I have learned many lessons through my involvement in commercially successful and unsuccessful medical technology startups. Most of these lessons are clear and evident, but it is easy for even the most wise and conservative of leaders and investors to drink one’s own Kool Aid. Three of these lessons follow.

FALLACY #1 – Regulatory approval is the main hurdle.
The tacit and voiced assumption is that gaining regulatory authorization in the US is THE major achievement required to realize commercial success. In some cases, this is correct – where reimbursement codes, payment, and coverage exist already, and where the new technology is not an entirely different way of doing things, FDA authorization is key. Where this is not the situation, the real challenges lay elsewhere.

Improvement in cures for pediatric cancer is one of the true success stories of the past century, with approximately 80 percent of children with cancer cured of their diseases with contemporary cancer therapy. However, this success comes with cost. Many pediatric patients suffer from the acute and late toxic effects of our multi-modal therapy which often includes surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation treatments. In addition, success in childhood cancer has not been distributed equally among all types of pediatric cancers. Many children with metastatic, refractory, or relapsed cancers are still without much improvement in survival outcomes over the past 20 years.

In order to encourage more internships in the focused ultrasound community, this blog outlines ideas and strategies for creating a successful program that benefits students, mentors, and organizations alike – while cultivating the next generation of researchers and clinicians in the field of focused ultrasound. To date, the Foundation has more than 120 global interns and another 70+ local interns.

Matt Eames, PhD, the Foundation’s External Programs Manager, and Sam Clinard, a former Foundation intern and employee who is now pursuing a PhD at the University of Utah, answered a series of questions about the Foundation’s Internship Program.

In this three-part blog series, Neal F. Kassell, MD, the Founder and Chairman of the Focused Ultrasound Foundation, talks with Chase Koch, the President of Koch Disruptive Technologies (KDT), about the field of focused ultrasound and how their organizations are working together to revolutionize therapy with this highly disruptive technology.

The article below – the last in the series – is edited and condensed from their discussion and takes a closer look at KDT's investments in the field, which spawned the first focused ultrasound "unicorn" (a privately held company with a valuation of more than one billion dollars); why Mr. Koch says Israeli manufacturer Insightec perfectly fits the vision of KDT; and future investment plans.

In this three-part blog series, Neal F. Kassell, MD, the Founder and Chairman of the Focused Ultrasound Foundation, talks with Chase Koch, the President of Koch Disruptive Technologies (KDT), about the field of focused ultrasound and how their organizations are working together to revolutionize therapy with this highly disruptive technology.

This blog, the second in the series, is edited and condensed from their discussion and explores the state of the field of focused ultrasound as it transitions from the research to commercialization phase, the role of the Foundation, and KDT's relationship with the Foundation as they pursue their shared goal of improving the lives of millions around the world in the shortest time possible with this revolutionary, noninvasive technology.  It begins with Dr. Kassell talking about the field of focused ultrasound and the role of the Foundation.

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