Asensus and Nvidia team up to boost AI-powered digital surgery solutions

Asensus Surgical, Nvidia, Artificial intelligence, digital surgery, ISU, robotics, medtech

Asensus Surgical, despite having secured approvals for its robotic and AI tools, is not resting on its laurels. The company is diving into an exciting AI collaboration with Nvidia to further advance its real-time vision capabilities.

Asensus’ laparoscopic Senhance system, along with its Intelligent Surgical Unit (ISU), which intelligently highlights critical anatomical features and autonomously manages the surgeon’s camera, initially relied on Nvidia’s computing hardware during the development of machine-vision-powered software.

“We’re thrilled to collaborate with NVIDIA to enhance the machine vision and image analytics capabilities of the ISU, as well as the processing speed and precision of its augmented intelligence capabilities. Utilizing NVIDIA’s advanced technologies will allow us to further improve the ISU’s augmented intelligence capabilities and the roadmap of our innovative clinical applications. Through this collaboration, Asensus is furthering its vision to enhance clinical intelligence in surgery through the use of advanced augmented intelligence tools.”

– Anthony Fernando, Asensus Surgical President and CEO

Now, Asensus has ambitious plans to leverage Nvidia’s extensive suite of applications to enhance the capabilities of the ISU. Concurrently, they are actively expanding their robotics portfolio with the highly anticipated next-generation platform, Luna.

In addition to technological advancements, the collaboration aims to explore broader commercial opportunities for AI-driven surgical solutions. Asensus’ Luna system, also empowered by the ISU, intends to build upon the success of the minimally invasive Senhance platform, which has already secured regulatory approvals for general surgical procedures. Notably, it incorporates AI features like zooming, panning, 3D measurement, and automatic image enhancements that optimize brightness and contrast.

“The healthcare industry, and in particular digital surgery, is becoming one of the largest data generating industries. NVIDIA brings a domain-specific full stack edge AI computing platform, Holoscan, to medtech innovators looking to optimize real-time data and image processing to help solve complex problems and improve surgeon decision-making. As a leading FDA cleared solution in soft-tissue abdominal surgery, Asensus’s ISU is a perfect platform to leverage NVIDIA’s software-defined architecture to accelerate innovation and deliver new products to surgeons faster via software-as-a-medical-device applications.”

– David Niewolny, Director of Healthcare Business Development at NVIDIA

According to Asensus’ recent earnings report, the Luna system is on track to complete preclinical testing by the fourth quarter of this year. The company is targeting the finalization of the system’s design in early 2024, with FDA 510(k) applications set to be submitted by the end of the following year. A commercial pilot launch is scheduled for the latter half of 2025.

The company’s growth trajectory is evident, with a remarkable 27% year-over-year increase in Senhance surgical procedures, as reported in the second-quarter earnings. In the months of April, May, and June, over 1,000 procedures were performed internationally.

While reporting $1.1 million in quarterly revenue, operating expenses totaled $18.9 million, with cash and cash equivalents totaling approximately $40 million. Asensus has its sights set on placing 10 to 12 new Senhance systems in operating suites by the end of this year, following two successful placements in the first half of the year, one in Japan and one in the United States.

The Asensus-Nvidia partnership promises to usher in a new era of innovation in surgical technology, with the Luna system poised to redefine minimally invasive surgery. The company’s dedication to excellence and growth is propelling it toward a future of groundbreaking medical advancements.

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