Tech Advances

By Hannah Wallace July 31, 2006

Reality Bites

We've all seen the cosmetic dentistry ads with horrible "before" smiles turned into amazing "afters." What if you could see what you would really look like, and even have the ability to participate, before treatment begins?

Periodontist Steven Feldman and Dr. Peter Glen have developed software that enables dentists and patients to do just that. Their XCPT treatment planning and communication software, launched in March, already is getting noticed by dentists and dental schools around the country.

Feldman started providing his patients a realistic understanding of their needed dental treatments back in 1999 by scanning X-rays onto a computer and using generic software to draw on the images. The process proved time-consuming and primitive, but after three years of witnessing his patients' trust levels soar, Feldman was convinced that this sort of software would be useful to all dentists and their patients.

After investigating outsourcing software development in places as far away as India, Feldman found what he was looking for right around the corner in Dr. Peter Glen, a British-born developer living in Venice. With Feldman functioning as software engineer and Glenn as the developer, they created a beta version of XCPT treatment planning and communication software and three related patents in just eight months.

Feldman demonstrates XCPT at dental conferences nationwide and has built relationships with schools and dental companies as far away as Japan. He says XCPT is on its way to being integrated by many dental schools, including Harvard, the University of Michigan, New York University and his alma mater, Tufts. "We're thrilled by the response," he says.

"I'm finding that my patients are more comfortable than ever, and thus they feel more empowered in the treatment-planning process," Feldman says. "Now I've become the agent and messenger for their needs rather than the doctor telling them what to do. The doctor no longer has to worry about explaining what they know and what they see; with XCPT, the doctor can let the patient's own image do the talking."

One more sign of success: Feldman says XCPT Inc. is outgrowing its current space in Venice and is looking to relocate to Sarasota.


Sarasota tech entrepreneur Dan Miller, a founder of local incubator Startup Florida, was so impressed with a local mobile marketing group, Movo Mobile, LLC, he took over as its president and CEO.

Movo is capitalizing on the newest trend: advertising on your mobile phone. As mobile phones have evolved into multi-use devices, they are gradually replacing laptops and PCs. That means new marketing opportunities for companies that need to reach their customers in real time.

Along with Movo co-founders David Rippetoe and Robert Cesaric, Miller's been on the road striking deals with ad agencies and resellers. Startup Florida also gave the company $500,000 in funding.

The product allows companies to send text messages to customers-at a cost of 15 cents to 20 cents per message-to let them know about anything from special events to the latest new music.

How does a company get access to your cell number? The mobile phone owner responds to a traditional ad such as a "call-to-action" message on a billboard, which promises some incentive- maybe a free ringtone, a survey, a contest-and then provides an 800 number or a code. Once the cell phone owner calls in, Movo captures the cell number and can send text messages. To refuse messages, customers can type "stop" on their mobile phones.

To date, Movo has done test campaigns for Gillette, the Sarasota Film Festival, Hartwick College in New York and test runs with Los Angeles Times and Forbes.

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