Rui Estanqueiro leads Photonica USA as Vice President for Operations and Chief Operating Officer (“COO”) responsible for all day-to-day operations. A native of Portugal, Rui speaks four languages and has extensive international experience in business and technology. Rui distinguished himself with ten years’ service as Chief Operating Officer of a successful commercial printing company in Portugal. Prior to taking the helm at Photonica USA, Rui served as Vice President for Technology at Photonica USA, where he was instrumental in many innovations. During the pandemic, leading up to his promotion to Vice President of Technology in 2020, Rui led the R&D engineering team to make dramatic scientific breakthroughs in high output diode cooling systems. Rui was especially vital in transitioning to our remote digital control systems, which are accessible using any Internet browser or using the Photonica® App for Android and Apple handheld devices. Rui proudly recalls the digital remote-control transition, “I had the privilege to develop a digital version that would allow the overall price of the equipment to go down and make it more accessible to every provider rather than only for a small elite.”
In 2011, our founder Terry J. Ward, Sr. M.H.A. made a quantum leap discovery in photobiomodulation and noninvasive medicine using a special type of non-laser light. Terry’s inventions have earned three U.S. patents in addition to patents issued or pending in 146 other countries.
By 2013, Terry had assembled working UltraSlim® devices that were thousands of times more powerful than state-of-the-art lasers. After considerable research, innovation, and testing, Photonica USA emerged from start-up to become an international leader in the “medicine of light”.
In July 2013, a Longevity Testing Lab was established at its R&D facilities in Cocoa Beach, on the technology-driven Space Coast of Florida. Today, 96% of those original red lights are still operating properly after more than 60,000 hours of continuous use. The red beacon is visible from miles away and the "Red Light Room" became an established Cocoa Beach landmark.
In 2014, our research team passed independent laboratory testing and received ten international standards accreditations. By February 2015, Photonica USA was awarded our first FDA clearance (K150336) for skin treatments with the Photonica® Professional device.
A few months later, Terry received the first of four U.S. patents for fat reduction with noncoherent light and conducted the first IRB clinical trials (see NCT02867150 at ClinicalTrials.gov). Based on those results, our second FDA clearance (K160880) was awarded in 2016 for immediate fat loss. Photonica® Professional was then rebranded as “UltraSlim®.”
Branded as Cellulize® during pre-marketing research and development, UltraSmooth® received its first FDA clearance (K180338) in 2018 (the third FDA clearance for Photonica USA), offering the most effective noninvasive cellulite treatment.
Working together with Canfield Scientific, in 2019 Photonica USA developed state-of-the-art 3D imaging technology for automated measurements and volumetric analysis, showing patients their immediate fat loss with UltraSlim®.
Constant Quality Improvement means we can never be satisfied, even with the safest and most effective devices for fat, skin, and cellulite. During the pandemic of 2020, Photonica USA became ISO-13485 certified, meeting the world’s highest quality standards for medical device manufacturers even as our engineering team was busy making dramatic scientific breakthroughs in:
In December 2020, Ward Photonics LLC received FDA clearance K202361 for our “Internet of Things” (IoT) approach to remote control of our first-generation “UltraSlim® Digital” and “UltraSmooth® Digital” devices and Ward Photonics LLC closed on the acquisition of all business assets of medical device manufacturer Vevazz, LLC.
Photonica USA, LLC acquired all the business assets of Ward Photonics LLC in August 2023. Also in 2023, we implemented Bluetooth connectivity as a second-generation alternative to Internet access and applied for FDA clearance to add an expanded list of indications for use for UltraSlim® devices.
Photonica USA manufactures medical devices and 3D imaging systems under authorization and license from Blue Water Innovations, LLC, which is the owner of various trademarks, service marks, patents, certifications, and FDA clearances. Terry J. Ward, Sr., M.H.A. serves as Managing Director and CEO of Photonica USA.
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