For nearly 20 years I’ve held up the walls of operating rooms and interventional suites waiting for my one moment to shine. This is the name of the game in medical device sales.
The goal of any rep is to learn your technology and specific disease space so thoroughly that your presence adds value to the operative care team. Reps focus their efforts on a few highly specialized surgeons and the staff supporting them.
And while our guidance often helps surgical teams use new technologies to elevate a patient’s quality of care, you realize at other times how limited your ability to add value can be. You focus on a handful of surgeons, or on a single procedure, for years at a time. You’re not overhauling the system or working at scale; you’re making a procedure better or safer, one case at a time.
But the world of surgery is massive. We spend as much as $1 trillion per year on surgical services in the United States. (Yes, that’s right, trillion with a “T”.) Even gaudier, a third of that can legitimately be considered waste. Everything from surgical complications to delays in the OR, or even opening expensive tools that never get used and are simply thrown away. Every minute in the OR can cost up to $100 or more in administrative overhead expenses.
Those big numbers are interesting, but anyone could Google their way to that insight.
There’s a more important insight hiding in plain sight. These stats represent the everyday challenges and frustrations that surgeons, nurses, hospital staff and administrators face. The complexity of surgical products and procedures has rapidly grown as we aim to improve patient outcomes with innovation. Ironically, surgical innovation has increased the complexity required to manage the O.R. itself. Surgeons and their teams have better tools, but harder conditions to work in. Surgeries routinely start late, the right tools, equipment or staff may be missing or not available. These issues have a personal impact on every single person who works in an OR and spans nearly every type of surgery.
The human cost of this waste manifests as visceral frustration, conflict, and burnout – all of which impacts patient care.
Solving them is a once-in-a-career opportunity and this is our mission at Apella. Our technology collects new data in the operating room by harnessing computer vision, machine learning and AI providing the insights and communication needed to run a modern OR.
Our goal is to liberate surgeons and staff from distractions, delays, data entry and the complexities of the OR environment, ultimately helping them do what they set out to do every day: provide excellent patient care. Apella can make that possible.
With our Series A financing now complete, we will expand Apella’s presence into early adopter hospitals over the next six months. We are incredibly excited to partner with innovative facilities, passionate surgeons to pioneer this opportunity.
I am grateful to David Schummers and Cameron Marlow for partnering on this journey. I want to thank the ever growing Apella team for building the most exciting product in healthcare.