One to Watch: Scopis
Back in 2009, Bartosz Kosmecki, then a research assistant at the Charité University Clinic (CUC) in Berlin, noticed that surgeons lacked critical information while performing operations with endoscopes. Observing the areas being operated on with only an endoscopic image on a monitor presented limitations that needed to be overcome – and could be by means of using state-of-the-art technology.
This insight led him to found Scopis along with mechatronics expert Andreas Reutter, the Fraunhofer research organization and the CUC in July 2010. The company has never looked back and is now a prized member of Berlin’s burgeoning start-up scene.
Kosmecki describes Scopis as “an innovative, globally active company that uses augmented reality to enhance the endoscopic view with additional information that supports surgeons on their way to a good outcome for the patient.” Scopis develops and innovates medical navigation and measurement systems for minimally invasive surgery.
Bartosz Kosmecki, founder and CEO of Scopis | © Hans Christian Plambeck/HCP-Foto
The aim is to allow doctors to shorten the duration of operations, reduce clinical complications and hence lower costs. With Scopis systems, operations can be planned preoperatively by marking important anatomical features and defining the right path to the surgeon’s target. During surgery these marked objects are overlaid in real time onto the endoscopic image, helping the surgeon find his way.
Initial research was sponsored by the EXIST program of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi), before the High-Tech Gründerfonds investment fund provided financial backing in October 2010. Just six months later, Scopis launched the first medically-accredited navigation system and set about distributing it worldwide, supplying its core technology to bigger medical companies. Scopis now sells its products in more than 50 countries and has sold some 200 systems to date.
A further round of financing followed in November 2013, when Berlin-based IBB Beteiligungsgesellschaft and Extorel GmbH of Munich invested a seven-figure sum, which has enabled Scopis to extend its international reach. “The U.S. and China are our focus in 2017,” says Kosmecki, who this year opened an office in Boston to strengthen his company’s position in North America.