5. M&S BioticsM&S Biotics aims to enable hospitals to perform more efficient, effective and safer surgical procedures by using a Biotic Integration system. The system leverages proprietary RFID and artificial intelligence to automate surgical counting in the operating room while providing downstream data analytics regarding instrument use.
RFID solutions have been around for decades, noted Joshua Mecca, president of M&S. However, he said, there is a lot of room to improve the process to make it easier for surgeons and reduce waste.
“It takes about 14% of operating time simply to count sponges, nothing else—such as metal tools,” he said. “If you could eliminate that step you’d save millions per year.” Further, he noted that 20% of instruments brought into the operating room and opened are used in the surgery. Most hospitals use a manual counting process, leading to accounting errors in one out of every eight procedures.
Mecca isn’t a typical medtech startup guru. He is a self-described “guy from Scranton,” who realized after his own kidney transplant, the waste and risk represented by manual OR equipment accounting.
He saw a need to create effective OR procedures that decrease time spent in the OR, which allows for more surgeries to be performed per day. “That’s our biggest value proposition is to hospitals—they can do more with the same staff.”
Mecca’s plan to create an autonomous solution would also help nurses focus more on patients rather than counting objects, which would improve patient satisfaction and outcomes.
Mecca noted that his team is “riding the wave of legislation,” and using the oncoming UDI requirements to partner with medical technology firms. “As we’ve collected data, our goals have turned to tracking utilization as well, and we know we can impart value to 3rd parties as well as hospitals.”
One revelation that shocked Mecca was that these systems didn’t already exist. But he believes the key is his system’s autonomous approach. “There is no manual effort required by the operating room staff, our goal is to redirect their attention to the patient, where it needs to be.”