Founder and CEO, Ace Vision Group, Inc.
What role does R&D play in the success of Ace Vision?
The science behind Ace Vision’s technology is extremely deep and R&D is at the crux of the dynamic innovation we are creating at AVG. During the COVID-19 pandemic, AVG took advantage of the engineering resource surplus that were disengaged from other projects which required physical lab presence, and acquired those resources virtually to build up its Artificial Intelligence (AI )and Virtual Reality (VR) platforms on the Next Gen VisioLite® laser. AVG hopes to be a leader in the ophthalmic laser industry in these areas.
What are the biggest challenges in running a successful R&D program?
Innovating in a remote ecosystem was a huge challenge. AVG spent a great deal of time building and managing remote teams during and after the COVID-19 crisis. Evolving projects within an industry of decreased human and tangible resources is also a challenge. While supply chains continue to shrink, we continually have to innovate around these challenges, which places a critical burden on the R&D deliverables.
What role does the end user play in your R&D process?
The end user essentially drives the R&D process. Beginning with the end user in mind is done systematically as part of our R&D process. It is extremely important to use this as a guideline while still using a “lifecycle mentality” to allow innovation to strive alongside today’s usability environment. As a start-up, we have to envision the end user over 10 years and how those user requirements are quickly changing and impacted by the technology springboard.
Who are the unsung heroes within your R&D team?
The unsung heroes are the pioneers who forged the ophthalmic laser industry to begin with and who were willing to become mentors to me and to AVG during the course of its evolution; those that have offered their advice, criticism, feedback, and encouragement to our R&D team for the simple exchange of paying it forward to the benefit of the ophthalmology industry. For AVG, those people would be Professor John Marshall’s for his tireless guidance over the years, Prof. Ioannis Pallikaris for his innovative inspiration and coaching, Dr. George O. Waring III for being the amazing mentor and teacher he was to this adopted student in the concept of improving “lifetime vision,” and finally Prof Danièle Aron Rosa for her endorsement of the science as well as her inspiration to support this vision from the very beginning of its genesis.
What is your team most excited about right now?
Ace Vision is extremely excited about nearing the completion of its Gen I prototype pilot studies and clinical read out to inform the company’s FDA pathway planned for Q4 2022. AVG expects to complete a series of final milestones to reach the design freeze of our Next Generation VisioLite® Ophthalmic laser system by the last quarter of 2022.