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Tim Murawski

CCO and President at Augmedics

Chicago
AR
Robotics
Executive
Tim Murawski
Professional Status
Employed
Just looking around
About Me
Tim Murawski is the President and Chief Commercial Officer of Augmedics, Inc. The company develops groundbreaking remote, robotic, and AR technology for use in hospital settings. Murawski's business career began in purchasing for R&D operations with a large chemical company, but he soon discovered that he preferred "the other side of the desk," and decided to pursue a career in sales with an emphasis on the healthcare industry and the exciting fast-developing field of medical devices.

During the HIV/AIDS era of the early 1990s, when healthcare workers were at risk from accidental needle sticks, Tim Murawski found his passion directed toward the life and safety-enhancing technology of the medical field. He has been employed with Baxter Healthcare's IV Systems Division, has been affiliated with Hansen Medical, and has been instrumental in helping to build other young medical technology companies from the ground up.

Tim Murawski's enthusiasm for, understanding of, and experience with disruptive technology proved to be the catalyst for a distinguished career in the field of medical robotics. Between 2010 and 2019, he held several positions, including Vice President of US Accounts and Vice President of Global Renaissance Business, with Mazor Robotics prior to its subsequent transition to Medtronic following a $1.6 billion acquisition, and he is known for his strategic management style and for building high-value product propositions.

Tim Murawski excels at "big picture" efforts and has been involved not only in leading-edge technology that results in surgical benefits but also takes time to mentor others and tries to inspire new leaders in the field.

Raised in the Chicago area as the fourth of five children, Tim Murawski says he learned the benefits of a strong work ethic at an early age from his working parents, and he believes his ability to "do what needs to be done," and to "see the big picture" have been instrumental to his success.

Tim Murawski shows no signs of slowing down. He lives with his wife of 35 years, and a dog, and he enjoys water skiing, tennis, and working in his yard in his free time.
Resume created on DoYouBuzz
How Artificial Intelligence is Making Breakthroughs in the Medical Field
17 Sep 2021

It seems as if every day brings news on a new tech development that makes lives more convenient. Breakthroughs are common in the medical industry. Technology comes into play in providing less invasive treatments and more efficient processes.

AI is at the core of most technology breakthroughs. This machine simulation of human intelligence makes for increased problem solving and decision-making capabilities which can be extremely valuable in the diagnostic and treatment phases. There is little question as to why it is becoming more integrated in the medical field.

In the coming years, we can expect AI to play an even bigger role in the medical industry. Read on to find out current applications and future trends.

Machine Learning

Machine learning involves computers learning from algorithms so they can perform tasks without being programmed to do so. In the medical industry, machine learning is most often used in precision medicine, a form of customized care. Computers can predict treatment procedures that are likely to be successful making for a major leap forward in the medical space.

Natural Language Processing

Natural Language Processing uses AI to recognize speech and text for analysis and translation purposes. It is useful in the medical field in that it can be implemented in understanding and classifying clinical documentation. It can analyze unstructured clinical notes and organize them while providing insight that allows doctors to come up with the best treatment methods.

Rule Based Expert Systems

AI technology in the medical field has been based on an ‘if-then’ system since the late 80’s. The logic of “if they have this symptom then they may have this disease” or “if they have this disease then they may need this treatment” has been a backbone for medical processes for years.

But, as years go by, more if-then rules are being entered in the system with some having conflicting information. This has caused engineers and experts to spend hours coming up with a system that functions well and is easy to process. In the end, most aren’t as efficient as hoped.

Today, machine learning is taking over by replacing rule-based systems with medical algorithms. As a result, data is more accessible, and doctors can provide improved service to patients.

Development of Radiology Tools

Radiology images make for a minimally invasive way to diagnose patients. But many still require tissue samples obtained through biopsies that run the risk of infection.

AI is currently being used to developnew radiology tools that will not require tissue samples. Rather, virtual biopsies will be used to gather image-based algorithms that characterize genetic properties and tumors.

