Stryker buys Gauss Surgical for its AI tech that tracks blood loss during childbirth

operating room
The AI program can alert caregivers to potentially dangerous cases of postpartum hemorrhaging, the leading cause of maternal mortality. (Pixabay)

Stryker has snatched up Gauss Surgical after being drawn to its artificial intelligence-powered platform for monitoring a patient’s blood loss during surgery as well as following cesarean sections and childbirth.

The company’s Triton system uses a computer vision app and an iPhone to visually measure a person’s loss of blood by capturing images of sponges, towels and canisters of fluid held up to the camera in addition to automatically calculating the blood volume of weighed items.

The AI program can then alert caregivers to potentially dangerous cases of postpartum hemorrhaging, the leading cause of maternal mortality.

"Our belief is that Triton technology will help improve the industry standards for quantifying blood loss in the labor and delivery department,” Dylan Crotty, president of Stryker's Instruments division, said in a statement. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

According to Gauss, researchers at Mount Sinai Hospital using the FDA-cleared system saw more accurate recognition of hemorrhages during C-sections and vaginal deliveries, which lead to faster interventions to control the bleeding and more timely transfusions.

"Since the advent of modern surgery, visual estimation of blood loss has remained a notoriously inaccurate and imprecise standard of care," said Gauss founder and CEO Siddarth Satish. 

RELATED: Cellex, Gauss aim for smartphone-powered coronavirus test, offering rapid results at home

Meanwhile, in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, Gauss has also been working to develop a digital smartphone platform paired with a rapid antigen test for the coronavirus. The company previously teamed up with the diagnostic maker Cellex to produce an at-home screener, and earlier this year began working with the health tech company Ro to distribute the test.

But after the company’s acquisition by Stryker, these home diagnostic-focused efforts will be spun out as a new separate company, dubbed Exa Health. 

The purchase comes quickly on the heels of Stryker’s launch of its SurgiCount+ sponge-counting workstation, which aims to keep track of the blood-stopping equipment used during hectic operating room procedures. 

Using RFID-tagged sponges and a wireless reader, the system connects to electronic medical records to help quantify blood loss and alert surgeons and staff to the possibility of a sponge being accidentally left inside the patient after a procedure is completed. 

According to Stryker, these medical errors otherwise occur about a dozen times a day and can lead to minutes of searching and a pause in open surgery when a sponge is found to be missing.