The Birth of the Solid State Laser
IRIDEX was founded in February 1989 as Trilogy Medical Systems. Beginning in the early 1990s, Trilogy operated under the name IRIS Medical Instruments, and in 1996 changed its name to IRIDEX Corporation.
“In those days, laser photocoagulators were large, costly and inefficient devices which were based upon ion tube technology. In order to get a useful watt of laser power, you needed about 10,000 watts of input power so over 99% of the energy was lost as heat. They also needed frequent field service to maintain,” said Mr. Ted Boutacoff, former CEO and co-founder.
“With the advent of semiconductor lasers, we saw an opportunity to make a contribution and provide a paradigm-shifting product that would be considerably smaller, portable, more efficient and more reliable than previous photocoagulators on the market.”
Within a year after founding the company in Mr. Boutacoff’s garage in Los Altos, California, they had received US Food and Drug Administration clearance to market a new elegantly simple semiconductor-based laser photocoagulator system, the Iris Medical OcuLight® SL. In 1996, the company went public under the name IRIDEX Corporation.