Ep. 511 w/ Dr. Peter Bonutti & Justin Beyers at Bonutti Technologies
Open the UVCeed app. Turn on your Bluetooth and the app will detect the sanitizing device in seconds; simply follow the on-screen instructions to operate. Point your phone at any surface and press and hold the “Press and Hold” button at the bottom of your screen. You disinfect what your camera sees.
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Kevin Horek: Welcome back to the show today. We have Dr. Peter and Justin buyers at Venuti technologies guys. Welcome to the show.
Peter Bonutti: Thanks. Thanks for having us. Appreciate it.
Kevin Horek: Yeah, I'm excited to have you guys on the show. I think, well, you guys have done a ton of stuff together and we're going to talk about a bunch of the stuff you developed. One of the devices that I actually had the pleasure of doing the app design around and you guys sent me an early version of the actual device, but maybe before we get into that stuff, let's get to know each of you better and maybe start off with kind of where you grew up, where you went to school and then I'll pass it over to Justin. So, Peter, do you want any, you want to give us a bit of background on yourself, kind of where he grew up, where he went to school and then we'll get into what you guys are doing.
Peter Bonutti: Thanks. It was born and raised in Cleveland. Ohio went to school at a prep school in Cleveland, Ohio called Gilmore academy. From there, I went to university of Chicago, had a full ride to school for four years. I started with 16 finished. Jumped in the medical school at the university of Cincinnati, finished that trained at the Cleveland clinic for orthopedics. After that, I spent a couple of years running around doing an international fellowship studying in Sydney, Australia, London, Ontario, Gratz, Austria, places like that. I had an international experience learning about medicine specifically about orthopedics. Broad background, a lot of different places learn from a lot of different mentors.
Kevin Horek: Interesting. What made you want to go into medicine? Was there a defining moment early on in your childhood?
Peter Bonutti: No, what it was, my parents told me I was already going to be a doctor, a priest, and the priest part didn't fit very well. So I had to go to medicine. I'd wanted to leave and get an MBA, but my parents wouldn't let me. I got stuck into medicine and became an entrepreneur, unfortunately with my, after doing medicine.
Kevin Horek: Fascinating. Okay. And Justin, same question. Give us a bit of background on yourself.
Justin Beyers: Yeah. I grew up in central Illinois and live here in Effingham, which was where technologies is. Labs are at. I went to school at the university of Illinois at Chicago, focusing in computer science, engineering, and then lived in the Chicago area for around 10 years, working in automotive electronics, working on technologies, such as the OnStar system and automotive components for a major automotive electronics company. Before coming back down to the Effingham area to start more the startup and small company work that I've been doing with Peter now for a while.
Kevin Horek: Interesting. What got you interested in computers and engineering early on?
Justin Beyers: I think even as a kid, I always took everything apart. There's one of those kids that didn't, it didn't matter, if it was a toy, I would, disassemble everything. When I was looking at colleges in college degrees, part of the reason I went electrical engineering and most of my focus was on embedded systems. I just, I like knowing how the inside of things work and by learning electrical and computer science, it's letting me deep dive into that tech space where, you get to learn all parts of a, of an electronic device.
Kevin Horek: Very cool. Okay. I know you guys have, obviously, Justin, you just mentioned you had some, or you did some stuff before you two met, but I'm curious how you two met and then let's talk about your journey together because you guys have done a ton of stuff together.
Peter Bonutti: Sure. Justin, you want to handle that one? You want me to,
Justin Beyers: Well, I think we both chime in on this one. At one point I'll just give where I was at and then Peter can fill in his aspect of it as well. When I was, like I said, I've always been a tech person, but one of my hobbies is always been music. I've been playing in bands since I was 15 and started playing in bars when I was 16. In even today I still play music. It's been a, a good hobby and a bad hobby.
Kevin Horek: Why do you say bad?
Justin Beyers: Well, I mean, there's a lot of late nights, as I'm getting older, getting home at three and four in the morning, it started to take it, take a toll, but through music is actually how Peter and I met Peter I'll let you start on how, where you were at or what the project you were starting and how we got introduced through that.
Peter Bonutti: Yeah, no, I was, I moved from all these major cities that I had studied and traveled and I moved to a small town in Effingham, which has a population, only 12,000 people. There's not a whole lot to do in the evening. After I'd work 12, 14 hour days, I'd come home and sit there and look for hobby. I played of guitar when I was younger and I started picking up and I said, let's, let's try to do something with that. I met another guy that helped we co-wrote songs wrote, did a couple of albums together. Our first album, we started working on it and Justin was recommended as a great bass player to come play with our band. Justin, I think just turned 17 or 16, 17. He started joining us. We'd go down into the basement and we'd start to write music together and make a mess, drink and have some fun in the evenings.