Beyond making for a less invasive procedure, the new system will also help doctors gain a better understanding of tumors so they can find optimal treatment solutions.

Increased Care to Underserved Communities and Regions

Developing nations around the world are lacking in medical care and technology. AI may be used to solve the issues caused by these deficits.

For example, AI imaging can be used to screen chest x-rays for tuberculosis and other issues producing accurate results you would expect from a care professional. The tool would be available to providers via an app reducing the need for on-site radiology experts.

However, developing the tools comes with its share of challenges. Various ethnic groups may be affected by genetic and environmental factors that come into play in the diagnosis and treatment process. Therefore, algorithms must be created to account for diversity in various countries and cultures.

Reducing the Need for Electronic Health Records

Electronic health records have come to play a major role in the healthcare industry. But providers have encountered problems in the processing of documentation which has led them to seek more efficient solutions. Users have found themselves spending an unnecessary amount of time entering orders and filling out and sorting through documents.

Natural language processing has been integrated to increase efficiency, but medical professionals are finding it hasn’t been helpful enough.

Now experts are considering introducing video recordings to the process. AI would be used to index the videos so doctors can access the information they need. It would integrate tools like Siri and Alexa to provide data directly in examination and surgical settings.

AI may also be used to process requests for medication, refills and results so clinicians spend less time sorting paperwork and more time caring for patients.

Conclusion

AI works in wonderful ways. The improvements it’s making in the medical field are truly amazing. It’s working to make the world a smaller place while providing more efficient systems to providers and less invasive procedures.

The overall improved care experience AI is creating will make for more pleasant medical encounters and boosted wellbeing overall.

Robotics are Making Impressive Breakthroughs in the Health Care Industry
13 Sep 2021

If we take a trip back in time, we will see the countless ways robots have been used in books and movies to represent advances in technology we never thought imaginable. Today, the world of sci-fi is becoming a realityas robots are being used for everything from driving to cooking to cleaning the home.

But one of the most remarkable applications comes into play in the healthcare industry. Robots are integrated in nursing care, hospital environments… and a robot just may be operating on you the next time you need surgery.

The idea of a robot replacing a human doctor may not sit well with everyone, but the advancements being made are quite remarkable. Read on to find out more.

What Types of Robots are Used in Healthcare?

There are many types of robots being used in the healthcare field. These include the following:

Surgical Robots

Surgical assistance robots can help doctors perform minimally invasive complex micro procedures. They use computer vision to identify specific areas to be operated on while avoiding nerves and other obstacles. Some robots may even be able to complete surgeries on their own while a surgeon oversees the process.

Robots have been instrumental in performing procedures like hysterectomies, prostatectomies, bariatric surgeries and orthopedic surgeries without the need for large incisions.

Therapeutic Robots

Therapeutic robots help in the rehabilitation process. They use AI and depth cameras to monitor patients as they perform prescribed exercises. They interact with patients to coach them and provide encouragement and they can measure movement more precisely than the human eye.

Service Robots

Service robots reduce tasks of healthcare workers by handling them themselves. They can set up patient rooms, find and deliver medications, stock medical supplies and handle cleaning duties. They send a report when tasks are completed. When robots handle medial tasks, workers are better able to focus on caring for their patients.

Social Robots

Social robots provide social interaction and monitoring. They keep patients happy and alert and encourage them to comply with treatment recommendations. They take the pressure off staff members and help patients achieve optimal emotional wellbeing.

Autonomous Robots

Autonomous robots are made with mapping capabilities and built-in light detection so they can navigate medical environments. Clinicians can use a remote to interact with the robot from afar or the robot can assist doctors on hospital rounds automatically recordingdiagnosis and suggestions made for medical care. They can keep track of their batteries and find charging stations when their power is getting low.

Benefits of Robots

Robots provide several benefits for the patients and doctors who rely on them. These include the following:

Improvement of Care: Robots can monitor patients continually making for high quality care. Their ability to take the stress off healthcare workers allows the staff deliver an improved care standard.

