WEDNESDAY, 25th October 2023

40+ Years of Experience In Every Product We Make

We celebrate this week as our resident Product Manager, Charlie Wardrop, marked his 40th anniversary of entering the field of engineering!

epipole spoke with one of its longest serving members of staff about their career, the milestones, the challenges, and the successes of a long and successful career in engineering:

epipole: So Charlie, how does it feel to be a 40 year Engineering Veteran? 

40 year? Wow… I don’t know where the time has gone!”

epipole: Well, tell us! Where has that 40 years been spent? 

“Well, OK let’s think…

  • 16 years in the defence industry, 4 years consulting and 20 years in medical device industry. In 3 multinationals and 6 startups (of which several have gone global!)
  • Designing and manufacturing 3 periscopes, 1 integrated thermal imager, an IR Line scanner and an IR Staring array, 1 Pilot Night Vision System, 3 airborne sights and a helmet mounted display, along with many design proposals and customer visits
  • Consulting work in engineering, building business plans and assessing markets for new products and finishing a sensor project for fire safety
  • Founding a university spin-out medical device start up and raising money for it. Installing an externally audited quality system, designing and making the product letting us start selling it in 6months.
  • Being sent out with sales teams to meet customers, gather marketing research and building proposals for new products and software as a Product Manager.
  • Helping design and make 4 scanning laser ophthalmoscopes, their patient alignment systems, manufacturing toolkits, a paediatric visual field test and 3 handheld retinal cameras plus a subcontract hardware design for a rail Company.

Which is a lot of excellent experiences over the years, in some amazing teams, and being involved in making some truly wonderful things – which is actually kind of amusing, especially considering the number of people who ‘explained’ to me over the years that Scotland was a ‘Services’ Country and hardware engineering was dying.

Even today, in a post Covid world, I continue to see phenomenal, high-growth Scottish Engineering Companies being started by some incredibly talented people, and a lot of them supported by backing from fine folk like Scottish Enterprise, the Scottish Investment bank, and the Angel investment communities.”

epipole: So, given the opportunity to speak on the ‘official’ company properties, is there anything else you’d like to say about this incredible journey of yours? 

On a personal note, I would like to thank:

  • My wife, and my family, for all their incredible support and encouragement through all the Start-Up Company ‘rollercoasters’ over the years
  • The design draftsmen and optical fitters who took me up a very steep learning curve as a new graduate and instilled the optomechanical engineering skills I have used my entire career.
  • Everyone who employed me, funded the Companies I worked for and pushed my career forward over the years, especially Dr Craig Robertson.
  • The tremendous teams I have been a part of, especially my epipole colleagues.”

epipole: So, what about the next 40 years?

“Ha – Well, right now I want to see epipole continue to be the success it deserves to be in the next few years! We’ve gone from nothing more than an idea, to a prototype, and now, after years of hard work and development, we have our epiCam (epipole’s flagship handheld fundus camera) – we’re now taking images through my undilated eye, showing us the pathologies in the outer regions that we never imagined we’d be able to see with a handheld device!

I’m so excited at the response from the partner practices too, and I’m excited to see things continue!

So, to answer the question, for now the focus is on making this the best possible camera we can…”

epipole: And then…?

“Who knows, I may even squeeze in another start up before I retire!😊

Charlie has been with epipole for over seven years (at time of writing) and we look forward to many more years with our favourite Product Manager!

        The epipole Team

Celebrating Success - Award Finalist

THURSDAY, 7th September 2023

We are thrilled to announce that our very own engineering expert and business powerhouse, Sarah Jardine (pictured) has been named as a finalist for the prestigious Businesswoman of the Year Award, 2023! 🏆

Sarah joined epipole from the University of Strathclyde’s flagship facility, the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland, and along with her engineering expertise she brought enthusiasm, dedication, innovation, support, empathy and an unwavering commitment to excellence that has revolutionised the team and company here at epipole. Sarah’s achievements and impact are a testament to what vision, hard work, and determination can achieve – From groundbreaking engineering projects and breakthroughs in the field of optical imaging technologies, through personally mentoring staff, to empowering the next generation of potential engineers and leaders, Sarah’s impact has been as significant as it has been welcome!

Vitally, in an age of such ‘uncertain times’, Sarah consistently delivers on her commitments, every time! If she says something will get done, then you can rest assured – because whatever it is, it will get done!

Sarah is a fantastically dedicated individual, is genuinely passionate and excited about engineering, production and manufacturing, and is even more passionate about taking care of her staff, and epipole as a whole – she truly encourages collaboration and ideas sharing across the whole company, which has only further accelerated our development; both in our product(s) and services, and in the team as individuals 👏

The whole team are delighted Sarah has made it to the final, and that her hard work, passion and perseverance are being showcased and celebrated in this way!

