Our Investment in Activ Surgical: Powering the Future of Surgery

By: Ameena El-Bibany


At ARTIS Ventures, we invest in companies at the intersection of technology and biology (TechBio), led by domain experts taking on incredibly large problems. Enter Activ Surgical.

Activ is building a hardware-agnostic platform to enable autonomous and collaborative surgery through the integration of computer vision, artificial intelligence and robotics. I first met the team in 2018 and invested in their seed round. When we met, they laid out their bold vision of building the software for autonomous surgical robotics. They had already shown a proof-of-concept for autonomous suturing of soft tissue in a realm where most robotic surgeries are done on bone and rigid structures that don’t move much through surgery. In order to tackle surgeries on soft tissue, the team had to develop a tissue tracking system through the integration of advanced computer vision and artificial intelligence. Under the leadership of CEO Todd Usen, who joined after serving as President of the Medical Systems Group at Olympus, the company developed its first product: ActivSight. ActivSight augments existing surgical visualization systems to enable tissue perfusion tracking, without the use of injected ICG dye, and all in realtime. This provides a visual map to the surgical field making previously invisible structures visible to surgeons.

Simply put by Todd to our team,

“The future of robotics will occur when robots can identify structures that humans cannot.”

Activ is building that future, and vision is just the first step towards autonomous surgery. The company’s ActivEdge software will provide surgical intelligence and realtime guidance to surgeons. More importantly, the impact will be tangible. Preventable medical errors are the third leading cause of death each year, more than a quarter of which are preventable surgical errors that lead to $36 billion in costs in the US. Activ’s technology is poised to bring real impact to human lives and the healthcare system at large through safer and more affordable surgeries.

We at ARTIS are thrilled to be leading this round of financing in Activ to help bring their bold vision to market and democratize access to world-class surgeries globally. I look forward to joining the Board alongside investors from LRV Health, GreatPoint Ventures, DNS Capital and Independent Board Member Paul Meister, former Chairman of Thermo Fisher.

Welcome to the ARTIS family, Activ Surgical.

Read more about Activ at www.activsurgical.com.

This piece was originally published on Medium. Read the full announcement here: https://medium.com/@ameenaelbibany/our-investment-in-activ-surgical-powering-the-future-of-surgery-6d61642832

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