UK-Based Proximie Raises $38 Million for AR Surgery
UK-based Proximie has raised $38 million in a Series B funding round. The funding was led by F-Prime Capital with the participation of Eight Roads, Questa Capital, Maverick Ventures, Global Ventures, BECO Capital, and Cedar Mundi Ventures. The latest funding round brings the company’s total funding to $49 million.
The company was founded in 2016 and describes its mission as that of saving lives by building a “borderless operating room.”
According to the company’s CEO Dr. Nadine Hachach-Haram, Proximie wants to bring the best in human expertise and technology together so as to “imagine a world where operating rooms all around the world are connected”.
Some 330 million operations happen across the globe every year and the majority of the global population lacks access to safe surgery.
Proximie leverages augmented reality to enable surgeons to remotely watch surgical operations and even use their hands to show or communicate things to the surgeon who is performing the operation. The surgeon in theatre can see the remote surgeon on a screen.
Proximie isn’t the only company that is working on AR applications for surgery. The US company Proprio developed a platform that allows surgeons to collaborate via Augmented Reality. There is also SentiAR which beams holographic organs on top of a patient in the operating room so as to guide the operating team.
Some of the better-known players in the development of immersive surgical applications are Osso VR and Fundamental VR whose platforms are focused on surgical training via VR tools.
Apart from enabling surgeons to collaborate in an immersive environment, the Proximie platform also records the surgery to create a “digital footprint” of the surgical operations. This is a database of knowledge on surgery that is shared across the world.
A system like Proximie allows for the creation of a network of operating rooms where all interactions are captured, digitized, and analyzed and, according to Hachach-Haram, this “changes the paradigm” and allows for as better quality and more democratized surgery.
The Proximie platform was first used for warzones. It was later launched for the enterprise market in 2019.
Proximie saw a spike in interest in 2020, following the pandemic. The number of surgeries that it is deployed on grew by 430%.
The Proximie tech has now been used to perform 10,000 surgical operations in hospitals across the world including in the US, Middle East, and Europe. The latest round of funding will be used for its expansion in the US market.
In 2020 when the company experienced a spike in growth, its team grew from 25 to close to 90 employees. According to Hachach-Haram, the growth that the company saw during the pandemic will continue as the world will change after the pandemic. She says that during the pandemic, the medical profession has materially seen the benefits of a technology like this and how it connects surgeons aro9und the world, scales expertise, and makes healthcare more accessible.