By Tom Ballard, Chief Alliance Officer, PYA
What’s the value of an accelerator program to a community? In the case of Music City, we recently interviewed one healthcare technology company that made the decision to relocate its headquarters from San Francisco after participating in the Nashville Entrepreneur Center’s 2020 “Project Healthcare” program.
“We will have seven people operational in Nashville,” DARVIS Inc. Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer Jan Schlueter told us recently. He is one of those seven, and another is Woody Bibb, a Nashvillian who serves as the company’s Vice President of Strategic Partnerships and Business Development. The other 45 employees work virtually around the globe including from three other office locations – London, Hamburg, and Islamabad.
The company held an open house June 14 and 15 at its new headquarters – 240 Great Circle Road, Suite 346.
“Nashville will be home base,” says Schlueter who co-founded the company with Jan-Phillip Mohr in 2015. At its inception, DARVIS was focused on providing virtual training on the operation of kitchen galleys for Airbus. A couple of years later, it pivoted to a computer vision company and began building solutions that fuel the hospitals of the future.
Noting the name DARVIS is an acronym, Schlueter says it is short for Data Analytics Real World Visual Intelligent System. “We combined virtual reality with computer vision and artificial intelligence,” he explains, adding, “We’re a Productivity-as-a-Service platform.”
Using a term that we had not previously heard – PaaS – fully explains the mission of DARVIS.
“Our goal is to give time back to healthcare workers,” Schlueter explains. “The introduction of automated technology within the workspace allows more time for providers to do what they are trained to do – care for patients. The concentration of healthcare systems and the vast experience of healthcare stakeholders in Nashville made the city the perfect place to move our headquarters.”
One of DARVIS’ early use cases focused on hospital beds, a category of items in a hospital that frequently move from one location, like an emergency room, to another place or floor. The most common way to keep track of them is through use of radio frequency identification (RFID) technology.
“Our Bed Tracking System is 20 times more accurate than RFID,” Schlueter says, explaining that every bed in a hospital would have the equivalent of a license plate. “Our system can also determine if the bed is occupied or vacant and whether it has been cleaned or not. That can have a huge impact on the efficiency of hospital operations.”
With the concerns since early 2020 related to COVID-19, another popular product is the Rapid Hygiene Check, an infection-control compliance model that ensures that healthcare workers are wearing personal protective equipment and complying with hygiene protocols. This YouTube video describes the Rapid Hygiene Check system.
Bibb, well-known in the Nashville start-up community, listed a number of other potential use cases, all designed to show the return on investment that could come from utilization of the DARVIS technology. Many are obviously in healthcare, but could spill over into other sectors, and include ways to automate discharge activities at hospitals, processes that could save time of nurses, preparation of the myriad of surgery kits, and optimization of scheduling through predictive analytics.
Chief Executive Officer Mohr was featured in this YouTube video that describes the company.