer Tumor Treatment

A common alternative to the surgical removal of cancerous tissue is to use a specialized needle to ablation (burn) the cancerous tissue, either using radiofrequency, microwave or freezing (cryoblation). Ablation is performed with ultrasound guidance, as accurate needle placement is crucial. Tumor ablation can be performd percutaneously (i.e. needle-puncture through the skin), via open surgery or laparoscopically. In all cases, ultrasound is often used to identify the tumor and guide the needle to the center of the tumor. However, it is very difficult and error prone to use ultrasound for needle guidance.

The InVision System improves needle-placement accuracy by rendering needle trajetory markers, the needle-ultrasound intersection point (purple square), and the ablation volume (red and orange "cage"). The ablation volume shows the physician what tissue will be ablated, before the ablation takes place. This provides the physician with the confidence that the tumor is killed, while minimizing damage to healthy tissue.

The Company

Launched in 2003, InnerOptic is a spin-off of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's pioneering Computer Graphics Department. Leveraging more than ten years of UNC's world-class research in medical visualizatoin and computer-aided surgery, InnerOptic has an exceptional team along with a strong and growing patent portfolio.

With proven technology, experienced management, a talented technical team and a world-class medical advisory board, InnerOptic is well positioned to successfully commercialize its technology.

InnerOptic is located in the Research Triangle Park area, leveraging strong relationships with UNC and CMC, access to their world-class medical research facilities and staff, and access to local talent.

Business Model

InnerOptic has a capital-efficient business model, based upon a high margin and a low break-even point (low burn rate).

InnerOptic's go-to-market strategy is a "sell through" strategy. Specifically, InnerOptic will establish partnership relationships with existing companies that supply MIS equipment.

Targeted Interventions

InnerOptic’s products improve a wide variety of minimally-invasive surgical procedures, including:

  • Tumor Ablations;
  • Soft-tissue Biopsies;
  • Cholecystectomy (gall bladder removal);
  • Myomectomy (removal of uterine fibroids);
  • Bariatric surgery;
  • Dye-based lymph node mapping;
  • Robotic surgery;
  • Staging and resection operations of various abdominal cancers.


The customer benefits of using the InVision System for minimally invasive laparoscopic procedures include:

o MIS procedures are easier, more accurate and faster to perform;
o Fewer malpractice claims, through lower error rates
o Fewer surgical repairs (and lower costs), through lower error rates;
o Reduced OR time (and lower costs), due to improved visualization;
o Higher reimbursements, using established visualization CPT codes;
o Improved patient outcomes, through lower error rates.

Contact to meet to review the business plan.

InnerOptic Technology, Inc.
106A N. Churton Street
Hillsborough, NC 27278

Phone: 919 732-2090
Fax: 413 581-3269

InnerOptic surgery visualization products