In an announcement issued this morning, Avail said the round was led by D1 Capital Partners, with participation from 8VC and existing investors.
The company previously raised $25 million in Series A and Series A-1 funding from investors including Lux Capital, Coatue, Sonder Capital, Playground Global, Baidu Ventures, and Refractor Capital.
The huge round is essential for Avail to fulfill its plan to create a Procedural Telemedicine network that would connect surgeons with each other over longer distances. Avail’s system includes camera, microphones, and on-screen technologies that allow for close consultation.
In a discussion on this week’s DeviceTalks Tuesday, CEO Daniel Hawkins said Avail’s system can also project images from endoscopes, laprascopes and other surgical tools, bringing remote physicians closer to the procedure.
Avail is providing the equipment free to hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers and other medical facilities. The company expects to recoup its costs by charging medical device companies access to the networks.
Device companies like Smith+Nephew, which announced an agreement with the company last month, see the Avail network as a way to keep their sales representatives connected to surgeons and procedures.
Traditionally, sales rep would observe operations and other procedures in person, but Hawkins says this is becoming more difficult for multiple reasons.
First, restrictions required to limit COVID-19 infections are keeping some sales reps out of hospitals.
But in the DeviceTalks Tuesday discussion Hawkins says he initially started the effort two years ago because the growing number of ambulatory surgery centers created a greater demand on sales representatives’ time.
The Avail telemedicine network enables sales reps to sit in on more procedures without having to travel or scrub up.
The Avail system also includes an app and online portal that enables sales reps to share their schedules with surgeons, who can connect with sales reps with the touch of a screen pad during surgery, Hawkins says.
Hawkins also said that allowing surgeons to collaborate over distances will “democratize” medicine and improve care for patients.
Hawkins said the company is serving procedures in a wide range of specialties including cardiovascular interventions, neurology, electrophysiology, orthopedics, and general surgery.
In the release, James Rogers of D1 Capital stated that the investor is “very excited to be a part of Avail’s mission to provide universal access to clinical and procedural expertise. Now more than ever, the medical community needs innovative technological solutions to pressing systemic problems.”
Alexander Coon, MD, Director of Endovascular and Cerebrovascular Neurosurgery at Carondelet Neurological Institute, also called the Avail system a “game changer for remote procedural support and clinical education. There is no other technology that provides all of the capabilities that I need when I’m in the procedure room, including an easy to use integrated system, compact and mobile hardware, zero latency and high-quality imagery.”
In this week’s DeviceTalks Weekly podcast to be released on Friday, Skip Kiil, president of Smith+Nephew’s global orthopedics business, said the company has big plans for using Avail. “We’ll bring something pretty meaningful from a disruptive innovation to the market place,” he said.
In a keynote address at this week’s AdvaMed Medtech Conference, Medtronic CEO Geoff Martha, while not mentioning Avail specifically, suggested the Medtech giant sees a similar need. “Hospitals don’t want unnecessary foot traffic in their facilities,” he said. “Anything that can be done remote and virtual is preferred.”