Innovation in action: building a single-use bronchoscope

Jun 30, 2022

More often than not, meaningful innovation requires solving multiple problems at the same time. That's the story behind the EXALT™ Model B Single-Use Bronchoscope, an always-sterile scope used to examine and treat certain issues in the airways.

Reusable scopes have long been the industry standard for a wide range of procedures, but they are impossible to sterilize completely between procedures. The risk of cross-contamination between patients was highlighted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration due to real-world outbreaks of infection. It was no small feat to develop a single-use option that addressed this concern and worked as reliably and seamlessly as the reusable scopes to which physicians were accustomed.

In developing the EXALT Model B system, the Boston Scientific R&D team first took time to consider the needs of the patient and challenges to the doctor. To ensure they were exploring the right questions, they spoke extensively with physicians like Dr. D. Kyle Hogarth, the director of bronchoscopy at the University of Chicago, who works in a bustling ICU where he often needs to perform rapid endoscopic procedures.

Through those discussions, additional needs became clear—specifically, the importance of high-resolution optics, and increased suction (to more efficiently clear airways during procedures).

“Everyone was in awe of the optics and blown away by the suction capabilities,” said Dr. Hogarth on his experiences showing the new tool off to colleagues. He takes pride in the fact that this device was created by Boston Scientific to address specific challenges identified by him and his peers. “I think that’s really all you need to hear, right? Boston Scientific took the time to truly understand what we needed, and now we’ve got it.”


Read the full Fast Company article about the making of the EXALT™ Model B Single-Use Bronchoscope.