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  • PROXIMIE RAISES $80 MILLION IN SERIES C FUNDING TO ACCELERATE PRODUCT EXPANSION OF FULL-SERVICE CONNECTED SURGICAL PLATFORM

    PROXIMIE RAISES $80 MILLION IN SERIES C FUNDING TO ACCELERATE PRODUCT EXPANSION OF FULL-SERVICE CONNECTED SURGICAL PLATFORM
    Funding round led by Advent Life Sciences. New investors include Emerson Collective, SoftBank Vision Fund 2, British Patient Capital, Mubadala and the Minderoo Foundation.

    Proceeds to accelerate development and scale of Proximie’s Operating System for the Operating Room – a centralized platform delivering connected surgical care

    London – 14 June 2022 – Proximie, the global health technology platform digitally connecting operating rooms (OR) announces it has successfully raised $80 million in a Series C equity financing. The investment follows a year in which Proximie saw a significant increase in its Total Contracted Value, supported over 13,000 surgeries, and expanded their global footprint to 100 countries.

    The funding round was led by Advent Life Sciences – one of the leading trans-Atlantic venture investors building innovative life sciences businesses, with participation from new investors Emerson Collective – the impact investor founded by Laurene Powell Jobs, SoftBank Vision Fund 2, British Patient Capital, Mubadala Investment Company, and the Minderoo Foundation. Existing investors F-Prime Capital, Eight Roads, Questa Capital, Global Ventures, and Maverick Ventures also participated in the round.

    Proceeds will be used to accelerate development of key products and services, build out Proximie’s marketplace ecosystem and scale their Operating System of the OR – a centralized platform delivering connected surgical care. Hospitals and surgical centers who leverage Proximie’s technology will have access to preoperative data that can help inform patient care, real time collaborative tools to record, train, and deliver care, and postoperative content management tools to capture and distribute content to their colleagues. Taken together, Proximie will allow health systems to establish an intelligent, digital layer to the OR, enabling them to save time, money, and more lives.

    Proximie has been used for cases in surgical specialities at over 500 hospitals worldwide. Hospitals have applied Proximie’s technology to drive efficiencies in the surgical backlog following COVID-19, increased the speed of training surgeons while maintaining costs, and built hub and spoke models concentrating surgical care and expertise in central locations to reduce the time and costs associated with travel.
    Dr. Nadine Hachach-Haram, CEO and Founder of Proximie, said:

    “Our vision is to democratize surgery through better data by connecting every OR and Cath Lab in the world. We began this journey enabling surgeons to virtually join any OR. Now, we’re using this capability to digitize the operating room, bringing patients the collective expertise of the best surgeons in the world – where data collected and shared on Proximie can help them receive life-saving care, no matter where they live.”

    Five billion people currently lack access to safe surgery, with over 18 million people dying every year from lack of access to surgery. Launched in 2016, Proximie is a tool allowing surgeons to virtually “scrub in” to any operating room in the world, extending the capabilities of top surgeons to areas without access to top surgical care. With the COVID-19 pandemic inhibiting travel and access, Proximie has grown rapidly, scaling to five continents and over 100 countries, helping surgeons deliver lifesaving care during a time of healthcare disruption.

    Dr. Shahzad Malik, General Partner Advent Life Sciences, said:
    “We are delighted to partner with Proximie and a world class group of investors as the company expands its global footprint and product capabilities. The company is a perfect fit for our ethos of backing best-in-class innovative life sciences businesses that have the capability to positively impact human health and healthcare delivery in paradigm changing ways.”
    The successful completion of today’s fundraise means Proximie has raised a total of $130 million since inception.

    John Cassidy, Investment Director at SoftBank Investment Advisers said, “The pandemic has rapidly accelerated the adoption of virtual clinical care globally. Proximie’s technology platform combines AI, machine learning, and augmented reality to facilitate live sharing of the operating room, creating a connected surgical care ecosystem to better support patients and hospitals. We are pleased to partner with Dr. Nadine Hachach-Haram and the Proximie team to support their mission of saving lives by sharing the world’s best clinical practices.”

