SCHWIND eye-tech-solutions GmbH & Co., Germany
Question 1: Describe the profound impact your technology – as part of an end-user product – has had on Society. How has the population been impacted by your technology. This could be behavioral, economical, societal, etc.
The SCHWIND AMARIS excimer laser is a medical device used in corneal refractive surgery for the correction of ametropia, such as myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness) and astigmatism. The ‘TotalTech Laser’ SCHWIND AMARIS has been a technology leader since its introduction in 2007 and has impressed as a continuous pacesetter. 2009 heralded the integration of the world’s first six-dimensional eye tracking system, which actively compensates all possible eye movements. 2010 saw the market launch of the flagship SCHWIND AMARIS 750S, which reduces the treatment to just 1.5 seconds per dioptre at a pulse frequency of 750 Hertz. Since the beginning of 2012, the SCHWIND AMARIS product range has been offering the latest technology for the treatment of presbyopia in the form of the PresbyMAX® µ-Monovision. The procedure ensures excellent visual acuity at all distances and provides quick and high patient satisfaction.
Question 2: Tell us about how your technology is unique? What makes it stand out? How do you differentiate it from other similar technologies?
The most important benefit of the SCHWIND AMARIS 750S is the extremely short treatment time combined with unmatched safety features, such as the six-dimensional, active 1050 Hertz eye tracking. One dioptre of myopia is corrected with very high precision in only 1.5 seconds. Thus, the patients only need to focus on the fixation light for a very short time. Furthermore, patients benefit from the furthest developed eye tracking system in the market. It actively compensates eye movements in all six dimensions, both statically and dynamically. The Automatic Fluence Level Adjustment (AFLA) method ensures an ideally balanced ration between the total number of laser pulses and the energy delivered. The Intelligent Thermal Effect Control (ITEC) method effectively preserves the cornea, even with very high ablation speed. The integrated online pachymetry safety system allows precise evaluation of intraoperative ablation parameters during refractive surgery.
Question 3: When first launched, did your technology make a transformational change for the end-user or incremental changes by improving a current technology? Describe this.
The laser system is equipped with two energy levels. At first, it uses a high energy level and rapidly ablates around 80 percent of the tissue to be removed. A gentler beam ablates the remaining 20 percent, thus assuring an especially smooth surface and perfect vision. 2) The laser system is equipped with a unique thermal control system. Even at high ablation speed the corneal tissue is effectively preserved. The laser pulses are temporally and spatially sorted, which gives the individual position on the cornea sufficient time to cool off. 3) The laser beams of the SCHWIND AMARIS technology have an exceptionally small diameter of only 0.54 millimetres. The cornea becomes especially smooth with this fine beam.
Question 4: Give a specific example (with company names) of the buying chain for your product/technology once you sell it to the next level buyer. Provide an example of the succession of companies your product goes through, ultimately to get to an end-user. Example: We produce a component that we sell to a laser systems manufacturer (name the company) who sells it to a medical OEM (name the company), who then sells it to a hospital (name the hospital).
SCHWIND is present in more than 120 countries worldwide. Sales and distribution takes place in Germany through the company´s own organisation, and in all other markets through carefully selected distribution partners. Customers include refractive surgeons in eye practices, eye clinics, laser centers and university clinics.
Question 5: In which vertical market(s) would you classify the end-users of this technology?
Question 6: Give us your one sentence “elevator pitch” you would use to tell a non-technical person about your technology and the critical role it plays in Society.
The SCHWIND AMARIS 750S offers the leading technology for eye laser treatment – superior in all important aspects: Speed, precision, safety and comfort.
Question 7: Surprise Us! What else should we know about your product/technology?
The product has already won five awards for innovative strength. According to a recent survey conducted by the market researching company Market Scope, excluding the US market, SCHWIND achieved a 34% global market share in laser sales in 2011 with SCHWIND AMARIS technology. More than 130 publications in peer-reviewed scientific magazines have been published so far on successful clinical experience with SCHWIND AMARIS technology.