Peter Bonutti: We put together an album and we recorded an album and put it out. That's how we got to know each other. That was, that's been gosh, nearly 30 years ago. I've known Justin A. Long time through music and that's in that creative branch of the spectrum. People look at, ledge education, and, there's the analytical side, which you study in school and there's the practical side was Justin is very good at, as an engineer, you figure out problems. And then there's the creative side. We kind of bonded on looking at creative things, writing music, and then eventually we got together and started writing patents together, I guess is maybe a better way to put it. So,
Justin Beyers: Yeah, we started, prior to, as Peter mentioned prior to me moving to Chicago and you released the album and then even after I left, I think Peter and I always got along. So, we would, we'd always stayed in touch. When Peter got married, I went over to Italy for the wedding and when he was in Chicago, I, we'd have dinner. We, there was always a social aspect. About, I can't remember now it would be early two thousands. I think what happened is, I was in the automotive space and that's when the automotive space was getting, there were people starting to exit and I started just considering different career options. Around the same time, Peter's brother Boris, who does a lot of the, at the time, a lot of the operations at some of the Venuti businesses had mentioned that there was a lot of the work that, Peter and the R and D group had been working on that had an electrical component and they didn't really have any B body, in house doing that.
Justin Beyers: That's where the business aspect of it, came from the, I will say, Boris planted the seed of saying, we keep having to outsource everything. Maybe it's time to bring some of this in house. It was intriguing, I mean, I looked at the stuff he was doing and to be honest, when we played in a band, I don't think I fully understood all of the R and D efforts. I knew Peter is a friend and a musician who was a doctor, and then it wasn't until I, I really dove into the medical part that saw how much that creativity also was reflected in the medical and business side of it.
Peter Bonutti: Yeah. On the creative side, we had a huge hole in that computer science, electrical engineering are their own unique skillset. We had mechanical engineering, which, and kind of physics, which was my background and started putting that together. Justin was in an interest, a great compliment because he filled a huge hole, but also was also willing to look and try new technologies and innovate because that's thinking outside the box and Justin and I worked in news, click together, looking at crazy ideas and say, here's the problem. Let's find the solution. Let's come up with some creative ideas. That's how we just merged it, started music, went to electrical and computer engineering. Now we have, we've been doing things now for, as I said over 20 years together. And it's a good partnership.
Kevin Horek: No, that's really great. It's fascinating to me, how many creative people and entrepreneurs played music as kids or still do. And, and I always find like that connection is always, I, I hear that from so many people, so it's pretty cool that you guys actually played together. And then now you're doing business together. Maybe let's dive into some of the first actual medical devices that you guys built together, and then let's work our way up until what you guys are doing today. And we'll dive into UVC.
Justin Beyers: Sure. I'm trying to think on timelines. Peter had, the R and D quite a while before I had joined, but I think the first one that I worked on was the concept that Peter had. Peter, maybe I'll let you speak to the work that was done before I had joined, but on the, the suture seat, I think that was a real interesting project that we can spend a couple minutes on if you want to give a little background on that.
Peter Bonutti: Sure. We were, when I first started, I was very interested in minimally invasive surgery. Doing things arthroscopically endoscopically through small incisions, we looked at the challenges of how you could take macro surgery, where you use a big whole filet, somebody open and look at how you could do surgery there and say, well, patients don't like that. They want smaller incisions, smaller exposures. And how do we facilitate? A lot of the early stuff was mechanical in nature, whether it was anchors or fascinated, fasteners, or expanding access devices or improved way to visualize. As we grew our business operations in R and D group, the area that I was most interested, one of the biggest problems was the ability to tie knots through a tiny hole to repair tissue. Cause you got to take a needle, drive a curved needle through tissue, pull it together. The biggest headache was trying to stick your finger into a hole and tie a knot and the knot would unravel or tear.
Peter Bonutti: Just, we started looking what industry was doing, an industry as something called ultrasonic welding weather, where at high frequency, you vibrate a material to a similar material against itself. As you vibrate that at the surface, as the material would weld in a fraction of a second, chemically bond to itself. We said, we could eliminate the need to tie knots with this ultrasonic welding system. It was trying to take something from industry, which was used and we modified it and said, let's use this in the medical space. Well, there's a ton of issues that you need to modify something from industry and try to use it inside the human body. Justin came on board with kind of a broad pallet saying, Hey, this is what we'd like to do. Flip that into saying, this is what these are the needs and requirements of the medical space, which are quite challenging.
Peter Bonutti: Justin helped to help and jumped on that particular project. He can explain how we took it from there and turned the science and manufacturing into the science of doing something inside the human body.
