By Saritha Rai
Doctors’ weapons against cancer have traditionally been surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. India-based health care technology firm Perfint Healthcare is leading the development of a fourth tool: minimally invasive, image-guided robotic systems. Perfint’s product, called Maxio, can guide doctors through cancer diagnostics, surgery, and pain care interventions, helping them to better see, plan, navigate, and perform procedures accurately and safely—for example, by pinpointing exactly where a needle should enter a tumor. It has been used in 1,500 procedures in renowned hospitals in the United States, India, Germany, and Russia, and this year will launch commercially in Japan, Korea, and other reaches of Asia.
Perfint’s robotic systems can be easily wheeled into hospitals and travel from one location to the next. “It is the first-of-its-kind integrated cancer-therapy-enabling device combining tumor visualization, treatment planning, robotic navigation, and verification,” says Nandakumar Subburaman, cofounder and CEO, who worked for GE Healthcare before turning to entrepreneurship and venturing into health care products seven years ago. The global ultrasound-guided abdominal procedure market alone is estimated to touch $1 billion by 2020; Perfint hopes to capture a tenth of that market.
Perfint develops its technology by working with physicians from around the world, and prominent Investors include Norwest Venture Partners and the India arms of IDG Ventures and Accel Partners. The company is now focusing on expanding its products into smaller cities in countries like Indonesia and India. And regulatory approvals in China, with a high incidence of liver cancer, came through in 2014—opening a market so massive that China is expected to account for a fifth of Perfint’s revenues this year.
One Cool Thing
At 0:34 in this video, watch an Australian doctor use Maxio to plan out how needles will be going into a patient. And if you have the stomach, stick around until 1:55 when those needles start going in.