Navigating the Complex Pathway from Innovation to Implementation

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    “From Concept to Clinic: The Intricate Journey of Bringing Medical Innovations to Life”

    The Genesis of Innovation: A Glimpse into the Mind of an Innovator

    Who invented the paperclip, and how did it become a ubiquitous presence on our desks? Innovators are individuals who encounter obstacles and persistently seek solutions without surrender. A unique blend of personality traits characterizes these individuals: creativity, tenacity, patience, humility, and a selfless desire to consider the needs of others.

    Innovation is not merely about conceiving an idea but also about discerning its practicality and determining whether a similar solution already exists. When the solution necessitates product manufacturing, the innovator embarks on a significant adventure. A personal anecdote from grade school, involving the conceptualization of a novel hook design for fly fishing flies, illustrates that the journey from innovation to implementation, even if it doesn’t culminate in commercial success, can ignite a lifelong passion and drive for innovation.

    Medical Innovations: A Realm Ripe for Revolutionary Ideas

    In the medical field, abundant opportunities exist to enhance methods and products. Privileged access to surgical suites and clinician offices, and the honor of being amidst highly motivated doctors, have provided numerous opportunities for innovation. Launching new products demands a profound understanding of the product, the need it addresses, and the strategies for its implementation. The impetus for adoption typically hinges on time and cost savings, with efficiency being the cornerstone of all innovation.

    After dedicating 8 years to aerospace operations manufacturing management, a transition into ophthalmology device sales marked a pivotal career shift. The innovation journey continued, with a notable highlight being the creation of a pioneering external eye speculum, the Spec-Tac. From ideation to prototype creation in a mere two days, and subsequent iterations leading to laser printing and injection molding, the journey was marked by continuous learning and adaptation.

    The Multifaceted Journey from Prototype to Patient

    Navigating through patent processes, engaging with foreign consulates for regulatory approvals, developing marketing materials, and launching sales at ophthalmology’s largest tradeshow, the journey from prototype to patient was multifaceted and enlightening. Within three months, distribution contracts spanned 38 countries, and the focus shifted to manufacturing and order fulfillment.

    Success is often carved by surrounding oneself with driven individuals unafraid to provide constructive feedback. The process naturally fosters growth in interpersonal skills. From this success (interspersed with failures), the journey meandered through multiple ophthalmology startups, each presenting its unique challenges and learning opportunities.

    The Perpetual Cycle of Innovation

    Today, navigating through the fifth startup, the journey of bringing products to market, while exponentially more complex than a small piece of pliable plastic, is informed by all the accrued lessons from the past. The mantra remains: Identify obstacles, think, test, try, fail, and repeat. The cyclical nature of innovation is embraced wholeheartedly, and the journey wouldn’t be desired any other way.


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    Barry Schafer
    Barry Schafer
    Barry Schafer, a luminary in the realm of medical technology and ultrasound imaging, has sculpted a career defined by innovation, leadership, and a profound commitment to advancing the field of vision care. His journey, deeply intertwined with the development and marketing of groundbreaking technologies, has been pivotal in shaping the trajectory of ultrasound imaging, particularly through his pivotal role at ArcScan, Inc. Barry’s philosophy is rooted in the belief that the investment in and empowerment of his team is the cornerstone of achieving unparalleled success. His leadership style, which involves guiding, setting benchmarks, and then strategically removing obstacles, has proven to be a catalyst in fostering an environment of growth and learning. More Here READ MORE