Justin Beyers: Yeah. I mean, and, and you're totally right. I mean, the, there's, there's always a jump between, so many of our ideas start with, can we do this, or just, is it physically possible? And, and anyone that will tell you all their ideas are great is a liar. There's plenty of times we say, okay, let's try something. Can we do this? And then we go, no we can't. There are times that, that we, we find something that we really can, and that's where it becomes. That's where the the fun and, and the real work becomes sometimes. But, as Peter mentioned, you can't just take a big ultrasonic system from the production floor and use it in trial operatively. I mean, there's obvious safety issues, but you have to worry about, straight currents going through the body, which is a big one. And sterility is also a huge issue.
Justin Beyers: That you've got to all of these things have to be autoclavable. They have to go through autoclave cycles and surgical equipment is expensive. You want it to be able to go through lots of autoclave cycles. That project was really interesting, and it's still around, the, the, we recently partnered with spin out in the UK and have a research project going on at the university of Birmingham on the use of bio different biodegradable polymers for suture fixation. That's something that we're doing right now. And, and it's exciting to still see these going, totally internally that project. That's the one thing that, I don't think that a lot of people either know about theater or, or their company that we run here is that, Peter had a vision and took, funding from the clinic and from the medical practice and put it into an R and D company.
Justin Beyers: Then, and Peter, why don't you speak on that? I'd like to go back to the welder, but I think it's valid to this conversation.
Peter Bonutti: Yeah. It was important. What I, what I did is rather than taking a job, for example, I had offers at Stanford, Emory university of Florida, a lot of big places, but I sat there and said, they're, you have to go to the department, go through all these protocols to try and obtain funding. How do you deliver that to a project? My instincts was to do, rather than basic research was to do product development. For that, I had to buy an entire facility. I bought a research facility and took it and moved it to a small talent, 12,000 people moth balded for a year till I had enough capital myself to hire some machinists and then mechanical engineers, and then patents, and then electrical engineers. And I, I completely self-funded it. I took all the profits from my medical practice for a decade and completely reinvested it.
Peter Bonutti: So I didn't travel. Didn't do anything except worked all the time and put this into technology. It takes, it's a long time. It took a good decade before we actually started to get some revenues from the technologies we developed, but it was all self-funded. Once we would develop a technology, made some royalties on it, we would reinvest that into the next project, the next technology. It wasn't the idea of making money. The idea was basically, can we build new technologies? Can we solve problems, make life better for patients? In the process, we would take the revenues that we would obtain from any technologies or even the surgical practice, and then put it a hundred percent into the research and development. That's been our mantra and we've continued to do that for now 33 years, it's been successful and it's allowed us to really innovate, which is exciting because we can turn on a dime, look at a project.
Peter Bonutti: Whether we go from a mechanical device, like anchors to robotic systems, to artificial intelligence, as examples to neuromodulation. We're able to look at technologies quickly, decide if they're worthwhile, we invest our own capital in it. We come up with solutions and, it's all self-funded, which has limitations, unfortunately, but it also has advantages because we can move quickly and focus on projects that we think are important.
Justin Beyers: And, and that's part of, then the part of the reason I wanted to take that little side bar is because, the suture project, even though we worked on in the beginning, I think all of us thought it was a great, but sometimes internally, what happens is when you're, when you are self-funded and we've got a core team, the product that's getting the most traction gets the most attention. We don't have enough resources to run everything in parallel at full steam. The suture welding project, while it was very interesting, along that same time period, we started developing a product for trauma surgery, and it was an intramedullary rod system and intramedullary rods are used for fractures. The main difference between the traditional ones and the one we started working on was this one was polymeric coating over a titanium core. So a peak overmolded titanium core.
Justin Beyers: What we would use is we would use that high frequency welding that we'd worked on with the suture weld and welding enter operatively. If you had a fracture in your all nut, for example, it was one of the ones that were working on, you could go in and in the surgeon would insert this rod and then weld the plastics in place. It was, it was a real interesting project, but the suture Weldman got put on hold. A few years ago, we met up with a company out of the Netherlands. Who's had a focus on they are, they've built ventures out of what they call dormant technologies. They have a, an idea that, or their business model is, there are tons of great ideas that don't go to market. Not because they're not great ideas, but because there's always bandwidth and resource limited. They put together a whole fund based around I don't want to say resurrecting, but taking these projects, which maybe you're sitting without getting the attention they need and bringing in some extra manpower to help with that.
Justin Beyers: That's how the project at university of Birmingham over in the UK got started just through a spin-out with them. It's been very nice seeing some of this stuff that Peter and I worked on in the beginning that may have been, sitting quietly waiting to get some attention, the, the amount of spin-outs that we currently have at times is intense.
Kevin Horek: Nope. It, the thing that I find fascinating about what you guys are talking about is you're right. I worked at the university here for a while in the media department. I was never, but we worked directly at the faculty of medicine and dentistry. That was one of the big challenges is yes, you have these researchers and these doctors and other people creating these really cool technologies, but they would never really leave the hospital because making something that you could maybe use or from a research lab and actually productizing it and getting it out so other people can use it is really challenging. What I find really cool about what you guys are doing is you are doing that from kind of idea to productizing it, where anybody can use it or different hospitals are using, you can use it, or just like the general consumer.
