Boston Scientific wanted to develop a single-use digital imaging system that would be cost competitive with conventional colonoscopy imaging. In the late 1990’s, they approached Optikos to design the entire electro-optical imaging chain for this type of product.
Optikos recognized that the decreasing cost of high brightness LEDs, CMOS imagers, and plastic optical components would soon allow the type of extremely low-cost and high-quality digital imaging systems that this product would require. Through the development and prototype stage, we worked closely with our client and designed a patented CMOS imaging system with image quality comparable to conventional imaging systems that could be manufactured at a price point previously never thought possible.
Optikos was responsible for the lens design, the digital signal chain, LED vendor development, image processing (color de-mosaicing, sharpening, and overall image quality viewed by the physician), and the complete design of the actively cooled distal tip of the endoscope. We worked with Boston Scientific to develop a supplier base capable of providing qualified components in quantities sufficient to manufacture millions of assemblies per year; and we set up the assembly infrastructure to perform final assembly and qualification of the imaging system.
The product development was successfully carried through clinical animal trials and the product was demonstrated to Wall Street analysts. All imaging performance and cost requirements were met and patents were issued on both the overall product architecture and specific design embodiment.