Augmedics, a developer of an augmented-reality (AR) surgical visualization system, has secured $8.3 million in Series A funding. The round was led by AO Invest, which is based in Davos and is fully funded by the non-profit AO Foundation, together with the Israel Innovation Authority, Terra Venture Partners, and other undisclosed investors.
Augmedics says it will use the proceeds to complete research and development as well as pre-clinical and clinical trials of its ViZOR System, establish strategic distribution partnerships, and seek 510(k) clearance for The ViZOR from the US Food and Drug Administration.
According to Technavio, the global market size for surgical navigation systems is estimated to grow to $900 million by 2020, with compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of seven percent. Augmedics says it intends to disrupt this sizeable market with its ViZOR System, an AR surgical visualization system designed to give surgeons “X-ray vision” during complex procedures.
With The ViZOR, surgeons can see inside a patient’s anatomy through skin and tissue, for easier, faster and safer surgeries. The ViZOR can be used in many procedures, with the first intended use in minimally invasive spine surgeries. The ViZOR uses proprietary patented see-through AR optics to project a 3D image of a patient's spine onto a surgeon's retina, in real-time, with surgical precision and outstanding depth perception. The technology is designed to save time during surgery, reduce radiation exposure and reduce the number of unnecessary repeat operations and hospitalizations.
“The ViZOR System brings disruptive augmented reality technology to spine surgeries to increase safety and enhance surgical performance,” said Nissan Elimelech, CEO of Augmedics. “Augmedics designed The ViZOR to give surgeons the first-time opportunity to actually see inside a patients’ anatomy, providing valuable real-time information in a comfortable and intuitive manner.”
The company says that, in the future, the ViZOR System will leverage various sensors to collect big surgical data to process and analyze using deep learning algorithms. Ultimately, it will also make suggestions, provide alerts, and perform other surgical assistance during the procedure. "With deep domain knowledge, crystal-clear thinking and continuous improvement, the Augmedics team was able to develop a product that brings tremendous value to surgeons," said AO Invest chairman Michel Orsinger. "We are happy to work with them and believe in AR's potential to shape the future of surgery and contribute to better clinical outcomes for patients. With Augmedics, we believe we are backing the leading company in the field. The accuracy, usability and feel of the product are very impressive and promising."
Augmedics was founded in 2014. It received seed financing from TerraLab incubator, an incubator of the Israel Innovation Authority.
AO Invest is an investment fund for start-ups run by a board of medical and business experts. The organization focuses on start-ups that are developing innovative technology for orthopedic and trauma surgeons and patients. AO Invest specializes in emerging areas such as visualization, simulation, robotics, data management and digital health, investing not only capital but also know-how and expertise. The group invests in the range of $500,000 to $3 million. AO Invest's sole investor is the AO Foundation, a surgeon-led, not-for-profit organization.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on September 18, 2017
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