Stay tuned for updates, and in the meantime please join us in congratulating Sarah for this well-deserved recognition! 🎉

#BusinessWomanOfTheYear #Trailblazer #Inspiration #WeCare #NMIS #UniversityofStrathclyde #WomensAwards

Michael Moore (Chief Executive BVCA) visits epipole

THURSDAY, 13th JULY 2023

“It was a pleasure having Michael Moore and the @BVCA team up here in the epipole offices. A fabulous day was had by all, where we discussed everything from the positive impact of venture capital investment, through to cutting edge optics and engineering being manufactured locally by our team(s) here.

We really value our relationship with SyndicateRoom, and the British Private Equity & Venture Capital Association (BVCA), and we look forward to building on this further as we move into the future together.”

Sarah Jardine, CEO, epipole

Original Post Details (BVCA):

WATCH: With the BVCA’s new #investmentactivity report showing UK business benefitted from £27.5bn #privateequity and #venturecapital investment, Michael Moore visits epipole in Fife, which has been supported by BVCA member SyndicateRoom for over five years.

He chats with Sarah Jardine to hear how the long-term #privatecapital investment has helped the business grow.

epipole is one of nearly 1600 SMEs that were supported by #privateequity and #venturecapital in 2022.

Full post, including LINK TO THE FULL VIDEO, available HERE

Exciting News! epipole are officially members of Fife Chamber of Commerce! 🙌

FRIDAY, 5th MAY 2023

Sarah Jardine, CEO of epipole says “We are thrilled to join the local Chamber as part of our continuing efforts to develop relationships with the local business community. I’m excited by the training, support and networking available via our new friends at the Chamber, and I look forward to connecting with other businesses, sharing our own knowledge and expertise, and learning from other industry leaders too.”

Paul Sykes, from the local Fife Chamber, is very pleased with the partnership too: “I am delighted to welcome epipole on board, and I look forward to helping them get the most out of their memberships. I also very much look forward to growing the relationship with them over the rest of 2023, and beyond!”

On behalf of the whole team here, thank you to the Chamber of Commerce for welcoming us into the fold so warmly – we cannot wait to see what the future holds! 🎉

Our heartfelt gratitude to everyone who attended the SECO event last week – what an amazing show!!

FRIDAY, 10th MARCH 2023

We were overwhelmed with the positive feedback received for the epiCam, with a number of you getting first-hand chance to see for yourself the future of handheld optometry, and it was truly inspiring to hear your thoughts and opinions about our latest offering 👏

Fantastic support and encouragement like this continues to motivate us to innovate and improve our products even more 🙌

Once again, thanks to everyone for taking the time to join us and for making the event a huge success. We look forward to seeing you all again soon at our next show!

epipole are celebrating the appointment of our new CEO… By sending her to the other side of the planet!


Sarah (Jardine) will be joining our US Sales Team at the SECO event this week in Atlanta, where the team will be exhibiting our fantastic epiCam product at the show!

On a (slightly) more serious note, on behalf on the entire epipole team, it is my absolute pleasure to congratulate Sarah Jardine on officially being appointed CEO – Her manufacturing expertise, along with her product, research and managerial skills, are going to be perfect for taking our company to the next level! Very exciting times!

If you are in Atlanta for the show, please join us at stand #918 to find out more, or drop us a line to arrange a conversation/demonstration. 

#SECO #epipole #epiCam #FundusCamera #RetinalHeathcare

Global Launch of New Ultra-Portable Fundus Camera, from epipole, at Vision Expo East (NYC)


epiCam: the functionality of desktop retinal imaging, in the palm of your hand

Distributed via PRNewswire:

epipole, an emerging provider of world-class handheld fundus cameras, today announced the global launch of their new epiCam fundus camera to the US Eye Care market, at the Vision Expo East in New York City.

The epiCam is a high-powered, ultra-portable, wireless fundus camera, that captures live high-resolution video footage of the living retina, along with the accompanying still images, using epipole’s new video direct ophthalmoscopy (VDO) platform.

epipole’s CEO had this to say: “We are pleased to introduce our new epiCam to the US Eye Care community at Vision Expo East. We believe the opportunity to view the living retina with live video recording, as well as obtaining industry-standard high-resolution images, in a handheld device weighing just 1lb, is a compelling proposition for eye care professionals seeking to do faster & more in-depth eye exams.

