Dessight Medical Co. Ltd (迪视医疗), a Hangzhou-based surgical robot startup, recently secured tens of millions of yuan from its pre-Series A round of funding, led by Linear Capital and with participation by GL Ventures.
Proceeds raised from this round will be used to accelerate the firm’s registration of its ophthalmic surgical robot with China’s National Medical Products Administration, facilitate the development of its microsurgical robot and other products in the pipeline and expand its staff.
The company, founded in July 2021, has set its sights on providing support for surgical procedures performed on a patient’s eye.
In ophthalmic surgeries, medical gear operating in the vicinity of an incision on the sclera carries the risk of causing muscle tissue damage and inhibiting post-surgery recovery.
Ophthalmic surgery sets high store on the stability and accuracy of the surgeon’s hand movement, with an ideal range of motion at 10 µm or less.
By contrast, the surgeon’s hand, even steady in action, has a natural range of motion of some 100 µm and this could easily result in damage to a patient’s retina and eyesight.
Besides, the ophthalmic community has grappled with a chronic shortage of experienced and well-trained doctors. It takes as much as 10 years to train a doctor capable of operating on the fundus of the eye. Surgeons who remain in the same posture for lengthy periods at work are prone to cervical spine and wrist diseases.
The robots designed by Dessight enable ophthalmic surgeons to overcome their physical limits and perform surgeries on the retina with higher degrees of precision.
Dessight is also extending the application of its proprietary robotic platform to cover treatment of cataract, glaucoma and other eye disorders.
It is one of the first batch of domestic companies that passed the review for ophthalmic surgical robots, with products soon to reach clinical trial stage.
“Dessight has almost 10 years of deep accumulated experience in microsurgery and has core technologies with fully self-owned intellectual property,” said Dr. Cui Di, founder of Dessight. “We’ll continue to fully leverage our technological advantage, to break the bottleneck and limitations in current therapy and help doctors lift the effects of clinical treatment on patients.”
“Dessight has considerably solved the tasks that microsurgeons and ophthalmic doctors are unable to tackle due to physical limits,” said Huang Songyan, managing director of Linear Capital. “It brings enormous value to doctors, patients and hospitals alike.”
Dessight also looks to fill largely unmet needs as hospital departments such as otolaryngology (ear, nose and throat), lymphatic surgery, neural surgery and plastic surgery often find it hard to operate on a lymphatic vessel or nerve, which is about as thin as 0.3 to 0.8 mm, because of the scarcity of doctors with the expertise to take on the job.
Dessight has thus found wider use for its high-precision microsurgery robot system.
It claims to be one of the world’s first companies to boast a robotic system able to achieve a 3-µm accuracy based on personalized medical engineering, a flexible master-slave control system and unique flexible mechanism. It also leads the industry in technology and R&D progress, the company said in a press release.