Peter Bonutti: Yes, we have ahead Justin.
Justin Beyers: Oh, you first Peter.
Peter Bonutti: No, no. I just think, I think you're correct. There's a, there's a challenge between having an idea, building it, delivering it and bringing it into a product or in a business it's different skill sets that oftentimes aren't necessarily within the same individual or individuals. You have to put a team together to do that. Justin I've been lucky enough that we've been able to do this with limited, limited bandwidth and horsepower. We're able to crank out quite a few ideas and technologies. We currently have the, for example, seven different companies that he and I have started and are working on, and that we're able to actually deliver these to the general market, which is relatively productive. We've licensed hundreds of others in the process, but it is a problem because there are different skillsets. If somebody designing it, building a testing and then a different group marketing and selling it.
Peter Bonutti: So again, something we're learning as well. Justin, I enjoy learning the different phases of this, whether it's the regulatory process, whether it's the manufacturing, the marketing sales, distribution, all those are new challenges and different skill sets. We've worked our way through many of these, the most recent ones are even include areas that insurance contracting and billing and how you work in a collection model. So all fascinating and all different skillsets.
Justin Beyers: Yeah. I mean, that's the thing that I find very, everyday when I come to work is overwhelming and fun. At the same time is that even when you , get to a close to a finish line one, you, you hope or think that all of those skill sets will translate to the next one, but they, they're all different. For example, we have a, another spin-out that, is we're excited about, we did a clinical trial a couple of years ago on a device that uses high-frequency sound waves. When we talked about welding with ultrasound, were, we're in the 20 to 40 kilo Hertz, but for the high frequency stuff, we're in the one megahertz to three megahertz range, but we started a project where we did some work at the university of Montana, no Montana state university. My, my apologies on the reduction of bacterial biofilms using high frequency sound waves.
Justin Beyers: It, when that was debating done at MSU, Kevin, you mentioned at a university, it was done in that university mindset. We prove that using high frequency sound waves, we can disrupt bacterial biofilms, which is great. There's a lot of applications for that, but then we wanted it to turn it into a product. What we started working on was this device, it's not much bigger than, than an iPhone, but it's used, it has a transducer and you use it for treating a chronic sinus infections and chronic sinus problems. Eventually we'd like to see it used for seasonal allergies, but that's a whole different clinical trial. We, that one's another project that we, we've got going on. It's, we're doing some prep work and doing a spin-out recently hired a new CEO to take it to the next stage, because, we took it internally through a proof of concept development, pilot trial of 10 patients and it behaved and work, like we hoped and, the patients were very satisfied with it and, and, we had previously brought medical products to market, but the interesting thing on this is the approach we wanted to take.
Justin Beyers: It was more of a consumer product. It was still, it'll still be a medical product, but, we were really trying to bypass the possibly, the insurance headaches and get something that a patient could buy and the rollout that's required besides just the clinical trial work to, to get through the FDA, to make a product that you can sell for a few hundred dollars as a medical product is quite large. There's a huge sales and marketing aspect of that. And, and just rolling out production on that and that size. So, you, you learn from that, but, recently, we re we acquired a neuromodulation company, and you go one day working on a product that's an external ultrasound device that you hope will, you hope it will sell for under if, for a few hundred bucks. The day after that, you're trying to take what you learned there and apply it to accurate implantable and active implantable that goes, in someone's head and excites the sphenopalatine ganglion, the regulatory pathway is different, but also the what's required to get there is different.
Justin Beyers: And, that's one thing that over the last few years, I think we've done a lot better at is really finding those people who can help us on that because it's one thing to prove it works, but to get it to that next level where you can not just productize it, but get approval sales and distribution is a, there's a whole nother skillset, as Peter said.
Kevin Horek: Sure. Well, and I also think too, and I would put myself in this category is you come up with something you're not the right person to actually sell it a lot of times, because you don't enjoy that angle or aspect of it. You don't know how to do it combo of both or a bunch of other reasons. Right?
Justin Beyers: Yeah. I think Peter, I think can probably speak to that. I think that the, I I'm, I think he tends to love the coming up with part the most, I think that's the most exciting part.
Kevin Horek: Sure.
Peter Bonutti: Well, yeah. The concept of identifying a problem, then looking for solutions and what I call looking for the lowest common denominator, or at least common denominator, what's the simplest solution from a cost or size or functional approach to the least invasive to the patients. Because I always look at things from the patient's perspective in the past medicine was always looked at from the physician's perspective or from the hospital's perspective. Flipping this around is it's most important to me to sit there and say, what's the patient think what's the patient feel? What is the patient wants? I think that medicine is finally started to turn the corner and say, we need to really address not what the providers want, but what the patients are looking for in terms of quality in terms of metrics. That's what I've looked at for, for my innovative career has always been, try to look at it from the patient's eyes.
