In each edition, Modern Aesthetics® magazine asks top cosmetic physicians about the newest devices in their practices. This month, Michael H. Gold, MD, founder of Gold Skin Care Center, Advanced Aesthetics Medical Spa, The Laser & Rejuvenation Center, and Tennessee Clinical Research Center in Nashville, gives us a sneak peek at the newly approved Picocare from Wontech—the first ever picosecond laser from South Korea to receive the FDA's coveted nod.
Tell us about PicoCare by Wontech.
Dr. Gold: Wontech's PicoCare is the first picosecond laser out of South Korea to receive 510(k) clearance for tattoo removal from the FDA. This device also received European Medical Devices Directive certification and has a manufacturing license from Korea's Ministry of Food and Drug Safety. It is a Picosecond Nd:YAG laser that removes tattoos in various resistant colors in less time. There are four wavelenths—1064nm, 532nm, 595nm, and 660nm—that selectively remove pigment particles. I received the first PicoCare in the US, and will be doing all of the clinical trials to see how well it works.
Do we really need another picosecond laser?
Dr. Gold: Maybe. Time will tell. There are several picosecond lasers currently approved for tattoo removal in the US, including PicoWay (Syneron), Picosure (Cynosure), Pico Genesis (Cutera), PicoClear (Alma), and Pico+4 (Lutronics). The thing that intrigues us about PicoCare is that it has more wavelengths than the picosecond lasers that we currently have access to in the US. The device offers eight to 10 different hand pieces to eradicate lesions faster and easier than ever before. The wavelengths allow us to treat specific colors with less margin for error. In addition, the list price may be less than currently available picosecond lasers because it is cheaper to manufacture devices in South Korea. The hope is that these cost savings will be passed on to doctors. To prove their worth, picoseconds had to be versatile and treat other skin entities beside tattoos but that may not be the case with the Wontech device. A doctor could potentially make his/her money back if all he/she uses it for is laser tattoo removal.
What hurdles will Wontech have to overcome to capture market share?
Dr. Gold: Wontech is new to the US. They are the new kid on the block and will have to demonstrate staying power. To be successful, the company will need a sales force and a service force that is up to the task and can back up products and promises in a very reasonable time. I'm very hopeful. If this plays out the way we hope it does, this device will be an option at a cost that physicians won't think twice about paying, and it will force the other companies to look at their pricing, too.
Dr. Gold talked to Joel Cohen, MD about the expanding use of picosecond technology at the 2016 Cosmetic Surgery Forum meeting in Las Vegas. Watch the interview here.
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