Published in Health Care
Spectrum Health VC fund invests in California medical device maker COURTESY PHOTO

Spectrum Health VC fund invests in California medical device maker

BY Sunday, October 21, 2018 08:40pm

GRAND RAPIDS — Spectrum Health’s venture capital arm joined other groups to invest $20 million into a California company that developed a medical device to accurately measure blood loss during surgeries and births.

Along with the venture capital arms of six other large health systems, the Grand Rapids health system was part of the Series C capital round for Los Alto, Calif.-based Gauss Surgical Inc. The funding round was led by Northwell Health in Great Neck, N.Y.; SoftBank Ventures Korea, the global early-stage venture capital arm of SoftBank Group; and the LS Polaris Innovation Fund that has offices in San Francisco and Boston.

The company’s Triton technology provides clinicians an accurate, real-time estimate of a patient’s hemoglobin and blood loss during surgeries and births. That information helps clinicians in making decisions on transfusions and medications for patients.

“Triton is an important tool to help us improve outcomes for pregnant mothers. Hemorrhage-related maternal morbidity and mortality is a critical problem impacting thousands of mothers, families and communities each year,” said Dr. Melinda Johnson, Spectrum Health’s vice president and department chief of Women’s Health. “With more accurate technology such as Triton, physicians are better able to prevent harmful postpartum complications and improve recovery time for patients.”

Gauss Surgical is one of three companies in which Spectrum Health Velocity directly invested since the venture capital fund formed in early 2017.

The Triton technology has earned de novo approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and a European CE mark. So far, Triton has been deployed at 50 hospitals that perform more than 200,000 infant deliveries annually.

Physicians at Spectrum Health were involved in the due diligence with other health systems that invested in Gauss Surgical. The health system signed a contract with Gauss Surgical to begin using the Triton technology in select operating rooms.

In announcing the latest investment in Gauss Surgical, Spectrum Health cited a recent study published in the American Journal of Perinatology involving 2,781 caesarean section patients where using Triton led to significant increases in recognizing maternal hemorrhage and significant decreases in blood transfusions and length of hospital stay.

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