Engineer Everett D. Smith and Scientist, Ray Hartman were working on a laser that produced ultraviolet light at 308nm. At the same time, Richard Rox Anderson, MD, a Dermatologist with Mass General Hospital asked if there was a way to generate a high dose of UVB in a concentrated area for the treatment of severe, localized psoriasis plaque. While they were both able to produce the laser, Hartman was convinced that the same or greater intensities of light could be produced using a short arc lamp with proper lenses.
Hartman left the previous company to produce and commercialize the first UVA/UVB targeted phototherapy system. He then started his own company and called it, Theralight, Inc.
Everett D. Smith joined Ray Hartman in 2002 as the application for patents and FDA clearance was in motion. Smith’s job was to generate the documentation so that a manufacturing operation could be set up to produce the finished machine.
In June 2002, Theralight, Inc. received an FDA clearance to market the machine. In January 2003, the registered trademark for the name, Dualight was filed.
DuaLight’s flexible nature offered physicians the options to treat their patients with targeted PUVA, also known as UVA with psoralen as well as both narrow and broadband UVB, making it very unique.
A flexible light guide and 3/4-inch square hand piece directs the energy to the diseased tissue without exposing the neighboring, healthy skin. The small desktop system weighs less than 20 lbs., yet will deliver UVB at rates comparable to the excimer laser systems currently on the market.
Former TheraLight, Inc. President, Ray Hartman commented, “Our initial product placements will begin shortly. We are particularly pleased that the reimbursement codes for phototherapy were increased and that physicians can use existing CPT codes for UV120-2 PUVA and UVB treatments. As clinical experience is gained, we also expect to qualify for newer CPT codes being developed for targeted phototherapy procedures.”
Hartman added, “We are also working closely with clinicians and researchers to optimize the use of targeted phototherapy, combined with concurrent topical therapies. Our ambition is to minimize the number of treatments required to provide patient relief. These disorders are widespread (up to 10% of the world’s population) and we believe our instrumentation provides efficient, effective, and affordable therapy that will find wide acceptance in the marketplace.”
TheraLight currently holds the only license to the patented technology of the instrumentation (US 6,413,268 issued 2 July 2002), which also includes the method of using selected lamp-based radiation, and a non-circular handpiece to completely treat patches of diseased tissue.