crossing the atlantic
UK personalized surgery startup rebrands, expands to US by way of Houston
An innovative health tech company headquartered in the United Kingdom has made its entrance into the United States — and Houston's Texas Medical Center is where it's setting up shop.
The company, newly renamed to Insight Surgery — neé 3D LifePrints — was originally established in 2011 by Paul Fotheringham as a social enterprise to create 3D printed prosthetics for amputees in Kenya. While the company still provides this care to developing countries, Fotheringham, who serves as CTO, evolved his mission into a business in 2015. The company is gearing up for its next evolution — starting with its first international expansion.
“We’re pivoting away from being a 3D printing company toward a company that personalizes surgery,” Fotheringham tells InnovationMap.
Insight Surgery's focus now is to provide digital planning for surgeons and create personalized medical devices. All the technology the company is working with is FDA approved, but will be customized for patients and surgeons. Previously, this type of customized care could take weeks or months, Fotheringham says, but with Insight Surgery's technology, they can accomplish this in a matter of days.
“We’ve coupled this all together at the point of care by putting people and technology in the hospitals,” Fotheringham explains. “We are changing the norm about (traditional surgery)."
Fotheringham and his team connected with Texas Medical Center Innovation Hub by way of a biobridge — an initiative by TMC to work with international entities to provide an exchange of tech and innovative care. TMC originally launched this UK partnership in 2018 and has expanded it to other countries, including Ireland, Australia, and Denmark.
Insight Surgery is currently building out its 5,000-square-foot space in TMCi that will have a print room for manufacturing. Local operations will be led by David Collins, US engineering lead, who will collaborate with Houston medical professionals at the point of care.
"The US is about 45 percent of the global market for personalized devices, so for us it's part of our expansion — both revenue and investment. We're moving into our fourth round of investment, and the funds will be used for geographic expansion," Fotheringham says. "It's the right time. There's not a lot of competitors."