Health system’s VC fund invests in AI


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A local venture capital fund is investing in an out-of-state medical startup with artificial intelligence technology.

Spectrum Health Ventures is joining nine other investors as part of a $20-million, third-phase investment in Los Altos, California-based Gauss Surgical’s medical solution, Triton.

Triton estimates surgical patient blood loss in real time through images and “learning” ability.

The technology has demonstrated that accurate, real-time estimation of blood loss leads to early recognition of hemorrhage, reduced blood transfusions and shortened length of stay for patients.

In particular, this is an important tool for pregnant mothers, thousands of whom deal with hemorrhage-related maternal morbidity and mortality each year, according to Dr. Melinda Johnson, VP and department chief of Women’s Health, Spectrum Health.

“With more accurate technology such as Triton, physicians are better able to prevent harmful postpartum complications and improve recovery time for patients,” Johnson said.

According to a recent study of 2,781 caesarean section patients published in the American Journal of Perinatology, implementing Triton was associated with significant increases in recognition of maternal hemorrhage and significant decreases in blood product transfusions and hospital length of stay.

Triton is FDA-approved and has been adopted by 50 hospitals in the U.S.

Triton received a 2018 Apple Design Award, which recognizes the best in design, innovation and technology on Apple platforms.

Spectrum Health Ventures

Spectrum Health Ventures was founded in 2017 to manage a $100-million investment fund on behalf of the Grand Rapids-based health system Spectrum Health.

Spectrum Health Ventures says its “investment opportunities” take several forms: partnering with other health care organizations in new ventures; investing in new research, products, services and emerging technologies; and bringing Spectrum’s products to market.

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