Medical research can improve patient treatment and start new businesses. But experts say in our economy the medical research industry is ailing.
Dr. Ernie Bodai has treated thousands of women with breast cancer. Diagnosing the disease often means surgery for patients. About a million biopsies are performed every year in the U.S.
“Make an incision go down remove part of the tissue sometimes all tissue that leaves ladies with scars and some disfigurement,” says Dr. Ernie Bodai of Kaiser Permanente.
It's a procedure that has seen little change over the years.
That's why Richard Hular decided to improve the process after his ex-wife went through a biopsy for breast cancer. The engineer worked with top scientists to develop bio luminate technology.
“This is the probe this is the needle there is six different technologies in it,” says engineer Richard Hular.
In some cases, this small needle can replace the need for surgery. And provide an instant diagnosis.
"We're still 3 years away from market if we got funding today," says Hular.
Despite the promising technology, Hular has spent years trying to line up $33 million in funding. Dr. Bodai knows public and private research dollars are drying up. He created the Breast Cancer Stamp in 1997 to raise money for research. But the funding drought is about to get worse with cuts.
"Out of five research proposals are shelved. How do we know one of those doesn't have tiny piece of information crucial to finding a cure to this disease," says Dr. Bodai.
A disease so many are eager to stamp out.
Hular indicates the new medical technology he's been working on has the potential to help 42 million women and 25 million men annually.