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November 06, 2016 | Tom Ballard

Surgiorithm wins LaunchTN, LifeSciTN “Venture Forum”

Launch TN StarsBy Tom Ballard, Chief Alliance Officer, PYA

Surgiorithm, a Nashville-based start-up that helps surgeons increase revenue by capturing patient opportunities, won the $5,000 prize available from the Waller law firm during Friday’s “Venture Match” hosted by Launch Tennessee and Life Science Tennessee.

The event was held the morning after “LST|CON,” Life Science Tennessee’s annual conference, at the Innovation Park in Franklin. Until its recent rebranding, the venue was known as the Cool Springs Life Sciences Center.

Surgiorithm’s first product is focused on ophthalmologists. In his pitch to a panel of judges, Co-Founder Shawn Chapman said cataract surgeons leave $700 million annually on the table by not recognizing patients who are ready to upgrade to high-tech lenses to both remove the cataract and enhance visual acuity.

“Surgeons are trained to treat patients as cases, not as consumers,” Chapman said.

The company’s product guides both patients and surgeons to select between equally viable options based on patient objectives. In its inaugural eight months, more than 700 patients of 11 surgeons in five cities have used the product with more than a quarter of the patients upgrading.

The ultimate goal is to increase both patient satisfaction and the revenue that surgeons receive, a proverbial “win-win.”

The company expects to move into other sectors in 2018.

In addition to Surgiorithm, four other companies, all in the life science arena, participated with each major region of the state represented. The other companies, in alphabetical order, were:

  • 3D Operations Inc., a Chattanooga company more commonly referred as 3D Ops. As noted in numerous posts on, the healthcare service company is focused on greatly improving pre-surgical planning by converting MRI and CT Scan images into 3D printable data. It then prints 3D models of patient-specific anatomy for pre-surgical planning.
  • Flow MedTech, an early stage medical device start-up out of Johnson City that is focused on preventing strokes in patients with atrial fibrillation by targeting the left atrial appendage (LAA). The LAA is known to be a breeding ground for clot formation, and 90 percent of clots in the brain have been traced to the LAA.
  • SimPath, a Knoxville-Oak Ridge start-up, combines state-of-the-art DNA synthesis and assembly methods to construct multiple variations of a pathway for researchers that is quicker and cheaper than present day services. The company’s advantage is its assembly method, which is 10 times more efficient than today’s methods. SimPath is another of the start-ups founded by graduate students enrolled in the Bredesen Center for Interdisciplinary Research and Graduate Education, a joint effort of the University of Tennessee and Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
  • SOMAVAC Medical Solutions, based in Memphis, is creating a wearable, ultra-low profile, low-power suction device for removal of post­surgical fluid. The device is easy to conceal and operate and has a disposable reservoir, with graduations for measurements, that can be easily attached or detached. Target markets are patients who have undergone surgical procedures such as hernia repair, mastectomy, breast reconstruction, and tummy tucks.


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