The Silicon Review
“Our lasers seldom break down thanks to the structural advantage in our patented air-based design vs. water-cooled for all competition.”
Aerolase Corporation, a global technology leader for laser skin health, is the only manufacturer in the world of portable high power lasers for dermatology and aesthetics applications. Aerolase lasers deliver unique efficacy. They significantly improve treatment outcomes, safety, and patient experience by reducing patient discomfort, and downtime. Patient-pleasing contactless treatment is integral to Aerolase laser technology, providing the safest and most hygienic device-based treatment for medical aesthetics.
The company is based Tarrytown, NY,a suburb of New York City.
Interview Excerpt: Pavel Efremkin
Q. How did Aerolase come to the fore? Was there any prior experience that led you to the establishment of the company?
Dermatology and aesthetic lasers historically came to market through a process of adapting various existing technologies, mostly originally from industrial applications, for treatment of specific medical or aesthetic condition. Through the lens of my serial entrepreneur background, I saw a vast unmet need for a single, miniaturized, and easy-to-use dermatology laser capable of performing a wide range of treatments efficaciously and safely. I partnered and assembled a team of talented laser expert engineers to make my vision a reality. We chose a new path for our technology to streamline the then-prevailing industrial type laser design with our unique and innovative air-based system. This is much like the move by Tesla to make the electric motor drive system as efficient for the car as a combustion engine. Studying all the advanced research on the medical effects of light and developing better new treatment protocols was the second part of the challenge. We chose our unique path and did not compromise.
Q. What can you tell us about Aerolase lasers? How do you help physicians practice medicine profitably, and reduce the overall costs of care in an evolving healthcare market?
The direct customer buyer is the healthcare practitioner—traditionally dermatologists and plastic surgeons, more recently general physicians and medspas.
For them, we provide lasers uniquely efficacious on some difficult conditions like acne, psoriasis, nail fungus, melasma, and never less than parity with the gold standard device solution in other aesthetic treatments. The high safety profile of our lasers allows for no-worry delegation of the treatment to nurses or technicians, thus saving practitioner time for critical care. At the same time, our lasers are uniquely versatile so that one Aerolase unit covers the treatment range requiring four competitor lasers. This saves the user hundreds of thousands of dollars and democratizes laser dermatology by making it affordable for all practitioners, not just elite specialists. Further unique is our attaché case sized portability vs. the stationary mainframe-type dimensions of competition. This supports multi-office practices and multi-room offices and accommodates tight space office environments, as seen in many large cities from New York to San Francisco to London to Tokyo.
Our lasers seldom break down thanks to the structural advantage in our patented air-based design vs. water-cooled for all competition. The mechanical subsystems are the chronic trouble points plaguing other lasers – but Aerolase has done away with them! In the rare instance of a service issue, the device is easily overnight-shipped for repair and then back to the customer — instead of the usual weeks of downtime required by on-site field service, which causes lost revenue to the practitioner.
Aerolase provides the highest practitioner ROI. Countless testimonials attest to it. Aerolase has the extremely high 96 NPS—Net Promoter Score—based on practitioner survey work.
Q. Given that Aerolase provides integrated solutions to the most commonly seen dermatological conditions and in-demand aesthetic procedures, how effectively do you address your patients’ pain points? How do these lasers substantially improve treatment outcomes and patient experiences?
Literally, pain during laser treatment is a big pain point from the patient perspective. That does not occur with Aerolase because our advanced use of 650-microsecond pulse duration generates energy powerful enough to achieve high efficacy but sufficiently brief and collimated to avoid pain or undesired after-effects without need for skin cooling. Cooling gels and anesthetics often required by other laser technologies provide short-term pain relief but mask the pain response warning of overtreatment, thus creating the risk of post-procedure damage. Aerolase eliminated the need for this.
Another huge patient drawback in laser dermatology is problematic safety and tolerability on darker skin tones or tanned skin. Darker skintones contain higher melanin content, which diverts the laser energy. Thus, many practitioners avoid laser-treating darker skintones and/or shut down the laser practice in the summer. Our unique parameters overcome the challenges, and Aerolase is now recognized as the authoritative solution for treating skin of color.
Factors like those are why Aerolase has the rare 100% “Worth It” rating in RealSelf, the definitive consumer forum, and was just named by iconic Cosmopolitan Magazine as BEST FACIAL LASER in its Holy Grail Beauty Awards.
Q. What are your focus areas? Please share an overview.
Aerolase already established a technology leadership position and a strong foothold in the market. However, our expansion into global markets is still at the early stage. Our delighted users are almost everywhere domestically, and orders do come in pre-sold, based on colleague referral, conference podium talks, clinical studies, and quality reputation. Expanding our sales organization in the U.S. and Canada is the immediate priority. With the April 2021 approval of the new expanded CE Mark, Aerolase will fully enter the 500M+ European market where we already have a network of delighted users, including major experts. The Middle East, Asia, and Latin America markets will be a big win for Aerolase as well, thanks to the unique safety and comfort of Aerolase treatments on skintones of this demographic.
In keeping with the exceptional versatility of our lasers, there are 36 FDA-cleared indications handled by the Aerolase Neo Elite laser alone. Aerolase encompasses both medical and aesthetic dermatology, whereas most energy device players are largely confined to aesthetics.
Q. Forming and managing innovation teams is overwhelming. That said, how do you keep your decision-makers focused?
Aerolase is a customer-driven company. We strive to deliver treatments that are the best in efficacy, safety, and patient comfort. Healthy profitability is important but usually follows naturally from providing superior solutions to doctors and patients. We are looking for large unmet needs to outperform the existing gold standard after a reasonably short development and commercialization timeframe.
Notably, Aerolase scrupulously adheres to promoting only treatments in which we have the best efficacy or equal to gold standard plus with other advantages. The trust and loyalty we have garnered from the medical and consumer communities is invaluable and motivates us to keep a high standard in our work.
Q. What new endeavors is your company currently undertaking?
Our active innovation R&D has created a late-stage pipeline of potentially blockbuster products, including feminine and body rejuvenation. Others are peripherals that revolutionize the standard of care for hygiene in laser procedures and add per treatment recurring income to our revenue streams. In line with industry trends, we expect almost 50 percent of our revenue to come from recurring revenue by 2025.
We are also in discussions with potential partners re highly synergistic corporate alliances.
Q. How do you plan to transform your company into a future that is unfolding before you?
We will broaden Aerolase’s excellence in skin health, in geographical and treatment scope terms.
The convergence of derm pharma and derm devices continues to play out for many deep-seated reasons. We will likely collaborate with them to develop complex combination treatments bringing the best of both approaches to the patient. Some of the alliances mentioned above address that.
The Leader Upfront
Pavel Efremkin, Ph.D., is the founder and CEO of Aerolase Corporation. He has a 30 year track record of successful entrepreneurship and company building across various industries. He serves on the Industry Advisory Council of the American Society of Laser Medicine and Surgery (ASLMS).
Pavel holds many important patents in the U.S. and abroad, particularly in the field of lasers and light for aesthetics and other medical applications. In addition to acquiring advanced science degrees, he completed the Harvard Business School Executive Education Program in venture capital and private equity.