Startup
Spotlight

DermaSensor

Tell us about you. What is your business background? What was the driving force behind you becoming an entrepreneur? Is this the first business you’ve founded?

 

With most of my family being educators, I was raised to believe and continue to believe that one’s work should focus on helping others. My intellectual interests led me to an academic and research background in bioengineering, economics and business at Brown and Stanford Universities, and I ended up deciding in college to focus my career on helping people through developing new health technologies. This is now the third health technology startup that I’ve been a founder or early team member of. Each person is different of course, but for me I think the way that I can most positively impact and bring value to our world is to help translate new technologies into practical products that empower clinicians to provide better care and for patients to live healthier and longer lives.

 

 

Tell us about your company.

 

DermaSensor is commercializing clinical decision support tools for skin cancer evaluation that employ patented spectroscopic and machine learning technologies. We are working to enable all primary care providers to quickly and effectively check for skin cancer. Our low-cost tool provides a simple “high risk” or “low risk” output that guides clinical decisions (i.e. referrals, biopsies) for all types of skin cancer. DermaSensor has enrolled over 2,500 lesions in clinical studies that demonstrate the effectiveness of its proprietary technology.

I think the way that I can most
positively bring value to our world is
to help translate new technologies
into practical products that empower
clinicians to provide better care and
for patients to live healthier and longer lives.

Cody Simmons, CEO
Why did you choose Miami to start your company?

 

DermaSensor’s Co-Founder and Chairman (Maurice Ferre MD) is a serial entrepreneur that built MAKO Surgical in South Florida and ultimately sold it to Stryker for $1.65 billion. During that journey with MAKO, he and Chris Dewey founded DermaSensor in 2009 and it was my sincere honor to join them here in Miami as Co-Founder and CEO when I joined in May 2016. I was particularly excited to join them here after spending the six years before that in San Francisco because I was born and raised in Florida (in Gainesville) and both of my parents grew up in Miami.

 

What is the biggest challenge that you’ve overcome since then?

 

The biggest challenge that we’ve overcome has been turning our initial 30-pound, $20,000, microwave-sized spectrometer device into a 2-pound, thousand dollar, handheld device that has the same key technical characteristics and shows the same strong clinical performance.