Usually, training in laparoscopic surgery is based on using high cost surgical simulation devices which are hard for medical staff to access, limiting opportunities for learning. Inovus Medical is producing a suite of medical training devices at a fraction of the cost of established models – leading to an increase in training opportunities and safer surgery.
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The materials developed in-house allow Inovus to try and make procedures like appendix surgery and ectopic pregnancies as realistic as possible – the latter specifically having its own mass that can be removed from the model. Polyps and lesions are among the ‘dummy scenarios’ that have been manufactured for surgical practice from silicone material.
The simulators therefore conjure up a mixture of the digital environment and reality. To take it as close to reality as possible, with some of them 3D printed in their entirety like the Bozzini Hysteroscopy Simulators and Sellick Cricoid Pressure Trainers.
Our contact with the Innovation Agency has had a hugely positive effect on the company and has helped towards its growth over the last 18 months. The Innovation Agency has opened doors to funding, supported our funding bids and helped spread the word on the innovative work we are doing at Inovus.
Dr Elliot Street, CEO Inovus Medical
How did the Innovation Exchange help?
The Innovation Agency advised Inovus on its SBRI applications and on a successful bid for 50,000 Euros from the European Institute for Innovation and Technology (EIT) Health. This will allow the company to market new products, including a turnkey hysteroscopy simulator, in the UK and abroad.
Impact & Outcomes
The company has won major funding to develop and market low-cost keyhole surgical simulators, based on their original model which is now used by nearly 100 hospitals in the NHS.
In November 2018 they secured £700,000 from the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund and an angel investor, which will lead to an extra four jobs and enable the growth of Inovus Medical’s commercial operations. Overall, headcount has grown from two to 16 and they have won three industry awards.
Having secured an initial £100,000 from SBRI Healthcare for its augmented reality simulator, Inovus Medical was awarded a further £1 million SBRI Healthcare phase-two funding to complete development of a commercially-ready offering, in July 2019.