Hillrom, a publicly-traded company best known for its connected hospital beds, is looking to the operating room with the launch of its Helion Integrated Surgical System, which helps surgical teams communicate during a procedure. This news come after Hillrom bought Italian company Videomed’s technology, in 2020 for roughly $9.4 million, with an additional $3.7 million of consideration upon certain milestones.
“Last year, we acquired Videomed and its technology – now rebranded Helion – as part of our commitment to advancing connected care, and are now launching it in the U.S. for the first time. The Helion Integrated Surgical System is comprehensive, with user-centered design and intuitive interfaces and controls to help surgical teams effectively manage the surgical suite and the flow of patient information, all with the end goal of creating more positive outcomes for patients,” Howard Karesh, VP for Corporate Communications, told MobiHealthNews.
As part of Helion, clinicians are able to record and share videos from any vendor, and the system has full 3D support. The vendor-neutral system lets users tap into split views and do two-channel recordings. Users are able to set up multi-networking options and secure communication channels.
WHY IT MATTERS
Although Hillrom got its start in the hospital bed space, we can expect the future of the company to include more digital tools for patients and providers.
“Our business is about 80% acute care, so ICU beds, med surge beds, labor and delivery stretchers, advanced patient monitoring and diagnostics – all of the stuff that is in the acute care environment – about 15% or so is physician office,” Karesh said. “That’s largely the Welch Allyn patient monitoring and diagnostics and physical assessment tools.”
While this new announcement does fall in the acute care space, it is a divergence from the company’s traditional product line. Branching out from beds is going to continue in the future, according to Karesh. M&As, like the one which helped the company rollout Helion, may be a big part of diversifying its portfolio.
“Then there’s 5% which is technology for the home. So the whole concept of connectivity is throughout our portfolio – respiratory and the app vision, care and diabetic retinopathy screenings, surgical tables, and other technologies that we are looking to acquire. We’re very active on the M&A front, and are going to bolster this concept of connected care, not just in beds, and sensors, and vital seismometers, but across the portfolio.”
Karesh said that during the pandemic connected technologies came to the forefront for the company.
“In a certain way, a lot of the future showed up in the last year. And some of that has to do with technologies that we were developing, and just starting to commercialize, all of a sudden became more important,” he said.
In particular, he said that care coordination tools and patient monitoring tools became crucial over the last year.
THE LARGER TREND
There are several companies creating digital tools to assist in the operating room. In late 2019, Philips Lab showed off an augmented reality tool that is used to help clinicians during intraoperative procedures. In the system, clinicians are able to view images while in surgery and control the system with their vision.
In April Boston-based Active Surgical landed FDA clearance for its technology that is able to give surgeons real-time intraoperative visual data.
Additionally, Avail Medsystems has created a telemedicine platform for remote procedure-room collaborations. It recently claimed $100 million in Series B funding.