Caresyntax raises $100M to bring big data into the operating room

Steven Loeb · April 28, 2021 · Short URL:

The company's platform delivers insights to surgeons so they can improve patient outcomes

The amount of data flowing into healthcare right now grew by nearly 900 percent from 2016 to 2019, so there's no lack of insights being provided into how to deliver the best care for patients. Yet, the same cannot be said of the operating room, despite surgery accounting for more than half of all hospital revenue, and nearly three-quarters of all cause-specific deaths in the United States.

That's why Dennis Kogan founded digital surgery platform Caresyntax. The company delivers actionable insights that uses software and AI to analyzes video, audio, images, device data, clinical, and operational data in and around the OR with the goal of improving patient outcomes.

"While data analytics has consumed nearly every aspect of our lives, from business to social media to sports, the operating room stands as one of the lone black boxes with troves of data yet to be uncovered. Lack of access to this data and the inability to draw actionable insights from it increases the likelihood of surgical errors," he told me.

On Wednesday, the Boston-based company announced that it closed an oversubscribed $100 million Series C funding round led by PFM Health Sciences LP, with participation from Optum Ventures, Intel Capital, Lauxera Capital Partners, Vesalius Biocapital III, Arno Capital, Rezayat Investments, as well as current investors IPF Partners, the Relyens Group, and Surgical.AI.

With this latest round, the company has now raised $177.5 million in total.

The real-world evidence gathered by Caresyntax can be used by the care team live, during a procedure, and accessed by those outside the operating room via the platform’s telehealth link. After a procedure, the Caresyntax platform provides insights that help surgeons benchmark and improve their care, hospital administrators use surgical resources more efficiently, medical device companies advance better products, and insurance companies understand risk and devise more tailored policies.

Caresyntax software is currently used in more than 4,000 operating rooms worldwide and supports surgical teams in over two million procedures per year. One of its customers, Saint Thomas Hospital in Tennessee, saw a $500,000 decrease in FTE, a 40% decrease in after-hours cases, and 20% increase in first case on-time starts after using Caresyntax. Another of its customers, the NCH Healthcare System, saw a $2 million annual anesthesia subsidy reduction, a $1 million annual staffing costs reduction, and a 10% case volume increase.

Caresyntax's international clients include Relyens, one of the largest medical malpractice reinsurers in Europe, which relies on the platform to help manage surgical risk utilizing its platform for video and other real-world data based assessments linked to patient outcomes. It also works with The University Hospital of Strasbourg, which has used Caresyntax's software applications to document orthopedic training, which has led to better scores, an optimized learning curve, and improved risk management.

The company was also recently selected by the American Board of Surgery to provide a platform for its pilot program incorporating video-based assessments into their board certification process. Through the pilot program, which will begin in June 2021 and conclude by the end of the calendar year, at least 100 surgeons will upload videos from operations they perform, and these videos will be reviewed by fellow surgeons. This will allow colleagues to provide feedback during the peer-review process.

"Caresyntax was selected for its ability to generate assessment reports for surgeons that include video snapshots along with coaching comments, and a list of scores. Surgeons who are reviewed can click on their video footage and review it directly from the report," Kogan explained.

"Additionally, Caresyntax offers real-time notification to both the surgeon who performed a procedure and the surgeon who will review it once the procedure video is ready for assessment."

Caresyntax has been seen major growth over the last year, including a 250% increase in new contract value, which Kogan attributes largely due to the conditions created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In response to the pandemic making it difficult for surgeons, medtech representatives, and medical students to access the OR, let alone the data it was producing, Caresyntax released a new solution for its platform that allowed hospitals to keep up their surgical caseload. The new solution added virtual access to the OR, which granted surgeons the ability to call other surgeons, medtech representatives, or medical students with the click of a button.

As a result, hospitals using Caresyntax’s platform saw just an 8% reduction in surgical volume from March through June 2020, compares to the 35% percent that the average hospital saw during that time period, according to research from McKinsey & Company.

"While the need for data insights in the OR has always existed, the COVID-19 pandemic has underscored just how important they will be for hospitals to recover. In fact, hospitals lost over $200 billion as a direct result of diminished surgical caseload in just the first five months of the pandemic," Kogan told me.

"Every successful path forward necessitates a technology platform that generates actionable insights from the OR and allows hospitals to benchmark and improve care, and use surgical resources more efficiently."

Going forward, the company plans to use its new funding to further research and development of its AI analytics, build out its platform, and expand hiring. The money will go toward accelerating expansion of Caresyntax into new markets. 

"Our mission is to make surgery smarter, safer, and ultimately simpler with technology. For us, success means having Caresyntax products in every hospital in order to empower surgeons and other staff with data visibility, learning, and automation tools to address surgery’s most acute problems," said Kogan.

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