Augmedics, a startup utilizing augmented reality (AR) and artificial intelligence (AI) to enhance spinal surgeries, has secured $82.5 million in a Series D funding round. The round was led by CPMG with participation from Evidity Health Capital, H.I.G. Capital, Revival Healthcare Capital, and Almeda Ventures. This latest investment brings Augmedics’ total funding to $148 million. The company plans to utilize the funds to further develop its platform, which combines custom-made hardware and software, and drive commercial expansion.
Spinal surgery is a rapidly growing field, with nearly 8 million operations performed annually. Augmedics aims to improve the complexity and outcomes of these procedures by providing surgeons with an augmented reality-based navigation platform, giving them “x-ray vision.” The company’s technology, known as “xvision,” received FDA approval in 2019 and has been deployed in the market since 2020. Over 4,000 procedures have already been performed using the platform.
Unlike many off-the-shelf AR solutions, Augmedics’ custom-made hardware is designed specifically for surgeons, addressing the unique requirements of the medical field. Standard AR devices often obstruct the surgeon’s peripheral vision and are not optimized for the average working distance of back surgeons. Furthermore, the rapid updates and changes in off-the-shelf hardware make it challenging to comply with the regulatory cycles required for medical devices.
Augmedics’ platform utilizes CT scans of a patient’s spine, which are digitized and viewed from the surgeon’s perspective through the AR headset. This real-time visualization provides detailed insights and eliminates the need for fluoroscopy, a chemical-based process involving x-rays that has associated health drawbacks. The platform is beneficial for both non-invasive procedures and more invasive spinal fusions, enabling surgeons to have a comprehensive view of the spine throughout the surgery.
In addition to spinal surgeries, Augmedics sees potential in expanding its applications to other musculoskeletal areas and cranial procedures that rely on CT and MRI scans. The company has received interest from surgeons suggesting the platform’s versatility. However, for now, Augmedics remains focused on demonstrating the indispensability of its technology in spinal surgery and continuing its expansion in the medical field.
The combination of AR and AI technology in spinal surgery holds promise for improving surgical accuracy and outcomes, making Augmedics a leader in the field. With their proprietary AR navigation solution, the company is positioned to shape the future of augmented reality surgery and contribute to advancements in medical technology.