     

    Further information

    Thoburns

    Jamie Pudge
    [email protected]
    +44 7557 771 703

    Notes to Editors

    About Proximie

    • Proximie is a global health technology platform focused on digitizing operating and diagnostic rooms;
    • Proximie’s mission is to deliver a connected surgical platform to help provide quality surgical care around the globe. Every Proximie procedure can be recorded, analysed and leveraged for future use to help inform best practice;
    • By connecting operating rooms globally, Proximie is facilitating a rich, insightful data set which naturally feeds best practices into the entire healthcare ecosystem;
    • Founded by Dr Nadine Hachach-Haram, Proximie has now conducted tens of thousands of surgical procedures and been deployed in over 500 hospitals in across 100 countries in five continents;
    • Proximie has contracts with over 35 major medical device companies – with access to 90% of operating rooms and diagnostic suites in the U.K., U.S., and E.U – and been published in over 20 medical journals; and
    • For more information please visit www.proximie.com or follow @ProximieAR on Twitter.

    About Advent Life Sciences

    • Advent Life Sciences founds and invests in early- and mid-stage life sciences companies that have a first- or best-in-class approach to unmet medical needs
    • The investment team consists of experienced professionals, each with extensive scientific, medical and operational experience, and a long-standing record of entrepreneurial and investment success in the US and Europe
    • The firm invests in a range of sectors within life sciences, including drug discovery, enabling technologies, digital health, and med tech, with an emphasis on innovative, paradigm-changing approaches
    • Advent Life Sciences has a presence in the UK, US and France
    • For more information, please visit www.adventls.com

    ________________

  • Transforming Healthcare with Proximie: as taught at Harvard Business School

    Proximie and their transformation of modern surgery is now being taught at Harvard Business School.

    Proximie is now being taught at Harvard Business School, as part of the Transforming Health Care Delivery course led by Associate Professor Ariel D. Stern.

    The course focuses on the global transformation in the healthcare industry that aims to address the fundamental challenge of providing optimal clinical outcomes while keeping costs as low as possible. Technology will play a central role in this transformation, via the implementation of digital tools such as Proximie to deliver personalised diagnosis and treatment to patients, and personalised training to physicians. Students will be provided with the managerial tools to identify and implement such transformational change.

    Proximie’s software allows physicians and medical device experts to virtually scrub-in to any operating room from anywhere in the world. The software also allows assisted procedures to be recorded, analysed and leveraged for future use to help inform best practice. By enabling medical professionals to share skills in real-time — as well as before, during and after surgery — Proximie is perfectly positioned to drive the digital transformation in healthcare by providing a cost effective means of relaying medical expertise and guidance without the expense of travel.

    The course features two modules on the role of technology in the future of healthcare: ‘Supporting Health Care’s Digital Transformation’, considering the key challenges associated with digital health, alongside new digital approaches in hospitals, disease management and telemedicine; and ‘Operationalising Personalised and Precision Medicine’, examining new technologies associated with more personalised care, the implications of these technologies for healthcare delivery organisations and companies working at the forefront of new product development.

    Ariel D. Stern is an Associate Professor of Business Administration in the Technology and Operations Management Unit at Harvard Business School. Professor Stern’s research interests focus on technology management and innovation in healthcare, as well as the digital transformation of medical technology and healthcare delivery, investigating the policy, business, and managerial questions raised by the growth of digital health and the digital transformation of medicine.

    “The COVID-19 pandemic has created a sense of urgency around many of these topics, but they will remain salient and drive lasting changes as the health care system settles into its ‘new normal’ mode of operation,” says Professor Stern. “This course equips students with strategies and tools to help navigate the ever-changing landscape of the healthcare industry, with an emphasis on the importance of identifying the potential for improvement opportunities via technological solutions like Proximie, implementing relevant changes and measuring their effects on performance and value.”


    Dr. Nadine Hachach-Haram BEM — Proximie’s CEO and Founder, and an NHS frontline surgeon at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust in London — says: “We are incredibly proud to be included as part of a course that highlights the importance of technological solutions in driving the digital transformation of healthcare.”


    From left to right: Professor Ariel D. Stern, Associate Professor of Business Administration in the Technology and Operations Management Unit at Harvard Business School, Dr. Nadine Hachach-Haram BEM, Proximie’s CEO and Founder, and Bryn Davies, Proximie’s Global Marketing Officer.

    “The vision for Proximie was always for it to be a platform that could be scaled quickly and efficiently to make as big a positive impact as possible in improving clinical outcomes — and for this to be widely, easily and affordably available to hospitals and treatment centres anywhere in the world. Equipping students with the managerial skills to first understand the importance of the digital democratisation of healthcare and then recognise the correct technological tools to implement the transformation is vital to creating a sustainable healthcare industry that delivers the best possible care for the largest possible number of patients.”

    “Equipping students with the managerial skills to first understand the importance of the digital democratisation of healthcare and then recognise the correct technological tools to implement the transformation is vital to creating a sustainable healthcare industry that delivers the best possible care for the largest possible number of patients.”

     

     

     

  • On a mission: building capacity for surgical education with Proximie

    Dr. Alaa Ahmad is a paediatric orthopaedic surgeon based in Palestine and the US, with a focus on paediatric spine surgery, and a special interest in disseminating knowledge about the management of spine surgery deformities among doctors in the global South. In February of this year, he flew to Nicaragua for the third time to carry out a week of paediatric scoliosis case ‘missions’ at Fernando Velez Paiz Hospital in Managua, and invited doctors from around the world to view the procedures via Proximie. One of these was Dr. Francois Waterkeyn — a neurosurgeon based in Tanzania.

    The intention was not only to provide viewers the opportunity to learn by observing the scoliosis procedures, but also to demonstrate the potential impact of Proximie to create programs in other lower-middle-income countries (LMICs) that would allow for continuous training year-round, rather than the few times a year when skilled surgeons are able to make themselves available in person.

    Typically, doctors in LMICs try to learn scoliosis surgery through collaboration with skilled surgeons making sporadic visits on missions. The results in building capacity under these conditions are limited, given that this is a complicated surgery in which the local surgeon needs continued support — something which is, at best, extremely difficult to provide between missions. Dr. Alaa Ahmad set out to prove that Proximie can make this continued support extremely easy, and have a huge impact on the accessibility of training under such circumstances.

    “We are launching a program in Nicaragua in cooperation with the Ministry of Health and a medical school,” says Dr. Ahmad. “Within two years we aim to have a team of local surgeons who can comfortably perform the most common form of scoliosis surgery — Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis (AIS). Education is obviously a huge part of the program, so we were interested in using Proximie to deliver that — as well as to broadcast surgical demonstrations to programs in Salvador, Tanzania, Kenya and Pakistan.

    “This is the first time we have used a platform like Proximie to fill in the gap between two missions. In the intervening period, we are now able to train surgeons and guide them through the program, and when we return for the next mission we are not starting from scratch — we are improving skills that have been developed during a continuous education programme. As a global surgeon, I know if a local surgeon is not convinced that they are continually involved, they become less enthusiastic about the program.”

    Dr. Francois Waterkeyn is a Global Neurosurgery Fellow at the Weill Cornell Medicine Tanzanian Neurosurgery Program — a program started 14 years ago by Dr. Roger Härtl, Weill Cornell’s Director of Spinal Surgery, with the aim of providing expert training to local neurosurgeons in Tanzania, alongside the Scoliosis program that Dr. Alaa Ahmad has also been involved in over the last three years. Dr. Waterkeyn was asked by Dr. Ahmad to identify Tanzanian surgeons who would benefit from virtually attending the scoliosis course in Nicaragua via Proximie.

    “I had three local neurosurgeons watching Dr. Ahmad’s surgery on the Proximie platform with me; one junior trainee, one junior consultant who had just finished training, one who is more advanced in their education,” says Dr. Waterkeyn. “All three were really impressed by the platform, and immediately very confident using it on my laptop. It took only a few minutes for them to get used to the annotation tools, zooming in on the images and speaking with Dr. Ahmad while he was doing the surgery.

    “Their feedback was extremely positive, so I think it would be a good next step to implement Proximie in Tanzania as well.”

    “For countries like Tanzania, education is sometimes difficult because of the lack of access to live assistance from people who have the requisite education, knowledge and experience with these kinds of surgeries. So the concept of Proximie is extremely useful — and those neurosurgeons who were watching with me could see that; they were very enthusiastic about the potential for Proximie to improve their education.”

    Having been impressed by Proximie’s capabilities, Dr. Waterkeyn is also seeing how it might potentially benefit future events he is organizing.

    “We will be organizing a course here in Tanzania dedicated to neurotrauma, consisting of lectures in the morning and live surgeries in the afternoon,” says Dr. Waterkeyn. “There will be 80 people attending from all over East Africa, but obviously it is impossible to get 80 people into the theatre to see the surgery. In the past we have found it very difficult to set up a remote screen with adequate picture quality, but having seen Proximie in action — how easy it is to set up, how effortlessly it can incorporate video streams from equipment like microscopes, and the extremely high image quality of the video feed — I think it would be an excellent way for course attendees to view the surgeries.”

    With Dr. Waterkeyn coming to the end of his year-long fellowship, he will be looking into the possibility of installing Proximie at his hospital in Tanzania, hoping to leave behind a legacy of continual access to global medical expertise from all over the world.

    “This is all part of the process of democratising medicine,” says Dr. Ahmad. “The core question in this process is always how to provide local surgeons in LMICs with the knowledge and skills they need to create widespread access to the best quality medical care.

    “Proximie’s ability to relay remote surgical assistance and augmented simulation is a powerful tool in this process, facilitating continuous training and remote guidance in a way that builds surgeons’ confidence and allows expertise to be shared directly from the operating room.”


  • The Origins Story

    The story of how Dr. Nadine Hachach-Haram — inspired by her upbringing in Beirut, a magical first experience in an operating room and the Lancet Commission that revealed five billion people in the world lack access to safe surgery — sought to change the paradigm of surgery, by creating a platform that could scale surgical care beyond the four walls of an operating room.

    Most great ideas never see the light of day.

    They lie dormant, because too often the owner lacks the time, the courage or the resource to bring their idea to life.

    Dr. Nadine Hachach-Haram BEM is cut from a different cloth.

    Born in California in the early 1980s, aged ten her parents decided it was time to move back to Beirut, Lebanon, to connect with her broader family and get closer to her heritage and her culture. It was here, inspired by her grandmother Leila, that she learned about community, entrepreneurialism and, importantly, the fragility of life.

    A chance encounter with a family friend in Sidon, opened her eyes to the magic of the operating room.

    It inspired her to want to become a surgeon, which set in motion a career that has subsequently challenged and cajoled the way surgery is delivered.

    This is her story. This is Proximie’s story.

  • Virtual ablation: unlocking critical remote cancer treatment during COVID-19

    Using Proximie, Professor Afshin Gangi, a globally-respected interventional radiologist from the University Hospital of Strasbourg, France, and president of The Cardiovascular and Interventional Radiological Society of Europe (CIRSE), virtually scrubbed-in from France to collaborate with a team at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, including Consultant Interventional Radiologists Dr Shahzad Ilyas and Dr Athanasios Diamantopoulos, to ensure important cancer procedures could continue despite the emerging threat of the Omicron variant.

