U.S. Engineers James G. Fujimoto and Eric A. Swanson, and German Physicist Robert Huber Win European Inventor Award 2017

L-R: Eric Swanson, James Fujimoto, and Robert Huber.

Thanks to this team, doctors can now look at living tissue in new ways to diagnose eye disease, cancer, and other serious illnesses faster and more accurately.

At a ceremony held today in Venice, Italy, the European Patent Office (EPO) honored U.S. Engineers James G. Fujimoto and Eric A. Swanson, and German Physicist Robert Huber with the 2017 European Inventor Award for their development of Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT). The team was distinguished in the “Non-EPO countries” category – one of five categories of the annual award.

OCT is the first technology to deliver real-time images of human tissue at microscopic clarity without the need for invasive probing or surgical biopsies. It has become a world standard and is used in millions of exams per year, enabling early detection of serious eye diseases such as glaucoma, but also cancer and heart disease.

“Thanks to this team, doctors can now look at living tissue in new ways to diagnose eye disease, cancer, and other serious illnesses faster and more accurately,” said EPO President Benoît Battistelli. “OCT procedures have led to improved understanding of diseases, new treatments and therapeutic tools, as well as improved quality of life for millions of patients. Their story is also an impressive example of how patented inventions can help create and drive an entire business segment.”

Held at the Arsenale di Venezia, the awards ceremony was attended by some 600 guests from the areas of politics, business, intellectual property, science and academia. EPO President Benoît Battistelli, together with Carlo Calenda, Italy’s Minister of Economic Development, opened the ceremony.

The European Inventor…

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