Summus and Innovation
Summus has been in the veterinary market longer than any other Class IV laser therapy company. We were the first to introduce this innovative technology at VMX (formerly NAVC) in 2005. We are the leader in the market, and we set the standards that all other companies strive to achieve.
The science and our technology have evolved dramatically over the last 15 years. Our level of sophistication has matured to a safe, effective, easy to use, ‘point-and-shoot’ modality. But that doesn’t mean we’ve stopped innovating. We're not relaxing on our laurels or satisfied with the status quo. We continue to modify and improve our laser products based on the current science and customer demands. If there's a way to make our products even more effective or easier to use or more versatile, we will strive to produce it!
As the science and technology mature, the changes and adjustments are less complicated. Many improvements are simply software upgrades. Of course, those upgrades are free for those that are members of the Summus family. But we are not reluctant to take bold steps to improve our products. This may mean a major hardware change that isn’t always easy or comfortable. But we are not intimidated by the difficult decisions. Again, if we can add benefits — particularly if it's clinically relevant or can improve the use — then we're going to continue to do it.
What do we know and what may be new in the future?
As discussed in the previous blog, there are only an finite number of clinically relevant features critical to optimal therapeutic results. And these have not changed significantly over the past few years. Our lasers include all these features and are completely adjustable to ‘fine tune’ the treatment in those few unusual situations. Our power and delivery modes (pulsing) are adjustable enough in every model to meet any of the current recommendations or changes for the foreseeable future.
There are 4 main wavelengths used in 90%-95% of photobiomodulation (PBM) studies. This is because these wavelengths target-are absorbed by-specific chromophores in the body that enhance cellular metabolism. This enhances the rate and quality of tissue healing and provides analgesia and moderates inflammation. Our Summus Medical Lasers already include all 4 of these wavelengths.
However, there are some additional wavelengths that may add enough clinical relevance to be worth including in upcoming models. One of these is the 1064nm wavelength. It is at the far right of the optic window which allows for very good penetration. Even though it is at the far right of the therapeutic window as well, it does appear to still have some measurable bio-stimulatory properties.
Green wavelengths (495nm-570nm) also have some significant bio-stimulatory properties. They target slightly different chromophores and therefore could enhance PBM even more. Unfortunately, the green wavelength has very poor penetration and so will only be worthwhile for superficial conditions and/or ex-vivo procedures such as for regenerative medicine to enhance stem cell differentiation.
The last wavelengths that are sometimes included when talking about laser therapy are the blue wavelengths (450-495). The interest here is in the potential antibacterial effects. The shorter blue wavelengths (and the UV spectrum) are more effective but may also damage normal healthy cells. As with all laser applications, a critical factor to producing effective results is dosage. When you look at dosages listed in the research, some of the current blue laser products don't deliver enough energy to make a significant contribution. So, we need to make sure that the blue light is going to be clinically effective but still safe as well.
Our current understanding of the mechanisms behind PBM is extensive. There is still more to learn but the relevant question today is not, “Does laser therapy work?” What we're really looking into is how can we produce even better results and what other conditions can we treat? This has always been our focus. If we can do it a little bit better by tweaking things, then we will. Some potential innovations include:
- Improving delivery protocols (wavelength combos/ratios, dosages, delivery modes)
- Hardware upgrades to make treatments more comfortable, more efficient, easier
- Alternative means of administering the therapy (hands free or unattended?)
- Voice activation/control
These are just some of the innovations that our engineers and design team contemplate. The only certainty is that change is inevitable. We will continue to evolve; to raise the bar in PBM effectiveness, consistency, and versatility. Many companies try to copy our model. None can match our excellence. Quality remains our number one priority. Summus Medical Lasers are the most versatile and technologically advanced therapeutic lasers in the market from the most experienced company AND will always include the very best training and support.