Peter Bonutti: What do they want and how can I make it as simple as cost-effective as fast recovery, as least painful as possible. That also bridges now we're going into the commercial space in the consumer space. Again, it's the individual that's purchasing a product. What, what do they really want and how do we deliver something? That's kind of been my perspective and I believe that adds value. I always look at problem solving from that venue.
Kevin Horek: Very cool. I want to talk about UBC and how did you guys come up with the idea and what exactly is it?
Peter Bonutti: This product started in the surgical space because I'm an orthopedic surgeon and I specialize in joint replacements and in joint replacements, infection is the most catastrophic complication that can occur a few bacteria that enter a wound, can sit and make the difference between an incredibly successful surgery and a catastrophe that could end up with someone having an amputation or even dying. I don't want to talk about the negative side of it, but simply saying it's a severe issue. One that we take as surgeons extremely carefully, especially as joint replacement surgeons. As we, as I started my career infection, patrol control, infection management has always been number one on our hit list. It's one of the number one of importance. In surgery, we're always looking for new ways to decrease the risk of infection. Reducing. Now we've known for years that ultraviolet light can affect bacteria and infections.
Peter Bonutti: It has complications, however, ultraviolet light, as we all know, for example, a skin, you get sunburn and you can end up getting cancers and things like that. Uncontrolled application of ultraviolet light is a problem. And we all know that from sunlight. Sunlight, one of the aspects of sunlight is the emission of ultraviolet light and causing things like basal cancer, scream of cell, things like that. So we have to be very careful. So, but what's unique about ultraviolet in the range of 220 to 320 nanometers, which is a frequency of all of light. If you, if you impart that frequency of lights to DNA or RNA, it breaks bonds of DNA and RNA. Effectively anything that's reproducing quickly, you disrupt the DNA and you can affect it. So what does that mean? Well, bacteria viruses, parasites, fungi, any what we call pathogens, human pathogens are mediated by DNA and RNA.
Peter Bonutti: That's how they infect our body. They also function with the same DNR, RNA, the differences, many of these bacteria and viruses don't have the ability to correct those DNA alterations. If you apply ultraviolet C in this 220 to three and 20 nanometer spectrum, you would disrupt the timing, bonds in the cytosine timing, bite, and rate. You're disrupting the DNA and permanently damaging it and stops the replication. Effectively you're killing bacteria viruses in a very short period of time and in a matter of seconds. If the light is applied appropriately, this ultraviolet light is a pipe. We call it UVC C means the range 220 to 320 nanometers, roughly that spectrum. If you apply ultraviolet in this C range to 23, 20 animators, you can effectively kill bacteria, viruses, fungi very effectively in a short period of time. I looked at that and were, we started looking at it in the medical space.
Peter Bonutti: You have to be very cautious about two things, one the safety. So you don't damage human tissue. Number two, that you apply the appropriate dose. Ultraviolet C's been around for a long time, but we focused on is how do you apply the right dose and how do you make it safe? What we came up with was the idea of adding cameras to these systems. You'll see where the light is applied, how you can turn it on or off. If an arm, a leg, a body part gets in the way. Number one, and number two with the camera, you can also tell distance. What has been treated and what hasn't been treated prior to that, people would simply look at ultraviolet C and blast it at high doses and hope nobody's in the area and they'd overdose. That would damage plastics, polymers other things, but just like you would see sunlight can destroy things.
Peter Bonutti: We said, let's control safety and let's control the dosage. By adding cameras and sensors to the system together, we said, we can sit there and start treat these things safely and with an appropriate dose. That's what we started with in 2013. We've been developing the technology since then.
Justin Beyers: Yeah, there was a day. I remember that. I think, I think a lot of people probably have these sorts of stories, as Peter mentioned, this started in 2013, 2014 as a surgical product. But, during the COVID lockdowns, I think everybody, started looking at everything different, and I was working from home because we had the R and D facility shut down. Peter, you were, stuck down in Florida. I, I won't say stuck cause it's nicer than being stuck in Illinois, but I think about daily, we'd have a phone call and go over, what were working on. I think probably a good 15, 20 minutes of our daily conversations was on, w w what do we think is happening with, the, with the pandemic or the political, aspects of what's going on, or, how do you make sure your family's safe? They remember, at one point, I think you had ordered one, and I had ordered one as well.
