Nieke Roos
18 February 2020

Dovideq Medical has been declared bankrupt by the district court of Overijssel. The Deventer company is specialized in measuring instruments used in minimally invasive surgery. Its products include a device to verify the quality of rigid endoscopes, a solution to scan small codes for direct part marking and a system to measure light guide cables. Together with the trustee, the company’s management is looking into a relaunch, co-founder Bert Dommerholt disclosed to Bits&Chips without going into details.

With minimally invasive surgery having taken flight, endoscopes have become key instruments in the operating theater and their wear and tear has a big impact on hospital proceedings. Ten years ago, however, there were no instruments to verify their quality on a regular basis. To address this problem, Dommerholt founded Dovideq Medical in 2010, as a spinoff from his audio-visual equipment company. “One of our AV products was sold to hospitals and I used to work in the healthcare sector at Philips, so they turned to me for a solution,” Dommerholt told Bits&Chips in 2013 (link in Dutch).

Sterilization departments in hospitals can use the Scopecontrol to verify the quality of an endoscope within a minute. Credit: Dovideq Medical

Pushing out the AV business, Dovideq completely focused on developing the Scopecontrol for use by a hospital’s central sterilization department. Inside the device, the camera end of the endoscope is put into a sphere lined with a reference pattern – an artificial abdomen. At the other end, the feed is picked up by an image sensor and automatically analyzed to check whether the pattern is coming out okay, showing the correct angles, markers and colors.

The development and subsequent clinical trials, together with University Medical Center Utrecht, took two years. Dommerholt paid for it all out of his own pocket and a series of subsidies, and several hospitals bought a pre-production model. When money ran out, Dovideq launched a crowdfunding campaign, which reached the 150,000 euro goal in no time. In 2015, the company received half a million from the Zeeuws Investment Fund for international expansion and new product development (link in Dutch).