PhotoniCare was founded in 2013 out of a shared passion to make a real impact on the health of children. Our mission is to revolutionize healthcare by providing physicians with better diagnostic tools, given that many diagnostic techniques at the frontlines of medicine have significant shortcomings.

We started with middle ear infections because of our personal experience with this disease as both parents and patients. Our novel application of OCT (Optical Coherence Tomography) revolutionizes the diagnosis, treatment and monitoring of the middle ear infections that affect 80% of children.

A platform technology

PhotoniCare has developed a patented platform technology that provides growth opportunities beyond otology (study of the ear).  Peer-reviewed studies show that the same handheld OCT technology can be used to image other areas such as the anterior and posterior segments of the eye, the skin and the oral cavity.

Our plan for the future is to develop these other applications to enable better screening for many diseases and conditions such as diabetic retinopathy, age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, melanoma, basal cell carcinoma, oral cancer, cavities, and pulp integrity in teeth.

Our technology originated in the bioengineering research lab at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), and our research partnership with UIUC is ongoing.

Meet the team

Ryan Shelton, Ph.D.

CEO & Co-founder

Ryan is a passionate problem solver and competent, experienced leader. He is an engineer by training who fell in love with entrepreneurship while at the University of Illinois. With three young children, two of whom have experienced chronic ear disease, he is solving a problem that has long been deeply personal. When he has a free moment, he can be found on the disc golf course or jamming on his guitar or mandolin…or both.

Stephen Boppart, M.D., Ph.D.

CMO & Co-founder

Steve is a professor, physician-engineer, and serial entrepreneur. Growing up taking engines and electronics apart, he has dedicated his career to creating innovative optical imaging systems for biological discovery and medical applications. As a physician, he regularly sees opportunities for new technologies in medicine, and improving our diagnostic ability for ear infections is one area that will help virtually every child, parent, and family. As a passionate sailor land-locked on the Midwest prairie, he spends more time in the lab than on the water. For now…

Ryan Nolan, M.Eng., CCRP

Director of Clinical Development & Co-founder

Ryan is a biomedical engineer with years of experience working alongside physicians, listening to their needs and problems, and collaboratively developing innovative solutions. He is a proud new father, emboldened to improve healthcare for children. The race is on to get our technology to market before his daughter suffers her first ear infection. If he could, he’d spend all day splashing in his own Indonesian reef tanks raising cuttlefish.

Gary Durack

Business Development Executive

Gary is a biomedical engineer, serial entrepreneur, and angel investor who has been pioneering bioinstrumentation product development, construction, and marketing for 37 years. As a leader in healthcare entrepreneurship in Illinois, he serves on the PhotoniCare team as an investor, mentor, and strategic advisor. He owns a fifth-generation family farm, and spends every October trailblazing on family camping trips in the Smokey Mountains.

Wei Kang

Wei Kang

Director of R&D

Wei is an R&D engineer, and grows his product development skill set during multiple commercialization of complicated medical devices. Bringing an innovative and disruptive technology into a traditional market is an ultimate dream of technology pioneers. Wei feels really fortunate to have such an opportunity to use his talent and expertise. His entrepreneurial spirit is also shown in his plan to become an amateur pianist, for which he received his seed capital, a piano from his wife.

Andrew Zhang, Ph.D.

Senior Engineer

Andrew is an engineered problem solver with a laser-focused work ethic. With countable years of experience in developing advanced optical systems for biomedical applications, he possesses a broadband spectrum of knowledge and is passionate about making a real impact on healthcare quality for children like his own. When not in the office, he can be found hiking, fishing, or playing soccer, when he isn’t too old to run.

Andrew Zhang