A Letter from Our Founder


You may be wondering about how PhotoMed’s pioneering trek began. Like many small companies, the passionate founder’s early life-experiences form the tapestry for weaving each new chapter.

The PhotoMed Technologies chapter began in 1999 with introduction to “infrared therapy”. The IR therapy was too inefficient for commercial use. The imaginary measure of pain intensity responded too slowly to be useful for feedback during the visit.

However, watching thermal imaging of cold hands and feet warm provided compelling information to me, a mechanical engineer by training. The feedback enabled the practitioner to know when the therapy was working for the patient. The feedback was the key to improving effectiveness and efficiency.

Inspiration struck with the invention of what would become PhotoMed’s therapy. The idea overcame the limitations of how many people respond to each fixed wavelength.

I founded PhotoMed in 2000 with funds from selling the manufacturing company I founded in the 1970’s. Access to every wavelength in the visible spectrum might enable more people to achieve relief. The new problem was the thousands of possible combinations of wavelength, frequency, and treatment location. Traditional one-at-a-time study methods wouldn’t work for even one disorder. PhotoMed’s team invented tools and methods for streamlining the discovery of “what works” for individual people and their disorders.

Volunteer’s cold hands and feet came with pain worse than I could imagine. They presented with complex regional pain syndrome and diabetic neuropathy. To everyone’s surprise several warmed rapidly and later reported less pain. Thermal imaging of those early responses held clues that would take a decade to recognize.

The outcomes astounded everyone. However, the outcomes were not predicted by textbooks on pain and neuroscience. Everyone was skeptical to the point of disbelief of the possibility that the people might ever improve. The recordings remained compelling from an engineering perspective. My family and I continued funding PhotoMed and its studies.

PhotoMed’s team focuses on improving the quality of life for many people with types of pain and impairments for which “nothing works” for relief or improve function. Their pain presents a mystery because healing otherwise appears complete. Hope remains despite low expectations that improvement might happen.


About Me

Growing up, I was surrounded by people living with pain and impairments from polio, paraplegia, MS, and mental disorders. They became my mentors preparing me for many later chapters in my life as I assisted with their daily lives.

My parents encouraged me to experiment, let the sparks fly, and try a different plan. Maximal learning came from experiments that didn’t work as expected.


In eighth grade, my first pair of glasses expanded my world into 3D popping with color. The vibrant sunset over the Golden Gate Bridge that night launched my life-long relationship with photography, color, and light.

Rainbows continue to fascinate me for their ability to precisely arrange their colors and sometimes show double with repeat the arrangement in the opposite order. Did you find both images on this website?

During my college years, (U.C. Berkeley 1970, Mechanical Engineering) I volunteered to help build and operate a camp in the northern California mountains for mentally and physically challenged people of all ages. Many, if not most, camp counselors enjoyed careers working with people challenges. That would be a later chapter for me.

I founded Kensington Laboratories in the early 1970s that built precision movement and measurement systems. We built tools for big-name computer chip companies to inspect their products and minimize defects. By the mid-1990s, the call of the unknown beckoned. I sold my shares to my great partners in 1998.

I didn’t have to wait long.


A phone opens horizons

A phone call introduced me to light-based therapies that could help people with chronic pain unresponsive to previous attempts. They endured a kind of pain that most accepted as their fate, believing there to be no solutions available.

As I learned more about light-based therapies, I felt compelled by a sense of compassion and responsibility to improve upon these non-invasive therapies. I wanted to relieve pain and impairments endured by my friends and neighbors.

Inspiration struck with the invention of PhotoMed's therapy.

In 2000, I founded PhotoMed Technologies to begin developing, testing, and optimizing tools that utilize light in a way that no other device has before.

PhotoMed's tools let the practitioner efficiently personalize light therapy, for the first time, offering continuously varying wavelengths (precise rainbow colors) from the entire visible spectrum to increase the likelihood that the patient might benefit.

Testing revealed that our new non-invasive therapy could improve impaired sensory and motor functions in addition to relieving intractable pain. PhotoMed’s team and I invented tools to record electronic sensors in real-time while our therapy achieves success, or not. Now, 18-years of recorded data invite and can help answer new questions.

Today, PhotoMed's multi-spectral light-based tools include the Vari-Chrome® Pro and the Rapid Discovery System™.


Our Family Mission

My family and I funded PhotoMed Technologies, clinics, and studies to make its therapy more effective and efficient. We are proud of the discoveries made by welcoming people with pain and impairments that we did not expect to improve. Many did! Their gratitude kept us funding after setbacks that almost made us quit.


PhotoMed’s studies in rural Colorado and Massachusetts revealed extra challenges for people who live far from larger cities. Our mission expanded to finding ways to serve them, too.

Our vision includes taking the Vari-Chrome® Pro to serve people in remote areas of countries where patients must walk a day to learn if PhotoMed’s therapy can improve their lives. This vision drove our quest for effectiveness and efficiency. Millions are waiting.


Our mission realized

We teamed up with the L.C. and Lillie Haven of Hope 501c(3) organization to meet our mutual goals. The Haven of Hope created a project, called the Lending Library Project aimed to lend light-based tools to practitioners in rural and remote areas at no charge. The practitioners can then serve the people in their communities.

The initial goal is to have 20 tools loaned to help 1000s of people each year.

You can participate with a tax-deductible donation. Individuals, foundations, organizations, and companies are welcome to fund a tool or study that will advance their mission.


What’s Next

Accidents interrupted the the busy lives of most who volunteered for a PhotoMed study. One-second changed the course of their life and the lives of those around them.

For many, PhotoMed’s therapy improved their ability to function with a better quality of life. Our friends with restored lives continue to share their gratitude after more than a decade.

The diversity of disorders that responded to PhotoMed’s therapy exceeded our wildest imaginations.

As pioneering map makers and tool builders, we can’t imagine where our discovery-enabling tools will lead future generations. History provides a glimpse of myriad possibilities. Consider the impact of the microscope, X-ray, and MRI. Who will perform the first brain-imaging surrounding the events prompted by PhotoMed’s therapy?

How will YOU use the knowledge that some types of chronic pain and its impairments can vanish? Or that moist non-healing wounds can restart healing while you watch? Who will you tell? Do you know someone waiting for care who needs hope while waiting for PhotoMed’s therapy to arrive in their community?

We welcome referrals to individuals, organizations, and companies with a mission to serve the millions waiting for relief now demonstrated by our tools. We are seeking partners for the next chapter.

Allan Gardiner
Founder, PhotoMed Technologies, Inc.