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Grand Rapids resident makes laparoscopic surgery cost-effective with Xenoscope

Xenoscope single–use, fog-free, HD laparoscopic imaging system photo

A new medical device technology with West Michigan roots will bring cost-effective laparoscopic surgery to low-income world populations.

Laparoscopic endoscopy is the minimally invasive way to perform surgery inside the abdomen or chest. The platform is a camera system dating back to 1987.

“And it’s pretty much the gold standard of care in this country and other developed countries, but 80% of the planet still doesn’t have this surgery due to the high cost.”

Evan Kelso tells us a laparoscopic tower is made of glass and steel hooked up to $250,000 worth of gear projecting images. The Grand Rapids resident and CEO of Xenocor is revolutionizing the technology with the Food and Drug Administration approved Xenoscope.

“We now live in a time where consumer camera systems, really driven by cell phones, have created these really high-end, HD chips and really, really efficient LED lights. And so, we’ve used that time and space to put a 1080p imaging chip and some really nice LED lights on a single-use laparoscope.”

At about $1,000 per use, it plugs directly into a laptop, tablet or television set.

“There’s a tremendous amount of demand. I mean there’s 15 million laparoscopic procedures being done worldwide currently and most of those are done in Europe, Americas, Japan and Australia. But like I mentioned before, most of the planet still does open procedures.”

Involving painful, large incisions that can take up to a month to heal compared to small poke holes that can heal in a day or two a day. Kelso believes his cost-effective leap in medicine should be available to the world.

Patrick joined WGVU Public Media in December, 2008 after eight years of investigative reporting at Grand Rapids' WOOD-TV8 and three years at WYTV News Channel 33 in Youngstown, Ohio. As News and Public Affairs Director, Patrick manages our daily radio news operation and public interest television programming. An award-winning reporter, Patrick has won multiple Michigan Associated Press Best Reporter/Anchor awards and is a three-time Academy of Television Arts & Sciences EMMY Award winner with 14 nominations.