This Needle Cam Can Diagnose Joint Injuries Without an MRI

Bloomberg Businessweek

Innovator Jeffrey O’Donnell Sr.
Age 56
Chief executive officer of Trice Medical, a 35-employee startup in King of Prussia, Pa.

Form and function
The mi-eye 2 is a wide-angle camera in a disposable needle with a USB-connected tablet meant to diagnose joint injuries without an MRI.

After numbing a patient’s knee, shoulder, or other joint, a surgeon inserts the 0.09-inch mi-eye 2 needle.

Video from the camera shows a 120-degree view of the interior of the joint on the tablet, allowing the surgeon to spot tears and other injuries.

O’Donnell founded Trice Medical in 2011 with engineer Richard Washburn and a group of orthopedic surgeons. The company was incubated at BioStar Ventures, where O’Donnell had been a managing partner.

Trice has raised about $22 million for mi-eye 2, its only product, from venture capital firms and individual investors.

The FDA-cleared mi-eye 2 is meant for orthopedic surgeons. The imaging system sells for $495, and the tablet rents for $250 a month.

Competing in-office orthoscopic systems are bulkier, with thicker, nondisposable needles and bigger processors, and typically display only a 75-degree field of view.

Next Steps
Trice plans to launch mi-eye 2 internationally in the second half of 2017. Nirav Amin, an orthopedic surgeon and professor of sports medicine and knee reconstruction at Loma Linda University Medical in Loma Linda, Calif., says the device’s size puts his patients at ease and the disposable needles reduce infection risk. “It’s a fantastic new product,” he says.