Justin Beyers: Some of those ones that were, were being pushed, the UVC ones that had been previously out, and, we both got one with, the idea that we knew how this worked and it's going to be great, and this is a perfect environment for you. That was pretty early on when, you didn't know if you should be wiping down groceries or not. And, I think we both had the comment. I think Peter said at first, but like, I don't know if this thing does anything, the traditional ones that were being sold. It it's a light bulb that you shine, but you can't see that bandwidth, that wavelength of light and you get no guidance. It's basically like a little flashlight. We had a lot of back and forth, and, at the time I remember saying, I think we can do this better. We've already been working in this space, we've been looking at it from a medical standpoint, but what's out there for consumers right now.
Justin Beyers: It it's so unfriendly to use and so easy to use wrong. I think a lot of people don't have any faith in it, or they just don't know how to use it. I mean, as Peter mentioned in, they have these robots that'll come in and in a war or a room in the professional in the commercial industry, uses UVC, all sorts of places. You'll see it in walk-in coolers. You'll see it all sorts of places. The lack of confidence, I think that the consumers had made them, question if it was really working and even myself, and I know Peter as well. As we started playing with it, that's where went back and looked at the work we'd done. It, the first thing it started with was we pulled over 500 different pathogens. Published work that people did on different types of pathogens at the time, there was no data available for COVID, but I grabbed everything I could find on the bacterias on viruses, protozoa, basically anything I could find.
Justin Beyers: We started compiling all of this information and to create a predictive algorithm. The first step, what we wanted to do is where this started is, at the beginning were thinking, even if you had a way to visualize the space you were cleaning and the amount of time, that's a huge step forward from what was out there. So, the predictive algorithm, started working with our prototype hardware and we can measure distances. We got a system that we thought, the prototype we've used it and did some demos and showed people. Everybody said, yeah, I see this, I understand, how long I'm supposed to use it and tell we estimate you've reduced this much bacteria or this much virus. That was the first step in people going, yeah, I like where this is going. Through other conversations we had, during the COVID lockdown, this concept of visualization is the other thing that was really missing.
Justin Beyers: When you wipe your table down with a Clorox wipe or your, Peter and I both used to travel a ton, a net starting to pick up again, or your airline tray table, you wipe it down and you can see where you've wiped. It's wet, with UV, you don't have that. That's where we brainstormed and came up with is augmented reality concept. I think that's really what makes it user-friendly to use. Now, if you grab one of our devices and you put it on your phone and you open up the app, you can see where you're treating. As you treating your tray table or your, your hotel remote or, or anything, the, the screen as you watch it, did we overlay a visual indicator, which is a real fancy way for saying it turns blue and the bluer, it gets the cleaner it gets. If you hold it in the same spot, it'll tell you've got so many seconds until you hit 90% reduction, so many seconds until 95, 99.
Justin Beyers: As you go around the table, you color in the table. It, it gamifies it , which is, I think that's a trendy word that people like, but it makes it easier to use, and we give this now to people to do a demo or play with it. The gamification everyone gets that, you, you paint the table. It's, I'm done. I understand that. You can pull back and take a look at it through the phone and you can see, oh, I missed a spot over here. Or, I, I missed a big area. That's something you didn't have before with UVC. I think that's really what gives us, the usability that we want, like Peter mentioned earlier, when we come up with ideas, we're not just trying to come up with a gadget or a new medical tool to sell. We want something to make things better for someone.
Justin Beyers: I think that gives that to them. Another thing we go ahead, sorry.
Peter Bonutti: Yeah. The, just the come there, what's one of the biggest challenges in any kind of treatment is the idea that you're protected when you're really not this idea of the dosage. Many people would be using certain devices, especially on COVID. And they think that they're protecting themselves. They think they're disinfecting, and they're not. For example, you play alcohol to a surface, 70% alcohol, which is what's in these wipes. That takes up to three minutes before it actually disinfects the surface. Absolutely. That doesn't kill. For example, and this goes back to surgery. When we sterilize a leg, disinfect the leg before your procedure, we have to hold the leg. We put the alcohol prep on and you have to hold the leg for three minutes, so that the material dries and then the full disinfection. Most people have this idea that they wipe alcohol, and it's now instantly disinfected.
Peter Bonutti: It is not, it takes time. This issue about false security where you think you're protected and you're not. To me, as a doctor, that is the single most dangerous aspect of any type of therapy or treatment that you think you're getting cured. You're think you're safe and you're not. People have these mistaken ideas, these germicidal are effective, and they're not treating it properly. They're not given the proper time to dry and everything comes and then you can treat. You'd be seen, that's what we developed this and dosage protocols. One, you're not going to damage any external tissues. For example, you can't put a, you can't put UVC on your skin or not for a certain period of time. If you would get a little dose that's okay, but our algorithms shut it off, immediately recalculate the doses. The second is with Justin's concept where you see what you've treated, that area is treated and you have the security to know that you've done.
