Read Our Story
Dr. Alan Brown has a long history of innovation in ophthalmic surgery instrumentation, having developed instruments for cataract, glaucoma, LASIK and other refractive surgeries over the years. While he loves designing devices that solve surgical problems and simplify surgical processes, he became increasingly frustrated with the time it took for the larger companies to bring these new products to market.
So in 2013, Alan founded Surgilūm to streamline and expedite the process of transforming prototypes of great ideas into a beautiful devices that he could use and share with his colleagues in ophthalmology. The RoboMarker® System debuted at the Cataract Surgery: Telling It Like It Is! meeting in January 2014. Our first customers immediately understood the value RoboMarker® offered in terms of accuracy and ease of use and purchased the device based on the prototypes we had to show at the meeting.
Thanks to these early adopters, Surgilūm was able to gain initial momentum and completed the first production run. Then, the July 2014 issue of Outpatient Surgery Magazine featured the RoboMarker® System as one of eight “impressive innovations” in the article New Options for Ophthalmic Surgery: Keeping an eye out for innovation at the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery conference. RoboMarker® was also a finalist in the Surgical Equipment, Instruments, and Supplies category of the international 2015 Medical Design Excellence Awards.
Now, with representation available to demo Surgilūm products throughout the continental United States, Australia, New Zealand, Scandinavia, South Africa and most of Western Europe, we are looking forward to releasing our second product line, the Photon Speculum™ System. The Photon Speculum™ System is the world’s first self illuminated ocular speculum, which allows surgeons to see details they have never seen before while avoiding the direct light to the retina encountered with traditional coaxial microscope systems. We will continue to expand our distribution network to support our international customers.
Thank you for visiting our website and becoming part of the Surgilūm story! We look forward to what is ahead and invite you to join us as we continue designing products to meet the real challenges of your surgical day and to help you see the world you’ve been missing!
Alan W. Brown, M.D.
Our team is headed by Alan W. Brown, MD, a seasoned eye surgeon and innovator in ophthalmic instrumentation. As an ophthalmologist, he strives to give his patients the best possible vision. As an inventor, he aims to design state-of-the-art instruments to improve surgical processes and improve patient outcomes.
Dr. Brown is a highly experienced, board-certified ophthalmologist who has performed over 40,000 cataract/refractive procedures. He has invented numerous ophthalmic instruments for cataract and refractive surgery and is currently involved in FDA trials for two different MIGS devices. Dr. Brown is a distinguished member of a number of professional medical societies including the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the International Society of Refractive Surgeons, the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery, and the American-European Congress of Ophthalmic Surgery.
Dr. Brown has been inventing since he was a child. His love of problem-solving, science, and engineering led him to a career in medicine where he started out as a family physician, but after realizing how much he loved hands-on work, he moved towards a career in surgery. He completed a second residency in ophthalmology in 1991, having done his surgical training at the Greater Baltimore Medical Center and his pathology training at Johns Hopkins. He has been practicing ophthalmology in Wilmington, NC ever since and has been the medical director of his private practice, Surgical Eye Care, since 1997.
Surgical Eye Care has thrived on word-of-mouth referrals because Dr. Brown loves his patients and is passionate about giving every one of them the absolute best vision that they can have. This standard of excellence has driven him to design over a dozen medical devices to help both him and his colleagues in ophthalmology improve surgical outcomes. He founded Surgilūm in 2013 to help accelerate the process of bringing these innovations to the market.
When he isn’t caring for his patients or driving the field of ophthalmology forward from a technological perspective, Dr. Brown enjoys spending time with his wife of over 30 years (and Surgilūm president) Debbie and their five children. He also enjoys playing the guitar and designing jewelry.
Medical Advisory Board
Karl Stonecipher, MD
“The greatest thing I like about the RoboMarker® is its ease of use and the fact that the marks last for over an hour. It really has improved my outcomes and my patient flow.”
Mitchell A. Jackson, MD
“RoboMarker® is the most accurate way to mark for intended toric axis alignment prior to toric IOL and/or astigmatic corneal incision surgery due to its automatic cyclotorsion adjustment.”
