Dr. Wayne Poll, a laparoscopic surgeon in Columbus, Ohio, humorously describes himself as a “humble country urologist.” However, he is much more than that. He is a prime example of a medical technology physician-innovator utilizing clinical experience with patients to identify a need and then develop a solution. The result is a one-of-a-kind device that keeps laparoscopic lenses clean during surgery, saving time and money and significantly improving the surgical process for physicians and patients.
From running his own practice to training other physicians around the country on the latest minimally invasive laparoscopic technology, Dr. Poll had firsthand knowledge of the biggest technology challenge in surgery—the best miniature HD cameras and monitors were worthless when their lenses were dirty. The impaired surgical view meant removing, cleaning and reinserting the laparoscope several times during each procedure. It was a source of deep concern for surgeons seeking precision care for their patients.
For Dr. Poll, it was also a challenge that appealed to his entrepreneurial bent and his desire to contribute to better patient outcomes and his field. He set about developing the new technology to keep lenses clean and minimize surgical interruptions. After two years, he and his team launched a new device that keeps the laparoscopic lens clean during surgery by shielding it with a pocket of air. This reduced the need to remove the laparoscope during surgery by 90%.
But 90% wasn’t good enough. At the beginning of 2012, Dr. Poll went one step further—he and his team introduced the first FDA-approved technology to wash a laparoscope inside the body. With the addition of the liquid cleaning, the need to remove the instrument during surgery has been eliminated, allowing surgeons to focus on their patients and the surgery they are entrusted to perform.
The medical device company he founded two years ago to bring his innovations to market is growing. With all phases of work—research and development, engineering, manufacturing and sales—completed in house, its staff has grown from two to 14, and they’re not stopping there. Like others in his field, Dr. Poll is increasing efficiency, improving patient care and creating good American jobs one medical innovation at a time.
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