    At the end of 2021, Professor Afshin Gangi was virtually scrubbed-in to a series of Cryoablation procedures that took place at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust (GSTT). Professor Gangi would have normally proctored this series of cancer treatments in person, however, he was unable to attend due the rise of the Omicron variant and the subsequent COVID-19 travel restrictions. These cases risked being cancelled but instead, Professor Gangi was able to work remotely and in real-time with Consultant Interventional Radiologist Dr Athanasios Diamantopoulos and Radiologist Dr Shahzad Ilyas to ensure these important oncology procedures could continue despite the challenges posed by the pandemic.

    Cryoablation for cancer is a treatment to kill cancer cells with extreme cold. During cryoablation, a thin, wandlike needle (cryoprobe) is inserted through the skin and directly into the cancerous tumour. A gas is pumped into the cryoprobe in order to freeze the tissue, and the tissue is then allowed to thaw.

    As the backlog of surgery continues to rise, Proximie, the software platform founded by an NHS surgeon, Dr. Nadine Hachach-Haram BEM, is being used to ensure non-elective surgeries can continue during the pandemic.

    The huge surgical backlog for NHS care in England has been estimated to reach between 7 million and 12 million by early 2025, according to the National Audit Office (NAO). The data indicates that the shutdown of most non-COVID-19 services in the first wave of the pandemic — combined with fewer patients being able to attend surgeries due to lockdown and other pandemic-related factors — means the NHS is facing a large backlog of non-COVID-19 care which is continuing to rise.

    “I would have normally attended these procedures in person, but once I saw I would need to spend two days isolating in a hotel room before I could do the case, it was impossible to go to London. So we decided to try Proximie,” Professor Gangi explains. “At the beginning things weren’t that straightforward because of the hospital blocking things like internet access. So I tethered off the WiFi of my computer. The connection was good and it helped a lot.

    “It would have been catastrophic [to have had to cancel]. There were six patients to see and postponing cancer procedures is always difficult; you never know what will happen. During COVID-19, virtual proctoring is essential.

    “Using Proximie we are able to teach multiple people without the need to travel. By taking a typical case of ablation of the bone or kidney we could feasibly train 15 participants online at the same time, they can ask questions during the procedure and see exactly what you’re doing.

    “It’s a great teaching tool and I really think this is the way to go; I’d love to get this software in Strasbourg.”

    Interventional Radiologist, Dr Shahzad Ilyas, was on site at Guys and St Thomas’ collaborating in real-time with Professor Gangi. Despite the distance between the clinical teams in London and Strasbourg, Dr. Ilyas suggests Proximie’s interface is well-suited to interventional oncology, due to some of the technicalities involved in such procedures, and it can be an important tool in ensuring important surgeries can continue during COVID-19.

    Dr. Ilyas explained: “As a platform, Proximie worked well, and as a team we worked well too. To have managed to do all of these cases at a time when they would have been cancelled is obviously a huge positive.

    “Technically, Proximie is well-suited to ablation because there isn’t a big operative sight. The key things you want to share are the imaging and what is happening on the skin surface. So the camera orientation works well and the image overlay and annotation function is extremely useful. It allows the other attendees to annotate and you can share ideas quite easily, which is good.

    “It’s not exactly the same as someone being in the room with you, but I think it’s almost as good.”

    Dr Ilyas believes Proximie has a central role to play in the future of surgery.

    He said: “I think Proximie has two big roles to play [in the future of surgery]; firstly for training and teaching, I think it will have a huge role in that. And secondly — as was the case in this procedure — when you’ve got complex cases, or you’re using new technologies, you want to be able to collaborate with world leaders who have the highest level of expertise available. This platform allows that level of remote collaboration, bringing people together to do these cases and share experiences.”

    Professor Afshin Gangi, Dr Ilyas and Dr Diamantopoulos have continued to use Proximie to ensure important surgeries can continue.

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