Covidien's Sonicision a double winner
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Lew Lanker, global product manager for Covidien’s Gunbarrel-based energy division, is flanked by Jim Cowgill, left, of event sponsor EKS&H LLC, left, and Boulder County Business Report publisher Christopher Wood, at the 2013 IQ Awards. Covidien won both Innovation of the Year and in the Business Products and Services division.
So it was only fitting that attendees of the Boulder County Business Report's 14th annual IQ Awards voted with their cell phones to name Covidien's Sonicision device the Innovation of the Year in Boulder and Broomfield counties.
The Aug. 28 IQ, or Innovation Quotient, Awards recognized the most innovative products and services invented or launched locally in the past year. Six different categories were recognized, with Covidien, which has a division in Gunbarrel where the Sonicision cordless ultrasonic dissection system was developed, earning top billing from judges in the business products category.
When it came time for the people's choice for a sort of "best in show" recognition at the end of the night, Sonicision came out on top again.
"This device is very technologically advanced but it's simple to use," Lanker, global product manager for Covidien's energy division, said.
Sonicision is a portable surgical device that can make precise incisions and seal off blood vessels in the process. The surgical aspect isn't necessarily anything new. But the fact that it doesn't come attached to a large box that can't be moved out of a surgical suite certainly is. The device, which is run on a lithium battery and has its own built-in hardware that monitors quality control and precision, costs about $420 per use depending on location and application.
On the market for less than a year, that the Sonicision has been used in what Lanker estimated are some 80,000 surgeries worldwide. Originally thinking of the cost-competitive aspect in marketing the device to large hospital systems, Lanker was surprised when his biggest area of success came in emerging markets where doctors cover wide geographical areas and their patients can't always afford to travel to have a procedure done. The device also has come in handy for the military, enabling procedures to be done closer to the battlefield rather than transporting wounded soldiers long distances to a major medical facility.
"It is appealing to a lot of people to actually have the treatment coming closer to you," Lanker said. "We have the ability to provide advanced surgical treatment at the point where it needs to be."
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