From the annual meeting of the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery.
Expect an increasing number of laser devices intended for home use to enter the market over the next decade, Dr. R. Rox Anderson, the outgoing president of ASLMS, predicted during a press briefing.
As a co-inventor of permanent laser hair removal about 15 years ago, Dr. Anderson recalled working with “great big lasers that cost a lot of money and took up a lot of space. There are now 3 or 4 of those devices that are approved and cleared by the FDA for home use. It’s fascinating that something as powerful as a laser can be safe enough for consumer use. We’re going to see a lot more of this in the next 5-10 years. Believe me, you will have laser devices at home and I think you’ll find them to be useful and user friendly, but we have to make sure we do it right so nobody gets hurt.”
Dr. Anderson, director of the Wellman Center for Photomedicine at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, also predicted that lasers will play a key role in improving diagnostics. For example, instead of subjecting patients to an invasive skin biopsy for a suspicious lesion, “we’re getting to the point where lasers for making microscopic images in living people are becoming practical,” he said. “I think we’ll be able to do that through fiber optics inside your body.”
–Doug Brunk (on Twitter@dougbrunk)