Since its inception in 1984, TTI Medical has been recognized for its commitment to designing and marketing high-quality, technologically advanced surgical instruments, and medical devices. Founded by industry-veteran Allen R Howes, the company specializes in video and digital camera adaptation onto surgical microscopes, ophthalmic slit lamps, and endoscopes. Standing by its promise of performance, convenience, dependability, and cost containment, TTI Medical today distributes products in over 60 countries through dedicated dealers and OEM customers.
But to truly understand their success, one must first muse over where they have come from. TTI Medical’s history showcases its innate ability to innovate with ever-changing market demands and do it effectively!
Recalling History to Inspire
TTI Medical’s history goes back nearly four decades when Howes worked at Carl Zeiss, a German manufacturer of optical systems and optoelectronics. While getting himself acquainted with surgical microscopes and slit lamps, he observed that many doctors complained about image magnification, out-of-focus video, and shallow depth of video focus. This inspired in him a revolutionary idea to solve this problem — building the foundation of TTI Medical.
In 1993, Howes patented and introduced a surgical microscope video adaptor and dual camera adaptor for ophthalmology. The company was undoubtedly ahead of the time given the long list of features these adaptors offered. It featured interchangeable focus lenses to match different camera sensors, a refined focus control, and adjustable iris control for changing the depth of video focus. Additionally, it allowed surgeons to select different video magnifications.
In other words, the product addressed the video problems that surgeons complained about. Furthermore, it could be used with all types of video cameras and 35mm cameras. By design, these adaptors were adaptable to most surgical microscopes and slit lamps. With this creation, the reality of Universal adaptation and non-obsolescence was born — which is an important functional feature that TTI Medical maintained in future product development. In the days to come, Howes and his team would discover that not all surgical microscopes and slit lamps had beam splitters needed to attach video adaptor to the surgical microscope. This problem created another product opportunity for developing beam splitters. “Today, we manufacture single port and dual port beam splitters for Zeiss and Leica microscopes. For slit lamps, we produce single port side mounts beam splitters and single port vertical mounts beam splitters,” says Howes.
Fast forward to 2005, TTI Medical partnered with Ikegami Electronics to introduce and distribute their new line of High Definition video cameras. As their national distributor, TTI Medical established distribution through its existing dealer network. Their HD video packages included the Ikegami video camera, Universal video adaptor, beamsplitter, HD recorder, and HD monitor. In just another year, they developed zoom optic modules for the Universal Video Camera Adaptor. They offered two zoom ranges -F40-80mm and F70-140mm. All previously delivered video adaptors could be upgraded with the zoom optic modules.
“Zoom optics allows surgeons to adjust the video field of view during surgery. The same adaptor can be used for both anterior segment surgery and posterior segment surgery.
No one can do what we do! Not even the largest of companies. Since day one, we have reacted quickly to market requirements and constantly identified new opportunities to provide new solutions to ophthalmologists and the video and digital imaging field
Anterior segment surgeons prefer a 1:1 video field of view to match the microscope field of view,” says Howes. “The zoom adaptor is a real game changer for posterior segment surgery. The surgeon starts the procedure with a wide video view angle and then zooms to a higher magnification when entering the posterior chamber for retinal repair and vitrectomies.”
A Decade of Continuous Innovation and Improvement
By the end of 2010, TTI Medical developed optics and mounts for DSLR cameras. The original Universal Video adaptor design could be upgraded for use with DSLR cameras — making this an extremely cost-effective upgrade for customers. And four years later, TTI Medical partnered with Alcon as their exclusive supplier of High Definition video camera adaptors for their Luxor Revalia™ Ophthalmic Microscope. The relationship continues to grow year after year, with new products on the horizon.
Howes patented an improved version of the dual camera adaptor in 2016 to include digital cameras and smartphones. Though previously delivered dual-camera adaptors could be upgraded with improved optics and digital camera mounts, customers were never forced to replace their original dual-camera adaptor. In 2017, Howes patented a Universal Smart Phone adaptor for slit lamps. The design included adjustable optics that replaced the slit lamp ocular, adjustable side and bottom clamps to accommodate different-sized smartphones. The optics were designed to fit the Haag Streit 900BQ slit lamp. The patent included a family of step-up sleeves for adaptation to other brands of slit lamps. In 2018, full-frame Digital-SLR cameras were introduced by Canon, Sony, and other manufactures.
There was a demand to attach full-frame Digital-SLR cameras to surgical microscopes and slit lamps—but no solution was available in the market. This created another product opportunity. An upgrade package was developed for the original Universal video adaptor that included an F340 focus lens and full-frame camera mounts. Once again, adaptor obsolescence was avoided. To this day, there are no other full-frame DSLR camera mounts available. In 2019, they developed a single-piece, all-in-one DSLR digital camera adaptor for slit lamps. The adaptor featured a built-in slide-able beamsplitter, an F200 focusing lens, fine focus control, and adjustable iris for depth of focus control. Interchangeable plates made the adaptor universally compatible with Haag Streit, Topcon, Keeler, and Zeiss style slit lamps. “We also launched the first Native 4K Ultra HD camera for surgical microscopes. Native 4K Ultra HD camera increases the horizontal resolution from 1000 TVL to 1800 TVL. The optics for the Universal video camera optimizes video image quality for Native 4K Ultra HD,” says Howes.
“Excellence by Design”
While TTI Medical’s innovative DNA and performance are worth appreciating, what truly sets them apart is the attention to quality and compliance. Products are produced under a management system in compliance with quality standards of ISO 13485:2016, FDA 21CFR820, and the European Medical Device Regulation 2017/745. To ensure its efficacy, TTI Medical employs a team of physicians to solely focus on product testing.
“No one can do what we do! Not even the largest of companies. Since day one, we have reacted quickly to market requirements and constantly identified new opportunities to provide new solutions to ophthalmologists and the video and digital imaging field. Our roadmap for the future is to continue innovating new imaging technology and growing our relationships with OEM customers, dealers, and ophthalmologists,” concludes Howes.
Description Since its inception in 1984, TTI Medical has been recognized for its commitment to designing and marketing high-quality, technologically advanced surgical instruments, and medical devices. Founded by industry-veteran Allen R Howes, the company specializes in video and digital camera adaptation onto surgical microscopes, ophthalmic slit lamps, and endoscopes. Standing by its promise of performance, convenience, dependability, and cost containment, TTI Medical today distributes products in over 60 countries through dedicated dealers and OEM customers
This content is copyright protected
However, if you would like to share the information in this article, you may use the link below: