8chili – 21 July
Situated in Oakland, California, 8chili is developing a platform for remote surgical collaboration. With a vision to reimagine surgeries, 8chili’s first product is a surgical training application that delivers LIVE and immersive surgical training from the surgeon’s perspective. Unlike any other, their patent-pending device plans to harness the power of Mixed Reality, Machine vision and AI to deliver a seamless remote collaboration experience for surgical training and surgeries.
Equipped with advanced edge computing software, the system is able to connect through vast locations to stream critical data (audio, 3D depth video, surgical instrument location) with a near 0 latency.
8chili faces competition against Fundamental VR and Precision OS, which offer similar immersive technology in the interactive virtual reality field. However, the differentiating factor is that the competition only focuses on a limited number of surgical specialties. Scaling to another specialty would require them to invest a lot of time and effort in the virtual asset creation.
In contrast, 8chili’s surgical training platform can work off the bat for any surgical specialty with minimum asset creation. A further advantage is the ability to vicariously learn from the surgeon’s perspective. This LIVE training helps residents experience the complexities and unexpected surprises during surgery and witness how surgeons navigate the situation; which allows for users to take on the valuable learning outcome and implement it within their studies.
8chili creates a learning experience that can not be easily emulated through typical online training videos and tutorials. With vigor, they plan to use the power of AI-based segmentation and visualization to bring a new concept of experiential learning to surgeons.
8chili has already identified a couple of deployment sites with the support of their clinical advisors and are in current discussion with 3 more right now to get deployments going before October 2020.
With an ambitious vision, 8chili’s biggest challenge is to create a market for LIVE surgical training. Similar to an online learning platform for academic courses, 8chili aims to provide that opportunity for surgical training by creating an enhanced learning experience through technological visualization and simulation.
As surgeons are busy people and there has to be an incentive for every stakeholder—the hospital (buyer), the surgeon (user), and the trainee (user)—8chili must come up with a creative pricing plan that can create revenue streams for hospitals and surgeons to use their device when they perform surgeries. In accordance, medical students could work with monthly subscriptions to learn as they want.
Aravind Upadhyaya, Co-Founder and CEO – BE, MBA
Amit Vohra, Board Member – PhD, MBA
Harneet Bath, Chief Medical Officer – MD, FACP, MBA
Abhita Batra, Chief Strategy Officer – BS, MBA
8chili is currently looking to raise $1,000,000 in capital. As they are still a startup company, there are still many parameters that they need to flourish out before introducing their product to the market.
Once funds are secured, they will be put towards a variety of segments including that of usability studies to evaluate the effectiveness of their product, data collection strategy, and further pilots and clinical studies. Moreover, supplementary research will need to be done to determine their QMS and IP strategy, as well as conducting market surveys to identify customers’ willingness to pay and establishing pricing models before proceeding for a launch.
8chili was founder funded for the last 2 years working in stealth mode. They have worked with some of the leading surgeons to understand the issues currently faced by them.
With their product ready to be deployed, 8chili is currently raising $1M to have multiple pilot sites. They started fund-raising during JPM-2020 and in spite of the current economic crisis, they have successfully received a 55% commitment for this round.
Following the upcoming 3-6 months, 8chili plans to allocate a part of their funds to facilitate hiring; they are looking to employ committed people with skills in Unreal, C++, C#, CUDA.
8chili’s plans for stream of revenue is to charge an annual subscription to the Hospital through a business-to-business model. Similarly, they will leverage a more direct to consumer model whereby surgeons and students can utilize the products on a subscription basis.