LOS ALTOS, CA —
Gauss Surgical, an AI-driven healthcare technology company, raised $20 million in Series C funding from Northwell Health and SoftBank Ventures Korea, the global early-stage venture capital arm of SoftBank Group, as well as from the LS Polaris Innovation Fund and seven other leading US health systems. The proceeds of the round will be used to accelerate the adoption of its Triton platform in hospitals and to develop new AI-driven applications for the operating room.
The company's flagship product, Triton, monitors surgical blood loss in real time using digital imaging and machine learning on the iPad. It has received de novo approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and a European CE mark. It is in increasingly widespread use in hospitals across the United States; so far, Triton has been adopted by 50 hospitals which perform more than 200,000 infant deliveries each year.
Doctors have traditionally relied on their own subjective visual estimates of blood loss by eyeballing the surgical field. This practice is notoriously inaccurate. Attempts to weigh suction canisters and sponges are confounded by the presence of other fluids such as amniotic fluid or irrigation. Triton captures rapid scans of blood-containing sponges and canisters and uses computer vision and machine learning to estimate blood loss with significantly higher accuracy and precision.
Over the last 15 years, preventable maternal deaths and harmful postpartum health complications for mothers have increased precipitously in the U.S. due to undetected hemorrhaging, particularly in cesarean deliveries. According to a recent study of 2,781 caesarean section patients published in the American Journal of Perinatology, implementing Triton was associated with significant increases in recognition of maternal hemorrhage and significant decreases in blood product transfusions and hospital length of stay.
"As a leader in the AI-driven healthcare technology field, Gauss is profoundly altering the delivery model for medical devices and services in hospitals. We are excited to back the company and its founder's vision to fundamentally transform the way operating and delivery rooms work," said J.P. Lee, CEO and managing director of SoftBank Ventures Korea. "Alongside rapid customer adoption, the Triton platform has already demonstrated concrete drivers of value-based care, including improved clinical outcomes, cost reduction, and operational efficiency."
"The practical application of AI in hospitals will be a major growth driver in the medical technology industry, especially in addressing high-cost, high-impact unmet clinical needs," said Siddarth Satish, founder and Chief Executive Officer of Gauss. "We are pleased to be strategically aligned with investors who bring significant operational experience both in AI-enabled services and in healthcare as we scale our platform."
Like several of the healthcare systems investing in this round, Northwell Health is already using Triton in its hospital delivery rooms. Northwell Health represents one of the largest healthcare systems in the U.S., treating more than 2 million patients annually in the New York metropolitan area, with an annual operating budget of nearly $12 billion.
"Gauss has shown a real impact in improved quantification of blood loss in our obstetrical patients and helps refine our treatment approach to maternal hemorrhage," said Michael Nimaroff MD, Senior Vice President of Ob/Gyn Services at Northwell Health. "Reducing maternal mortality and morbidly has become a major patient safety priority at Northwell and at hospitals around the nation."
Eric Feinstein, Investment Director at Northwell Health, added: "Gauss' Triton system sets the standard for the type of innovations we endorse as a strategic investment in technology. It transforms the way the system works, improves clinical outcomes and provides a clear improvement in ROI because of the reduced downstream cost of care. In addition, Gauss' platform has the potential for an even greater and expanding role in the operating room to transform quality, safety and cost."
The investors contributing to the Series C funding include the LS Polaris Innovation Fund of Polaris Partners, a Boston-based venture capital firm with more than $4.3 billion under management. It also includes the strategic venture arms of several leading healthcare systems including UNC/REX Healthcare, OSF Healthcare, Providence Healthcare, Orlando Health, Spectrum Health, Mount Sinai Health System, and the Memorial Hermann Health System.
Ellie McGuire, Venture Partner at the LS Polaris Innovation Fund said: "We believe that Gauss has the unique ability to fundamentally alter clinical decision making and thereby improve patient outcomes, by providing AI and data driven solutions that are seamlessly integrated into the operating room."
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Using computer vision and machine learning algorithms, Triton estimates blood loss in real time by analyzing images of surgical sponges and canisters taken with an iPad in the operating room. Triton has demonstrated that accurate, real time estimation of blood loss leads to early recognition of hemorrhage, reduced blood transfusions and shortened length of stay for patients. Triton is FDA cleared and CE marked and has been adopted by 50 hospitals in the US. Triton received a 2018 Apple Design Award, which recognizes the best in design, innovation and technology on Apple platforms.
Gauss is a Silicon Valley-based technology company pioneering an over-the-air delivery model for medical technologies. The company leverages computer vision and machine learning to deliver mobile applications for the operating room, with a focus on improving patient safety, quality, and outcomes. The company's initial product, Triton, is a real time blood loss monitor that improves care for patients and reduces costs for hospitals. For more information, go to http://www.gausssurgical.com/.
About Northwell Health
Northwell Health is New York State's largest health care provider and private employer, with 23 hospitals, 665 outpatient facilities and more than 18,500 affiliated physicians. We care for over two million people annually in the New York metro area and beyond, thanks to philanthropic support from our communities. Our 66,000 employees – 16,000-plus nurses and 4,000 employed doctors, including members of Northwell Health Physician Partners – are working to change health care for the better. We're making breakthroughs in medicine at the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research. We're training the next generation of medical professionals at the visionary Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell and the Hofstra Northwell School of Graduate Nursing and Physician Assistant Studies. For information on our more than 100 medical specialties, visit Northwell.edu.
About SoftBank Ventures Korea
Established in year 2000, SoftBank Ventures Korea is the only global early-stage venture capital arm of SoftBank Group based in Seoul, Korea. SoftBank Ventures Korea invests in start-ups with a strong potential in Asia, the U.S., Israel, and the EU, focusing on AI, IoT, and smart robotics industry. Visit http://www.softbank.co.kr/en/
Peter Kerr, Ulysses Communications