ExplORer Surgical, a Chicago-based startup provider of intraoperative surgical and interventional procedure workflow management and analytics has raised $3M in Series A funding led by Aphelion Capital. The round also included participation from Elliott Management, the University of Chicago, M25 Group, and the Harvard Business School Angels of Chicago. The company plans to utilize the funding to accelerate commercialization of its interactive workflow management platform for surgery that that promotes optimal teamwork in the operating room.
Improper room preparation, mid-case handoffs, inexperienced team members and poor information transfer are some of the key drivers of inefficiency and errors in the operating room. Additionally, variance in surgical technique, instrumentation, and equipment contributes to the performance of the OR team.
To solve these OR issues, head and neck surgeon Dr. Alex Langerman in the research laboratory at the University of Chicago in 2015 developed ExplORer to provide real-time standardized surgical workflow with the ability to customize based on patient factors, surgeon preferences and changing operative conditions. ExplORer customized surgical workflow is built on clinical best practices and available on any tablet or web-enabled device.
Personalized step-by-step instructions help each member of the surgical team (surgeon, nurse, administration): setting up the operating room and positioning the patient, readying the necessary instruments for each individual step of the case, or keeping aligned with technical progression of the case. With built-in analytics, providers can compare their performance and learn from colleagues. OR managers can then track granular case progression in real time and forecast room utilization, staffing, equipment use and postoperative admissions.
“For decades, the critical processes of surgery have been mapped out and managed on paper, and we are ready to change the game with our digital, real-time platform and analytics solution,” said CEO Jennifer Fried in a statement. “The investor syndicate and Board of Directors have an impressive track record in building medical technology companies that will be instrumental to our growth strategy. We are thrilled to have continued support from those who have successfully innovated in the surgical space for decades.”
Other key features of the surgical platform include:
Enhanced Team Coordination: Although the content each team member sees is personalized to their role, each member of the team is simultaneously shown the same technical step status bar.
Simplified Preference Card Management: If a change to the surgeon’s preference card arises mid-procedure, a time-stamped comment can be instantly created, thereby producing an easy way to follow-up regarding that change post-procedure.
More Efficient OR Setup: Lists of instruments & supplies are uploaded into our system from the surgeon directly as well as the surgeon’s preference card, eliminating guesswork and enabling the scrub and circulator to best prepare and setup for the case.
Reduce Disposable Waste: Surgical needs are often unknown or unclear, as preference cards are not regularly updated, nor are they designed to be used throughout the case. In our early research nurses and scrubs explained that significant waste can be generated by a need to “over prepare” when the specific case needs were not known. ExplORer’s pilot studies have claimed to reduce disposable waste by 95%.
Better Preparation before and during Cases: ExplORer Surgical allows you to study cases in advance so you can know what’s coming. Additionally, during the case you can look ahead if you wish to prepare for the next step without disrupting other members of the team.
Save Money & Increased Revenue: More accurate setup and decreased delays can also lead to greater OR throughput, which may increase revenue for hospitals with high procedural/surgical demand.
Assist OR Scheduling: Real-time data from the OR can provide alerts when procedures are running behind schedule, well before the case is complete. By tracking team progress on a step-by-step basis, problems can be identified early and case duration can be more accurately predicted.
OR Efficiency Analysis: ExplORer Surgical collects intraoperative performance data on each case including which tools are used at which times, how long each step takes, and which staff members participated in that procedure. This allows administrators and surgeons to compare past procedures to find optimal performance for that procedure, that surgeon and their surgical team.
Improved Training & Onboarding of New Nurses/Techs: With ExplORer’s easy -to-follow, clear guide for each surgeon and procedure, nurses unfamiliar with these surgeons can acclimate much more quickly to service lines, saving money on training and precepting.