It is epipole’s ambition to deliver outstanding technology that exceeds the expectation of our clinician customers, while ultimately enhancing the lives of their patients.”

epiCam: Handheld fundus Camera

  • Advanced Retinal Imaging, pan & tilt for super-wide field view
  • Dynamic imaging by live video recording of moving tissue & vasculature for detecting small, dynamic changes in ocular fundus
  • Accompanying review platform for review, storage, annotation, and retrieval of previous eye exams for comparison

Key Benefits

  • Image Quality: Multi-illuminant, live video, still images
  • Ease of Use: Handheld, “Always in focus” feature, light and ultra-portable (< 1lb)
  • Practice Efficiency: image directly in exam lane, compact design, remote support enabled
  • Review Station: Proprietary software for immediate review, annotation, retrieval, reporting and more

About epipole

epipole is a disruptive Scottish medical technology company that wants to make a difference in the eye care industry. Together we are solving the hard problems with taking images of the back of the eye, and our breakthrough Video Direct Ophthalmoscopy technology is challenging the way people view the retina.

epipole was founded by Dr Craig Robertson, an expert in imaging systems & algorithm development. 

epipole joins €1.1m AI project to diagnose intracranial pressure


epipole and Danish partners secure Eurostars grant funding to integrate handheld video ophthalmoscope technology with intracranial pressure measurement software

epipole, the video retinal imaging specialist, today announced that it has started work on a €1.1 million collaborative project to develop a technology solution for the diagnosis of intracranial pressure (ICP). The project is funded by the Eureka Eurostars programme, and is a collaboration between epipole, Denmark’s Statumanu ICP and the University of Southern Denmark.

Intracranial pressure is a growing pressure inside the skull, typically as the result of a brain injury or other medical condition. But injuries to the brain can be complicated to detect, and ICP is typically diagnosed via spinal tap (lumbar puncture), which is both invasive and expensive. Being able to quickly and easily measure changes in ICP in a non-invasive way is crucial to making the right decisions about a patient’s treatment.

The Eurostars project will combine epipole’s patented handheld video ophthalmoscope technology with Statumanu’s AI software, which can assess images of the blood vessels in the retina to provide instant assessment and continuous monitoring of changes in ICP.

epipole’s epiCam technology enables clinicians to scan the retina using real-time video and then extract high quality images. epiCam will be integrated with Statumanu’s AI software to capture the retinal data needed for the software to make the diagnosis.

“Having reviewed all the available retinal cameras on the market, epipole is the ideal partner for this project,” said Jakob Find Madsen, founder and CEO of Statumanu ICP. “As a lightweight, handheld camera that also shoots high resolution video, epiCam has all the capabilities needed to make this innovative system a success.”

“We’re thrilled to have secured Eurostars funding for this exciting collaboration with Statumanu,” said Dr Craig Robertson, founder and CEO of epipole. “We are looking forward to helping revolutionise the way in which intracranial pressure is diagnosed to support better clinical decision making and, ultimately, to improve patient outcomes.”

Following the completion of the technology integration, a clinical study to assess the effectiveness of the solution will be conducted at the University of Southern Denmark.

epipole secures £1.5 million investment


epipole has secured £1.5 million in funding to market its ground-breaking video retinal imaging device in the US. The funding round was led by new investor Greenwood Way Capital with the Scottish Investment Bank, the investment arm of Scottish Enterprise, also participating.

epipole also announced the appointment of medical technology veteran Ian Stevens as chairman.

epipole’s patented technology enables clinicians to scan the retina using real-time video and then extract high quality images for further examination. They are smaller and less expensive than conventional desktop systems.

Dr Craig Robertson, founder and CEO of epipole, said: “We’ve worked with ophthalmologists to test and refine features and capabilities, and will use this funding to implement the key changes needed”.

“We will have a particular focus on the US primary care optometry and ophthalmology markets, and plan to have product available by early 2021.”

“I am pleased to welcome Ian Stevens as chairman,” added Robertson. “His broad commercial experience and specific expertise in retinal imaging will be valuable to us as we introduce our products to the eyecare market.”

Stevens is an experienced technology industry executive, holding CEO positions at Scottish businesses Touch Bionics, Mpathy Medical and BioFilm. Previously, he spent nine years at leading retinal imaging company Optos, initially as CFO and then as General Manager of its North American business.

“There is a tremendous opportunity for handheld and truly portable fundus cameras that are easy to use and combine high quality imaging with attractive pricing,” said Stevens.

“I am delighted to join the company and look forward to working with Craig and his team as we seek to transform ophthalmic imaging with our new technology.”

epipole wins ophthalmology innovation challenge


epipole were selected as one of the five finalists in Novartis’ Biome 2019 Ophthalmology Innovation Challenge in their San Francisco Biome headquarters.

Among stiff competition from companies that presented their deeply innovative technology the six American Academy of Ophthalmology judges were unanimous in awarding epipole with the first prize of $6000. After a standing ovation one of the judges commented “Every GP in America should own your technology.”

Maybe one day they will.

epipole secures £1.5 million investment


epipole founder Craig Robertson discusses the history of the company and the challenges of balancing ‘doing the right thing’ with running a sustainable business in the latest edition of The Ophthalmologist.

Craig Robertson Speaks at TEDxGlasgow


350 Million Reasons to Disrupt the Medical Device Industry – Craig Robertson at TEDxGlasgow 2016

Retinal healthcare in motion.

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