Innovating uses for devices in daily practice
By taking good care of patients and observing themselves in daily practice, cosmetic and plastic surgeons and dermatologists can come up with ideas for innovations in lasers and other modalities, which improve patient care, according to Mathew M. Avram, M.D., J.D., director of the Massachusetts General Hospital Dermatology Laser and Cosmetic Center, Boston, Mass.
The benefits of innovation can go beyond one’s clinical practice, to ultimately improve uses of devices for patients, generally, Dr. Avram told colleagues during the 36th Annual Conference of the American Society for Laser Medicine & Surgery (ASLMS 2016), Boston, Mass.
The topic is important for the industry, as ASLMS’s mission is to promote innovation with devices in medicine. But it’s also important for physicians and their patients, according to Dr. Avram.
“I think a lot of physicians make clinical observations that they can translate into new technologies, as well as improvements in patient care by just trusting what they see when they use devices,” he says. “The safe and effective use of these devices requires that you not just pay attention to what the instruction booklet says for a device, but actually pay attention to how the skin is affected by a treatment. By looking at what happens with the skin — what we call clinical endpoints — we can determine whether or not a treatment is safe and/or effective.”
The contributions that aesthetic physicians can make go beyond improved safety and patient care. Careful observations when using devices in clinical practice usher opportunities to develop more successful treatments and device innovations.
“One example is we have used lasers to treat broken blood vessels on the face for port wine stains and rosacea. Basal cell skin cancer, which is the most common form of skin cancer, generally, is rich in vasculature. So, we have been trying to develop new treatments for basal cells based on the principles that we’ve used for broken blood vessels in rosacea and port wine stains,” Dr. Avram says. ”In other words, [based on our observations in practice, we’ll be] targeting the blood vessels in basal cells in the same way that we target the blood vessels in rosacea or port wine stains.”
Disclosure: Dr. Avram reports no relevant disclosures.