Avail nets $100M to expand its virtual surgery consultation system

Avail Medsystems has raised $100 million to support its system for virtually connecting surgeons with remote experts and medtech company representatives during a live procedure.

Previously, a large number of surgeries would feature sales reps present in the operating room, to provide advice on the particular devices, implants and tools being used—for example, the myriad screws and hardware sizes necessary for an orthopedic procedure. 

But even before the spread of COVID-19 mandated social distancing measures and exposure protocols—and placed renewed importance on telehealth—many companies found it difficult to place their staff in a growing number of surgical sites.

Avail’s platform, dubbed Procedural Telemedicine, links outside experts with hospital ORs and ambulatory surgery centers, and allows them to contribute through a dedicated, portable console—featuring remote-controlled, camera-mounted arms—as well as via a mobile app. 

RELATED: Sales reps may be wearing out their welcome in the operating room

“For too long, medical information sharing, and collaboration have depended on in-person communication, which is costly and time consuming and increases infection risk,” Avail CEO Daniel Hawkins said in a statement. “Our purpose-built technology removes these barriers, enabling medical collaboration, information sharing and training independent of location.” 

“While our journey began long before COVID-19, the pandemic has shone a spotlight on these issues and accelerated the need for remote presence in the operating room,” Hawkins added.

The company’s series B round was led by D1 Capital Partners, with participation from 8VC and previous backers. Avail’s $25 million series A financings, including this past March, gathered funds from Lux Capital, Coatue, Sonder Capital, Playground Global, Baidu Ventures and Refractor Capital.

Currently Avail’s system can support a range of interventions from general surgery to specialties in cardiovascular, neurology, electrophysiology and orthopedics. With the latest proceeds, the company aims to broaden the adoption of its platform. Avail has already begun placing its consoles in hospital and ambulatory surgery centers free-of-charge.

In September, Smith+Nephew teamed up with Avail to support its orthopedics business, giving the company a time-based subscription to access the consoles.

"We have been exploring options for remote access in hospitals and ASCs and have found that the Avail System checks many boxes for both Smith+Nephew and our customers," said Cindy Walker, senior VP for global medical education. "The ability to tap into the extensive facility network they are building and eliminating the need for Smith+Nephew, or our customers, to invest in capital is an important option for us."