Luxtec hopes headlights will light up the nation’s operating rooms – Luxtec Corp

Luxtec Corp. believes that the road to success goes directly through the operating room. And for the best view of that path, the Worcester, Mass.-based company is offering three new light source products: the UltraLite Headlight System, the MicroLux miniature video camera system and the Image Manager.

Though conventional wisdom says that most product purchasing decisions are being made by O.R. buying committees in these days of formal corporate purchasing, Luxtec’s president and CEO James Hobbs is confident that this time the story will be different. “This is a true end-users’ call about 90% of the time,” he said, pointing out his belief that headlight systems remain physician preference items. Luxtec is going after specialty surgeons, namely those who perform microsurgery or do deep body cavity work, mostly vascular, cardiology and neurology specialists.

To reach that market, Luxtec is showing its new products at as many as 20 trade shows this year. The company launched the three products in Dallas this March at the Assn. of Operating Room Nurses annual congress, where Hobbs says a “tremendous number” of leads were produced. Luxtec follows up shows like the AORN with mailings to the O.R. nurses, who Hobbs says are “very conscientious” in handing the product literature to surgeons. Luxtec will also display at events such as the American College of Surgeons (ACS) meeting this October in San Francisco, where Hobbs hopes to get the attention of general surgeons as well as the specialists.

Ad placements for the new products will appear this month in the AORN Journal as well as Surgical Devices and several other specialty journals. The only direct mail campaign is scheduled for this fall in advance of the ACS meeting.

Luxtec sells the UltraLite Headlight System, which carries a list price of just under $1,100, through a network of 18 U.S. specialty distributors (between 40 and 45 specialty distributors worldwide) supported by three regional field managers. Each U.S. specialty distributor has an exclusive sales territory. Luxtec competes for a share of the estimated $30 million U.S. market for surgical headlights, cables and surgical light sources with players such as Welch-Allyn, Inc., Skaneateles, N.Y.; Cogent Light Technologies, Santa Clarita, Calif. (which has a joint development agreement with Welch-Allyn); Designs for Vision, Inc., Ronkonkoma, N.Y.; and Pilling Weck, Research Triangle Park, N.C.

The UltraLite Headlight System is said to be 30% lighter than Luxtec’s current headlight system, and surgeons can choose between a flexible sweatband and a molded headband. The system has a smaller cable and new module design, which in combination with Luxtec’s upgraded Xenon Lightsources provides up to 50% greater light output than Luxtec’s current product. The MicroLux camera can be clipped onto any Luxtec headlight, allowing surgeons to record or document procedures. The Image Manager is a computer-based system consisting of a PC and a recordable CD-ROM, which incorporates complete photo documentation, image editing and transcription capabilities. The three products, Luxtec says, form a “all-in-one” system offering to surgeons.

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