Military Testing Red
LEDs For Healing Acceleration
From Steve Repetti

Hi Jeff,

In the 6/24/03 LA Times, there's an interesting but small feature article about the military's current experimentation with the use of standard red light emitting diodes (L.E.D.s) to promote healing ("in half the time") of wounded soldiers in active combat. You can sign on as a member to see it, but I thought it might be more useful to you to get something you could publish more directly with better depth on the subject, and found this on a search...

Business Uses Infrared To Speed Healing Of Wounds

By Donna Redman For the Albuquerque Journal

Just five minutes from the Placitas exit off I-25, there is a small business called BioScan that uses a relatively new NASA technology to promote healing with light.

Nadine Donahue, founder and president of BioScan Inc., said the light therapy involves using infrared and near infrared or visible red generated by light-emitting diodes (LEDs) to speed healing of injuries and wounds.

The equipment is approved by the Food and Drug Administration and the therapy is approved for coverage by Medicare and Medicaid.

Donahue said she started the business 13 years ago with horses.

"I've been riding horses all my life," Donahue said during a recent interview. "When I was in Virginia riding one of the greatest horses I've ever sat on, one day he just wasn't right. The veterinarians couldn't find anything wrong. So I pursued all sorts of alternative possibilities."

Eventually she came up with an early form of LED light therapy for the horse, and it worked, she said.

She collaborated with a college professor and with several engineers to develop a handheld device to treat problem areas.

The problem area is exposed to specific wavelengths in the infrared and visible red light spectrum with an LED device to promote healing, she said.

BioScan executive vice president Rick Breden said the process is "very sophisticated yet very simple. To oversimplify, the light triggers cells to heal themselves."

More than three years ago, NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center awarded an Small Business Innovation Research grant to Wisconsin-based Quantum Devices Inc. to develop LED technology for healing wounds. Subsequent human clinical trials were conducted at the Medical College of Wisconsin.

In an article in the online magazine NASAExplores in April 2001, Harry Whelan, M.D., of the Medical College of Wisconsin said LED therapy has improved healing for people with serious burns, crush injuries, complications of cancer chemotherapy and radiation treatment, and with diabetic skin ulcers.

According to a paper by Whelan and colleagues, the light therapy provides low-energy stimulation of tissues which results in increased cellular activity during wound healing.

Three years ago, BioScan expanded to include human applications as well as equine. And about three months ago BioScan added a treatment clinic called Signature Series Light Therapy by Energy Applied Research.

The lead therapist is Rick Murdoch, who also is on staff at the University of New Mexico physical therapy department.

"The clinic is service oriented," said clinic director Rick Breden. "It's about treating people ... using our LED device, which is based on laser technology except LEDs are a lot more gentle, safer delivery."

The initial BioScan therapy session costs $45, with subsequent sessions $25 each.

"Most people have insurance co-pays in the range of $10 to $30, so that's kind of in the range of most people's co-pays," Breden said. "Most anybody can afford it."

"We don't do insurance billing ourselves," he added, "but we are approved by Medicare and Medicaid. Our products are cleared by the FDA " we became FDA-cleared on July 18, 2000. There are no known contra-indications, you can't overtreat yourself, you can't damage yourself, which is really wonderful."

"Light is incredibly forgiving," Donahue said.

BioScan products are used on race horses at Hollywood Park and Santa Anita race tracks near Los Angeles, and at tracks around the world, Donahue said.

"One of our first target markets for BioScan was some of the major sports teams, and now there are several of them that use our equipment," Breden added. "The Phoenix Coyotes, the Montreal Canadiens, the Philadelphia Eagles, the Milwaukee Bucs, the NBA, the NFL, the NHL.

"We realized, in looking at our database, that we're on every single continent except Antarctica, and we're not sure of that."

Currently the Placitas firm is negotiating with distribution companies in Europe and Japan, as well as in the United States, to sell BioScan products. In the future, they want to develop more consumer products.

Locally BioScan products can be found at Gold's Gym in Rio Rancho as well as at Simply Hyperbarics in Santa Fe. They are used at the UNM Medical Center and at the Veterans Affairs Hospital in Albuquerque.

BioScan also is participating in a clinical study of LED therapy at the VA Hospital in Albuquerque.

"I think that (LED therapy) is just starting to gain acceptance," he said.

A complete BioScan equipment system for humans, including training, costs about $6,000.

Home products sell for less that $500, or they can be rented.

BioScan is located at 45 Dusty Trail Drive in Placitas. Copyright 2003 Albuquerque Journal



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