Surgeonmate: Technology, Made in Portugal
It was with the objective of developing technological solutions for the healthcare sector and to improve the surgeon’s performance that, in 2018, SurgeonMate emerged. Revista Business Portugal talked with the CEO and Founder, the surgeon Nuno Muralha, to better understand his project and the market he operates in.
SurgeonMate is a company focused on the development of new technological professional solutions in the healthcare area. How did this innovative project come about?
The idea behind SurgeonMate came to me when I was in South Africa doing an internship in Trauma. I’ve seen things that are very rare to find in Europe! We live in a country that is not particularly dangerous. There is crime, of course, but the crime rate is low. This does not happen in South Africa. The truth is not easily believable, if you have not come across this reality. What I saw and did to treat the patients that came to us was incredible. That was when I started to think about a device that would allow me to record surgeries… Essentially, I wanted to have a backup that would allow me to re-watch what I had done, so I could learn and, also, to show my colleagues what I had been through. The market gave me some alternatives such as Smart Glasses, but it was not enough! When I came back to Portugal, I gathered my team and we started to create a new device from scratch. In 2015, we analyzed the needs and we came up with the concept. In 2016, our idea grew into something bigger. That’s how SurgeonMate was born, with a pair of smart glasses, SurgeonMate Vision, and the database management platform, SurgeonMate Library.
SurgeonMate Vision smart glasses were developed to improve the surgeon’s performance. How was this technology developed and what are its features?
SurgeonMate glasses allow the surgeon to record the surgery, anonymously, and SurgeonMate Library ensures the video can be stored safely. Design and ergonomy are a priority for the glasses. They were designed to give the user maximum comfort. Other distinguishable features are its camera with an adjustable point of view that responds to voice commands. In fact, we tried to create an easy to use, reliable and non-intrusive device, which would allow the surgeon to record any procedure. Recording surgeries is an effective learning method, allowing to review everything that was done and share that information with other colleagues.
Interestingly, when we started to develop this technology, General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was being published. At that time it was not so popular but we knew it would have important implications on our product later on, so we realigned SurgeonMate’s research in order to respect the privacy and the data protection of the patients. That need led to the creation of SurgeonMate Library. A database management platform with enhanced security and robust data protection that allows us, the surgeons, to introduce important clinical data. That information can only be accessible by the surgeon who has created it.
Besides SurgeonMate Vision and SurgeonMate Library, the ThermoTech jackets are also available for purchase. What are its features and advantages?
I started to look around and realized that inside an operating room there are other needs. Three out of six people inside an operating room are cold! In the beginning, I thought it was just in the operating room but then I realized, it does happen all around. It happens at the wards, laboratories, radiology, and so on. Then I understood that the most generalized solution is the polartec jacket. Something so simple but at the same time, being loaded with bacteria, it ends up turning the healthcare professionals into walking centers of bacteria. Bearing this in mind I created the SurgeonMate ThermoTech jackets. It’s a jacket with detachable sleeves and detailed design that makes it a professional jacket, made for healthcare professionals. This jacket warms people and has permanent antimicrobial, liquid repellent and antistatic properties. Basically, it does not get easily dirty and it reduces the spread of bacteria! On another hand, the jackets are highly customizable according to the different needs of each Institution and Departments. Our jackets can be purchased through our website (www.surgeonmate.com) or through our partners.