By: Eliza Lamson
“My whole philosophy about traveling is that it’s Zen. You basically have to know how to go into hibernation” said Ted Lamson, the founder and Chief Technology Officer of Neotract, Inc. And he would know; Mr. Lamson has traveled over 300,000 miles in the last year.
“That’s roughly 12 times around the world” Lamson stated with a shake of the head.
All of this traveling is spurred by a need to promote the new medical device Mr. Lamson and his teams at Neotract, Inc. have created. Lamson founded Neotract back in 2006 and invented the company’s medical device, the UroLift. This device treats benign prostate disease, a disease 50% of men have by the age of 50. At age 70, 70% of men are afflicted by it. The idea came to Mr. Lamson after his uncle struggled with prostate cancer and was given a catheter which Mr. Lamson describes as “pretty medieval”. Through experimentation and interviews with doctors and patients, Lamson was able to draw up a plan for this latest invention.
The Urolift is now approved in Europe, Australia, New Zealand and, most recently, Canada. Trials in the United States have reached completion but it will be a bit longer before Americans see the product on the market. Mr. Lamson travels to various countries and states teaching doctors how to effectively implant the Urolift.
When I sat down to talk with Mr. Lamson, the main topic of conversation was travel. As a man who travels internationally on a regular basis, Lamson has some very helpful tips to offer fellow travelers.
“A lot of people don’t know this but in order to be a good traveler, you need to have an awesome suitcase.” It needs to be exactly the right size (which, according to Lamson, is 20 inches long). Americans don’t know this; most small suitcases made in the US are 24 inches long. When a suitcase is that long, it doesn’t fit in the overhead compartment well. And, it has to be the kind with 2 wheels. Lamson explained that this is because 4-wheeled suitcases are terrible to take on buses because they roll.
“I once saw an old lady taken out by a runaway rolling bag. It was like she got checked into the window by a hockey player” Lamson said while laughing guiltily.
When I asked him what he recommended people should wear on the plane, he emphasized blending. “If the steward or stewardess greets me in their native language, I know I’ve got it right. I like to be a chameleon”. He then listed off several other helpful tips. If at all possible, wear slip on shoes. When going through security, get in line behind people who are also wearing slip on shoes. Avoid families with strollers and elderly couples. On the flip side, while going through customs, families with strollers get waved through much faster than other travelers.
When on the plane, Lamson recommends never missing a meal and avoiding alcohol. He grinned. “That one I violates in spades.”
The Urolift still has a couple of years before it goes on the market, but in the mean time, Mr. Lamson will continue to teach doctors from all over the world how to use his device.