A series of interviews with EMDT that offers personal perspectives on the diverse and dynamic medical device industry. Here we talk to Ismaël Nujurally.
Q If I wasn’t talking to you right now, what would you be doing?
A I would be talking to potential new investors about our ultrasound noninvasive surgery (UNIS) technology. We are at the commercialisation stage of our therapeutic ultrasound product and are seeking more funds by mid 2010. We have developed a high intensity focused ultrasound method for the noninvasive treatment of head and neck pathologies.
Q How did you get into the industry?
A I was an emergency doctor and decided to specialise in clinical research. I was attending a University course on medical statistics in 1988 where I met people from Abbott France. At the time, monitoring oxygen in mixed venous blood was a breakthrough technology. I joined them to promote acceptance of this technology and have remained in the industry ever since.
Q What is the best thing about your work?
A I enjoy the environment. It fosters the creation of added value for patients, doctors and healthcare providers. My work involves looking at concepts that lead to innovation and breakthrough technologies that improve patient quality of life using noninvasive therapies.
Q What do you think is the most important medical device invention ever?
A In terms of improving patient access to health, it is imaging, which has changed the course of therapy. Advanced imaging techniques have allowed doctors to innovate noninvasively or led to more innovative therapies such as laparoscopic surgery, noninvasive ultrasound therapies and stenting. Advances in imaging will continue into the future. High-quality imaging allows robotic surgery and experts to intervene at a distance so that those in the less-advantaged areas of the globe can be treated.
Q What should people give more attention to?
A Challenging the status quo; this is what makes the innovators of the future. We need to give attention to stimulating minds to be more creative. This would benefit the medical device industry. We should question daily what we did yesterday that we should stop doing today because it does not add value; we should think about what we should start doing today that we did not do yesterday to add value.
Q What is the most exciting development on the horizon?
A Noninvasive, scarless, cost-effective technology that is available to the majority of patients around the world. This is a dream, but the reality is not far away. We have a tendency to focus on Europe, the United States and Japan and to forget that the huge majority of people live outside these areas. Something like high technology imaging with therapy will really make a difference and help to eliminate a number of diseases on a global basis.
Q What do you want from your suppliers?
A We are a highly innovative company and do not have time to spare. Our suppliers need to be able to provide best-in-class technology in a timely manner, and to anticipate our needs.
Q What are your goals for the coming 12 months?
A My goal is to have an exit for the company within the next 12 months … trade sale of the company or an Initial Public Offering and then I will move on to inventing/developing the next technology. On the personal front after the sale some relaxation would be welcome, perhaps some deep-sea fishing in Mauritius, my birthplace.
Ismaël Nujurally, MD
is Chief Executive Officer at Theraclion