Peter Bonutti: You're actually in a safe zone. That's one of the big problems with any of these ultraviolet seas. In any of these types of germicidal and disinfecting, they give you a false sense of security. You think that you're safe from COVID or other pathogens, which means disease causing bacteria virus when you're not. That is a big risk, and that's a big problem. Went and tried to say, how do we make this? So it's universal, it's safe, it's effective. It's going to do what it says. It does. Nowhere on these Lysol wipes. Do you ever see that you have to wait up to three minutes, you simply wipe it and you think you're safe. It's absurd. It's not true at all. These are things we learned from surgery, and we're trying to teach patients. That's why these, if you're looking at technology, I think having physicians and surgeons, especially to understand will be much more helpful and can look at things critically because we're making a lot of mistakes and the way we've treated COVID so far.
Peter Bonutti: And that's one of them.
Kevin Horek: Interesting. The one thing, when you guys sent me the device and I put it on the back of my phone, the one thing that I was completely fascinated with it compared to other solutions on the market, like you mentioned, the one is, I, I think everybody, this day and age goes everywhere with their phone. You can forget your wallet, but everybody brings their phone everywhere. Right? The fact that it's attached to my phone makes it way more useful and that I will always have it where trying to remember, were getting the kids out the door and, trying to remember to bring this extra device. I think a lot of times people just forget and something it's so simple to do, but people forget stuff all the time. If it's just attached to your phone, it goes everywhere with you. You never know when you're going to need to actually use the device because you feel like something's dirty and you want art there's germs on it.
Kevin Horek: Right.
Peter Bonutti: That's correct. That's why we looked at what's the new bequest device. Something that you always have with you. How do we build around that? The reason we had the patents going back to 2013, so we've been working on that for nearly a decade. And we had patents approved an issue. What we did is when COVID really started to rear its head in about January, February, 2020, it is now we said, look, if you want something to disinfection device, you can't hold some big wand or carry things around with you. The second is that you needed processing power, you needed the camera, you needed the ability to have the computer systems in place. How we very cost ineffective to build a device. Justin and I looked at it and say, how can we use the power of your mobile device? So that it's cost-effective for the patient.
Peter Bonutti: Add these bolt on features, Bluetooth them into your existing device, so that it becomes, friendly to any mobile device. We started with apple and iPhone, just because the mag safe technology and things were coming out. We said that should be our initial focus, but the big issue was for this thing to be usable and workable. It's gotta be somewhere where people have it with them all the time. And so we, that's what we strove. We debated, should we put it in the covering of the phone? Should we put it in the case of the phone? We ultimately settled on a small lightweights attachment that Bluetooth and uses all the technology within your phone, the cloud, the AI, the camera system. It allows us then to use this multipurpose device in the most cost-effective fashion we could is that we had to reproduce everything in your phone and we'll be so cost prohibitive.
Peter Bonutti: The average person couldn't use it. We basically piggybacked on the mobile device and said, we'll provide the additional features that the mobile devices is missing, small battery, small sensor for distance, use the camera, use the computing power of the phone, and then add the ultraviolet led to it. And, and, and that's how we came up with this concept. And we, then we drove it. We tested it for a long time. I mean, Justin and I tested this for a good two years, went to number markets, everything. We wanted to make sure all the I's were dotted. The T's were crossed. Cause again, we want a device safe. We want a device that's secure. That's going to do what it says it does. We want a device that's going to apply the appropriate dosage for the amount of time you need, not too much, not too little so that you actually are confident that you're getting a disinfected space.
Justin Beyers: It almost ties all the way back to our earlier conversation, as we did the first device, and, and Kevin, I think you saw one of the very first ones. It was much thicker. When we did the first one, it was, we proved that the idea out, but we also recognize that when you're going into the consumer space, that the way something looks to a consumer is much more important than it is to a patient who's under anesthesia. They don't really care at all, but consumers are really into that. So, we teamed up with a design group, out of the valley, who's worked on, we not allowed to say some of the products, but I mean, some major products that, everyone recognized. Went with a group that had a lot of history in consumer electronics in form factor, because, one of the things, that I think Peter and I will both, I've heard him say this.
Justin Beyers: I say it all the time as well. I mean, part of the thing about, making a successful product or partnership or venture is you have to know what you're good at, and you have to know what you're not. If you always try to do all of it, you probably won't end up with as good of result is if you get people to supplement with what you're not good at. And, I mean, none of us are, artists, we don't, we don't say that industrial design is our forte. It really helped out getting a group who's done form factors that understand and what the consumer wants. What's nice is, the final implementation is, just, about the thickness of a pencil. And, if you've got an iPhone 12, or above with the MagSafe safe, it just pops on the back. There are times where I leave it online all the time.
