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C-SATS raises $2.5M to make surgery safer.

May 29, 2015

The next time you go through surgery, it may be caught on tape. That's if, of course, the hospital you're at is a client of C-SATS, a young Seattle software company that spun out of the University of Washington last year.

C-SATS records surgeons during procedures and then outsources those videos to people to evaluate them and improve their performance. The evaluators are either medical experts or people who were trained by C-SATS to know what to look for during the procedures.

C-SATS — the name stands for "crowdsourced assessment of technique and skill" — just raised $2.5 million in combined venture capital funding and grant money. The University of Washington's W Fund led the round and other backers included WRF Capital, Founders Co-op, Point B Capital and the Seattle Angel Fund. The grant money came from the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation and UW.

"It's about getting (surgeons') skills to the right level, getting more efficient, getting more revenue for the hospital, getting risk to go down" said C-SATS CEO Derek Streat.

He also said using this system to evaluate surgeons is cheaper than peer review, with more accurate results. For example, evaluators might review a surgeon's depth perception and rank whether she overshot or undershot an incision.

"It's a proven fact that all of these things have a huge impact on outcomes," Streat said.

Some of the new funding will be put toward hiring, though Streat wouldn't say how many employees the company has or how many it's looking to hire. The company has clients in Canada and across the U.S., including in the Puget Sound region, though Streat wouldn't specify which local health systems use the software.

While C-SATS is geared toward providing data about surgeon performance to the hospital for internal use, the technology has a familiar ring to it.A Bellevue startup called Mpirica crunches federal data to provide consumers with cost and quality information about medical procedures. That company is working on launching a surgeon comparison tool by July.

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