CEO and Co-founder Lori Arakaki’s Vision for Opticyte

We’re solving a big problem in medicine at Opticyte and because of our work, I have no doubt lives will be saved. I’ve dedicated my career to researching, understanding, and building a new technology needed to reveal a critical, missing — and life-saving — insight for clinicians. Opticyte’s VitalO₂ holds the promise to reduce organ failure and death associated with sepsis. It’s a worthwhile endeavor, given that millions of people suffer the effects of organ failure each year.

The mystery lies in uncovering oxygen levels inside the human body. Current technologies, such as pulse oximeters...

Opticyte Origins

Founded in 2016, Opticyte was spun out of the University of Washington. Currently the medical device startup has secured more than $4.0M in non-dilutive funding from the National Institutes of Health through three SBIR/STTR grants, as well as angel investments. Opticyte employs engineering, regulatory, and communications teams with deep experience in bringing medical devices to market.

Our Executive Team

Lori Arakaki, PhD

CEO & Co-Founder

Lori Arakaki, PhD is a founder of Opticyte, and her vision and leadership as CEO steadily drive the company towards demonstration of clinical benefit. As CEO, Lori has secured angel and venture capital funding in addition to significant NIH small business grant funding. Lori has over 20 years of experience pioneering new optical spectroscopy and multivariate analysis technology to measure oxygen saturation that will revolutionize the standard of care for critically ill patients and provide breakthrough tools that reduce deaths caused by organ failure. Lori earned her PhD in bioengineering from the University of Washington.

Robert Barry

Board Chair

Opticyte board chair and executive advisor Robert Barry is an accomplished medical device entrepreneur/executive with more than 30 years of experience leading companies from inception through commercialization and acquisition. Robert has founded and led four medical device companies to date.

Ken Schenkman, MD, PhD

Chief Medical Officer and Co-Founder

Co-Founder and Opticyte Chief Medical Officer Kenneth Schenkman, MD, PhD, is a critical care physician with extensive and ongoing research experience in optical spectroscopy technologies. His University of Washington lab has secured funding from the National Institutes of Health, American Heart Association and several foundations.

David Ataide

Board Member

David Ataide is an accomplished 40 year veteran of the Healthcare Industry. He is a former CEO of GE Healthcare’s $1.4B Critical Care business, the former Chief Marketing Officer of Philips Healthcare, and the immediate past Board Chairman of Intelesens. Mr. Ataide currently serves as a director of three privately held medical device companies, and is on the advisory board of MedWorld Advisors, a mid-market healthcare M&A firm. He holds an MSN degree in Critical Care from the University of California, San Francisco, a BSN from San Jose State University, and is also a graduate of GE’s acclaimed Crotonville Management Development Program.

Stefan Kraemer, MD, MBA

Board Member

Stefan Kraemer, MD, MBA is former VP of Medical Affairs, Medical Safety, and Information at BD, and Worldwide Corporate VP, and Head of Medical Affairs at CR Bard. He is co-founder of several organizations, including a successful medical device company advancing treatment of upper GI disease, and WINGS, the Seattle angel investor network. Dr. Kraemer also brings his background as an inventor with over 20 patents and as a surgeon innovator with ICU and sepsis experience to Opticyte. He currently leverages his international, interdisciplinary medical background as a director or mentor for several life science companies and nonprofits.


We are always interested in individuals with unique experiences and skills who share our passion to transform the standard of care for organ failure. If you have an interest in our growing company, we would love to hear from you.

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