Justin Beyers: There's times where I'll pop it off and throw it in my briefcase. One of the one, anecdotal story, that I think of quite a bit when we talk about this devices, we, COVID fast forwarded this, we talked earlier about, we have limited bandwidth, but, when we're all stuck at home, this became, we saw a space that needed a better solution. I always remember there was a flight when we were working on the sinus project that I was on and I don't consider myself a germaphobe, but this stuck with me forever. It changed the way I look at airplanes. I, I, it was on the flight in the, I was in the center seat. I, the glorious center seat and the lady window seat changed a dirty diaper on the tray table that wasn't just wet. It was, it was his number one and number two, and then handed me the diaper to give to the flight attendant.
Justin Beyers: The whole time I thought I have eaten hundreds of meatballs, tray tables. I know that's not the first time that's happened. It made me go like these airplanes are disgusting. There's no way that those are getting cleaned. So, even as this device was developed, there was the idea that, people are worried about COVID, but I think also consumers now are more aware. People are just more aware of how easy, infections were there, bacteria they're viruses everywhere, three or four years ago. There were plenty of people who blissfully didn't think about dirty tray tables and stuff like that. Now I think everyone recognizes, COVID made everyone aware, and I think there's a lot of people that think, that there'll be cycles of COVID, it'll come back and it'll fade. We're, we're seeing that in other countries, but I don't think people are forgetting the fact that there is bacteria and viruses everywhere.
Justin Beyers: And, one of the things that I'm really happy with this device is for coming back out and as people are traveling on planes more and more. I reference planes a lot because I don't know for me, that's my dirty spot, that hotels, it was just feel like you never know, what's in, there is a hundred percent, is that, I have this in my briefcase now and I sit down, we had a, a show out at CES. We, we displayed this at CES this year and I, as soon as I plopped down in the flight, I pulled it out and treated it and, I didn't treat it because I was on the way to show it off at CES it's because I just, it made me feel a little better about sitting in that plane, ? And, and I think that's what, the, the thing that we want and we hope people will appreciate it is, what we're trying to do is give people away that they can have a small device with them.
Justin Beyers: Like you said, it's always, you've always got your phone, but it allows of that. I don't want to say safety, but more confident that, you're, you're in cleaner or safer environment, because, bacteria and viruses aren't going away and people are getting back to every day, and, shared keyboards work, or, I recently was, we sent out a unit that was demoed by a, a, like a parenting blog, a mom blog. It made me think back to like, when I, my kids were younger that, I didn't think of it at the time, but boy dropped pacifiers or those car seats are just a hot mess and their voice has got the cloth interior. There's a lot of things that you can't wipe down, even if you are willing to wait the few minutes, for the disinfection to work, the, all of those kids' toys that they put in their mouth, you can't use a wipe on cloth.
Justin Beyers: There's a lot of things that you don't want to wipe down. You're in a restaurant that maybe, I love good food, and it seems like some of the best food comes from the shadiest places, and you can't wipe down that silverware, no one, even if you had a Clorox, they're all scented. I don't want that on my own, but, if I can zap a little Ecolab off my fork before I eat it in a shady place, and it makes me feel a little better. Yeah.
Kevin Horek: No, that I, a hundred percent agree with you. It's fascinating. The other thing, and we're kind of out of time, but I definitely want to cover this, that other thing that I found really cool about the device is you're doing detection. Like if I stick my hand in the device stops working, if a pet or something comes through, like you built in a bunch of safety measures around the other, like the device as well, which I think is worth mentioning. I know you kind of covered it quickly, but I think it's important to reiterate.
Justin Beyers: It comes back from the surgical days, or, I mean, we're still in the surgical days, but when you're, when we're working on a device, that's going to be implanted, in, in someone's head or a device that you're going to do surgery with, or as Peter says, he does, he's done, I don't know, thousands, tens of thousands of surgeries over the years, that becomes a priority. Is, is safety for the person using it?
Kevin Horek: No, that makes a lot of sense, but we're out of time. How about we close with mentioning where people can get more information about yourself, the device in any other links you want to mention?
Justin Beyers: Sure, sure. For on the device, you can go to www dot UVC, that's UVC E d.com. We also have a presence on most of the major social media platforms that we should have an Amazon store open within the next week for purchasing online. There's also purchasing on our website, hopefully in the next few months, maybe month and a half, you'll start to see this device at some major brick and mortar cell phone stores, which is exciting. Yeah. For more information on any of the other projects that we've been working on, I think we have links on everything AF out of the Nudie technologies.com. So that's Bon UTTI technologies.com. It's got more information there on our sinus project, the neuromodulation projects we've been working on and, and all of our ultrasound stuff as well.
Kevin Horek: Perfect. Well, Justin and Peter, I really appreciate you both taking the time of your day to be on the show. I look forward to keeping in touch with you and have a good rest of your day.
Peter Bonutti: Thank you very much. Thanks for your time.
Kevin Horek: Thank you. Okay, bye guys.
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