Last week the FDA gave the green light to Boston-based Activ Surgical's intraoperative imaging module ActivSight, which is aimed at improving surgical visualization.
The company has developed a technology that is able to give surgeons real-time intraoperative visual data. ActivSight is a small hardware-agnostic device that connects to an endoscope and a camera system. The system is able to augment installed visualization systems, and allows surgeons insights into the body, like real-time blood flow.
The tool is expected to be incorporated into the company's second product, ActivInisghts, a software platform that that uses AI and machine learning to give surgical insights.
"Seamless technology guiding. This is no different than lane keeping or autonomous parking. Information based on everybody else's experience programed into it. Really a digitalization of surgery. Less error," Dr. Peter Kim, founder and CMO of the company, said in a video on the webpage. "Making surgery intelligent through information, intelligent information."
WHY IT MATTERS
The company is pitching this technology as a way to cut down on surgical error. In fact, a 2016 study out of Johns Hopkins suggests that medical errors are the third leading cause of death. Scores of tech companies are looking to remedy this issue with new tools like artificial intelligence and precision medicine.
"Receiving FDA 510(k) clearance for our ActivSight enhanced visualization module is a significant milestone in bringing Activ Surgical's technology to operating rooms around the world," Todd Usen, CEO of Activ Surgical, said in a statement.
"Given there is a $36 billion cost for preventable surgical errors, we believe ActivSight has the potential to make an immediate impact in the OR. We look forward to working closely with our initial pilot customers over the next several months to further validate ActivSight and revolutionize surgical care."
THE LARGER TREND
Over the summer, Active Surgical raked in $15 million, bringing its total funding to $32 million.
Digital health is making its way into surgeries and surgical planning. For example, Avail Medsystems has created a telemedicine platform for remote procedure-room collaborations, and recently claimed $100 million in a Series B funding.
Meanwhile, other surgical tools are focused on the preplanning process. London-based FundamentalVR uses virtual reality (VR) to help train surgeons. Other surgical stimulation technologies include Osso VR, which is being used by the UK’s Newcastle Surgical Training Centre, Oxford Medical Stimulation (OMS) which is being used at Oxford University and British startup Touch Surgery.