Trice Medical gets $19.3M to expand use of connected, needle-based camera for joint injury assessment

By Heather Mack

Sports-related talk may encourage one to go big (or go home), but sports-related injury assessment need not follow the same credo. At least, according to Philadelphia-based Trice Medical, which has developed a tiny, needle-based camera to triage joint injuries rather than doing so with a traditional MRI. The company just raised $19.3 million in Series C funding to take the device’s reach further into the US market. Safeguard Scientificis, HealthQuest Capital, BioStar Ventures and Smith & Nephew contributed, bringing Trice’s total funding to date at $40.9 million.

Trice’s hand-held diagnostic imaging scope (which received FDA 510(k) clearance in October 2016) is called the mi-eye 2, and it consists of a disposable needle integrated with wide-angle lens camera. To use it, clinicians insert the needle directly into the joint, and from there they can visualize the area with a 120-degree field of on the connected Trice Tablet (made my Microsoft). Physicians can also take video and and save images to share or reference later.

“The long-term goal is to eliminate the need for MRI exams and enable a quicker road to recovery,” Trice Medical CEO Jeffrey O’Donnell said in a statement at the time of the clearance.

Trice wants to eliminate the need for MRIs for a few reasons: First, the scans are often inconclusive, the company says, and can lengthen the timeline from diagnosis to recovery due to false readings or long waits for appointments and follow-up consultations.  Currently, the company counts some 100 physicians across 25 states using mi-eye 2 for diagnostic and operative procedures.

“By using the mi-eye, my patients are able to obtain the answer to their cause of pain immediately and start their road to recovery two to three weeks quicker than if they had an MRI,” Dr. Sean McMillan, a physician who is using mi-eye in his practice said in a statement provided by Trice. “The most exciting part about using the mi-eye is the increasing number of patients who are calling up and specifically asking for the procedure. Our patients are seeking out innovative technology that is both fast, convenient, and cost effective.”

This is actually the second generation of the device, and the company will use the latest funding to develop a third iteration and expand across virtually every area including R&D, sales, marketing, and international regulatory processes.

“This financial support from our existing and new investors gives us the runway we need to fulfill our mission – to provide more immediate and definitive patient care, eliminating the false reads associated with current indirect modalities and significantly reduce the overall cost to the healthcare system,” O’Donnell said in a statement. “We can now attract the talent we need to scale to make mi-eye the standard of care in diagnostic imaging.”