Portland startup commercializes OHSU colonoscopy technology

In the late 1990s, an Oregon Health & Science University gastroenterologist began pursuing answers to questions he had about colonoscopies and endoscopies.

“We knew we were doing millions of procedures in the U.S., but we had very little information about who was receiving it, why they were and what was being found,” said Dr. David Lieberman.

The best way to do that, and figure out who was likely to experience side effects from the procedure, was to create a computerized report generator, so each provider could generate data and sent it to a repository. Starting with a grant from NIH in 1999, Lieberman eventually spread the project to 80 practice sites and collect data on 4 million procedures.

Now a Portland startup that specializes in taking ideas from the lab to market is taking Lieberman’s research to the next level.

Due North exclusively licensed the technology from OHSU and is commercializing a product called CORI 2, for Clinical Outcomes Reporting Informatics. The technology includes tracking and reporting software and generates photographs that get incorporated into reports.

“We’re converting the research software platform into a commercial product to be sold broadly in the world,” said Due North partner Michael Baker. “Clinics can benefit. Hospitals can benefit a lot.”

Over the past decade, Lieberman has amassed $16 million in NIH grants and produced more than 100 publications in medical literature to answer and raise more questions about endoscopies.

“The last round, my sense was the world caught up with us,” Lieberman said. “When we started the project, the way endoscopy reporting was done is it was hand written or dictated, so there was no way of compiling the data.”

Now most physicians use computerized report generators. As Lieberman brought his work to a close, he realized the database and report generator still had value. That led OHSU’s Tech Transfer office to contact Due North, which spun off earlier this year from The Baker Group.

The software is designed not only for reporting but measuring the quality of the procedures. Lieberman has been involved in a national effort to develop metrics.

“The project transformed the endoscopy world by developing this and demonstrating how it could be used,” Lieberman said. “As commercial vendors carry it on, this has provided a nice model, not only for this procedure, but others as well.”


October 9, 2015
Elizabeth Hayes
Staff Reporter
Portland Business Journal

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