By: Pooja Jaeel
San Francisco based company, Evotech, has redesigned the endoscope at only 5% of the cost.
Their model, the EvoCam, is designed to provide the diagnostic capabilities of a regular endoscope to underserved patients around the world.
While the endoscopes found in today’s clinical settings can cost up to $50,000, Evotech founder, engineer Moshe Zilversmit, found a way to preserve the functionality of an endoscope at a fraction of the cost. Evotech was able to construct their scope for just $2,500.
Elucidating his minimalist approach to building this product, Zilversmit explains, “The EvoCam is basically a webcam you put in your body.”
Indeed, the engineering team who worked on this project used cheaper, readily available cameras with a picture quality that is sufficient for diagnosis. Instead of including complex image processors within the scope, the team created software that will do the same job on a standard laptop. Finally, the team cut down on expensive implementation costs by distributing standard training videos and documents to the clinical sites, rather than having employees personally train professionals at each site.
By cutting the cost of manufacturing and distribution, Evotech can sell the device to low resource clinical sites around the world. Currently, the latest versions of the EvoCam are being used at 60 clinics in Uganda and India.
Although the team does not plan on selling the product within the USA, they are still seeking FDA approval. Being approved by such a stringent administration boosts the credibility and safety qualifications of the Evocam in developing countries.
The reason for Evotech’s passion for global health? “I wanted to be an engineer with Doctors Without Borders, but they didn’t have a program like that,” says Zilversmit, “so I went out and did it on my own.” The company is working on making the EvoCam compatible with a tablet and on making the EvoCam usable in animal surgeries.