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In Rapidly-Growing MRI Field, Where's the Opportunity for Start-Ups?

This article was originally published in Start Up

Executive Summary

Among imaging modalities used to guide surgery, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is growing at the fastest rate. According to “"US Markets for Imaged-Guided Surgery Products,"” published in November 2007 by Medtech Insight, MRI systems used in surgery or interventional procedures accounted for 12.5% of the $1.24 billion in surgical interventional imaging sales in the US in 2006, and procedure volumes are expected to grow at a compound annual rate of 9.2% through the year 2011. While it's obvious that the diagnostic imaging giants are positioned to enjoy the growth in emerging applications of MRI, start-ups can profit too.

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MaRVis Technologies GMBH

Physicians continue to wait patiently for the day they can perform interventional cardiovascular and neurological procedures using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for guidance instead of x-ray. However, current guidewires and catheters don't work because they contain metal components that can distort MR imaging or potentially heat up inside the patient. To the rescue: MaRVis Technologies, which is developing guidewires and catheters that lack a metal core. The company's devices are built in a multi-composite manner--from core rods composed of fiberglass filaments enclosed with epoxy resin and doped with small metal particles--for MRI compatibility and visualization and to maintain the desirable material characteristics of current guidewires and catheters.

ViewRay Inc.

The high-precision targeting technique used in delivering radiation treatment to cancerous tissue might bring to mind an image of a sharpshooter, but in truth the logistics involved are more akin to firing off a piece of large artillery. ViewRay. hopes to give radiation therapists a clearer shot.

The Uterine Fibroid Market: High Growth for Uterus-Sparing Procedures

In the treatment of uterine fibroids, there has historically been almost no middle ground between medical management by drugs with unpleasant side effects and the procedure of last resort, the hysterectomy. Now, though, a treatment landscape that's been barren for years, has finally become fertile ground for device innovation, according to a report published by Health Research International, "US Opportunities in the Management of Benign Uterine Conditions."

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