George O. Waring IV, MD
“The RoboMarker® is an advancement in the surgical planning of astigmatism correction. The intelligent balance takes the guesswork out of your alignment and is intuitive to use.”
William Trattler, MD
“The RoboMarker® is very easy to use in the Pre-Op area, and once marked, it makes aligning toric IOLs very easy.”
R. Dax Hawkins, MD
“When marking the axis for surgery, I need something that’s accurate, quick and easy. The RoboMarker® is all of these in a package that fits in the chest pocket of my scrubs.”
Ron Krueger, MD
“When astigmatism correction is needed to make a difference in outcomes, the RoboMarker® makes a difference in the axis alignment.”
First Tradeshow January 18, 2014
Surgilūm attends first trade show in Sarasota, Florida where the RoboMarker® System’s novel approach to corneal marking generates great interest. Early adopters to new technology bring initial revenue.
NC Biotech Grant June 12, 2014
The original team gets an audience with the NC Biotech Board and is granted funding for the new medical device company, Surgilūm.
Top 8 Innovations December 28, 2014
Surgilūm’s corneal marker, the RoboMarker® System, is named one of the top eight innovations at the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery.
US Representation January 1, 2015
42 independent sales representatives cover the continental US.
FDA Approval January 2, 2015
Food and Drug Administration approves the RoboMarker® System as a Class 1 Exempt Medical Device for sale in the US market.
Initial European Distribution March 17, 2015
Strong surgeon interest at tradeshows generates international distribution interest. Surgilūm signs an agreement with Ophtec for distribution in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Spain, and Portugal.
Charlotte Venture Challenge March 31, 2015
Over 100 start-up companies entered the competition. Surgilūm makes it to the 30 finalists and comes in 2nd place overall. Judges included Angel Investors, Venture Capitalists, and Fortune-500 company representatives.
ISO Certification April 2, 2015
ISO 13485 Certification received from International Standard Organizations for medical devices quality management systems.
Design Finalist April 30, 2015
Surgilūm is a finalist in the 2015 international Medical Design Excellence Awards in New York City, hosted by MDDI.
Coastal Entrepreneur Awards May 21, 2015
Surgilūm wins the biotechnology category of the Coastal Entrepreneur Awards hosted by the Greater Wilmington Business Journal and UNCW’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
CE Mark June 4, 2015
Surgilūm undergoes a series of audits in order to receive the CE mark, expanding distribution access to the European Economic Area.
Distribution in Oceania October 1, 2015
IQ Medical begins distributing the RoboMarker® System in Australia and New Zealand, extending Surgilūm’s global reach.
NC Tech Awards November 12, 2015
The NC Technology Association names Surgilūm one of the Top Ten Startups to Watch in 2015.
NC Idea November 16, 2015
Out of an initial pool of 130 applicants, Surgilūm is one of 9 finalists for the NC IDEA Award.
Scandinavian Distribution December 14, 2015
A new distribution agreement with Alyko makes the RoboMarker® System available in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark.
RoboMarker® System Patent Awarded March 15, 2016
First of several RoboMarker® System related patents is awarded by US Patent Office with international patents pending.
Swiss Distribution March 18, 2016
Mediconsult AG joins the list of Surgilūm’s official distribution partners, making the RoboMarker® System available in Switzerland.
Attended ASCRS- May 2016
Exhibited at the American Society for Cataract and Refractive Surgery meeting in New Orleans. Introduced the prototype of the PhotonSpeculum System and Infrared RoboTips
UK Distribution May 25, 2016
Spectrum joins the list of Surgilūm’s official distribution partners, making the RoboMarker® System available in the United Kingdom.
Attended AAO- October 2016
Exhibited at the American Academy of Ophthalmology meeting in Chicago
Attended Caribbean Eye- February 2017
Exhibited at the Caribbean Eye meeting in Cancun, Mexico.
Female Owned LLC April 2017
Became a female owned LLC.
Attended ASCRS- May 2017
Exhibited and began taking pre-orders for the Photon Speculum while at the American Society for Cataract and Refractive Surgery in Los Angeles