Boost Efficiency:Robots keep track of hospital supplies, inventory and medication and oversee patients’ conditions. This makes for boosted efficiency in the hospital ensuring patients are seen to promptly and saving medical facilities time and money in the long run.

Makes a Safe Work Environment: Service robots deal with dangerous chemicals and do heavy lifting reducing potential risks for healthcare workers. They also effectively sanitize rooms to decrease the spread of germs and disease.

Robotic Advancements in Laparoscopic Surgery

Robotics are changing the world of healthcare for the better. One of the most recent advancements comes fromLevita Magnetics, a California laparoscopic systems specialist. The company is currently working on the Levita Robotics Platform, a surgical robot that uses magnetic technology to control devices that are inserted into the body during laparoscopic surgery.

Although the platform is still in development, it has been used to successfully perform surgery on a patient in Chile.

The technique the robot uses is advantageous in that it does not require a fixed pivot point to carry out the precise movements necessary during the surgery. It results in fewer incisions and less risk to the patient. It also reduces the amount of personnel needed to perform the procedure.

Conclusion

Some people may prefer a human touch to robots, especially when it comes to medical care. But the advancements robotics have made in this space are undeniable. They create more efficient systems, a higher quality of care and a safer work environment. They are truly the way of the future in the industry.

Optogenetic Advancements are Opening the Door for a Deeper Understanding of How the Brain Works
03 Sep 2021

It seems that medical technology can be used to do anything these days. But can it control minds? Maybe.

Optogenetics are a form of technology that can control the brain using light. It causes the neurons in the brain to open on demand to promote a variety of functions. It has shown to be useful in promoting a better understanding of the brain and treating movement disorders such as Parkinson's and those related to chronic pain. It may even be used to develop a pacemaker that uses light to regulate the heartbeat.

Optogenetics is endlessly beneficial but its potential to cause damage to the skull and brain is a cause for concern. Scientists have recently come up with a wireless, battery free implant that can shine light through the skill without causing damage. Read on to find out more about optogenetics and new developments in the field.

How Does Optogenetics Work?

Neurons play an essential role in how the brain communicates. They use a combination of electrical and chemical activities allowing the brain to assist the body in basic functions.

Optogenetics work by controlling neurons’ activity with light and genetic engineering. Scientists take the genetic code of the neurons they want to study and add new code to it. The new code causes neurons to make special proteins (opsins) that respond to light.

To get the opsins into the neuron, the opsin must be inserted into the neuron’s genetic code. If done correctly, every neuron will have an opsin. Opsins can also be inserted into specific types of neurons or into specific locations in the brain. This allows scientists to choose the neurons they want to control.

Once opsins are inserted, they can be activated when certain lights shine on them. This provides scientists with overall control of the timing of the neuron’s activity.

Optogenetics are instrumental in allowing scientists to produce a structural map of the brain. Much like a road map, the neuron activity maps out paths that mark the communications the neurons are sending and where they are being received. It provides a better understanding of how the brain communicates and the diseases that result from a disruption in communication.

So far, optogenetics are available only for animal studies. But even with their limited scope, they have provided scientists with a better understanding of fear reactions in the brain, how memories are stored, risk and reward centers and the effects of a stroke.

Recent Study Make for Safe Optogenetics Research

Optogenetics have been the source of several medical breakthroughs, but the technique is invasive. The insertion of the light source causes penetration of the brain and skull. Researchers at the University of Arizona have come up with a solution in the form of a wireless, battery-free implant that shines light through the skull.

The device’s diameter is as small as a dime and as thin as apiece of paper. Its small size means it can be implanted in the scalp without too much disruption. Once available for humans, it will provide seamless light delivery to the neurons in the brain and spine and may help treat conditions like epilepsy and chronic pain without drugs and invasive surgery.

For now, it provides less invasive procedures for experimental animals making for faster progress when it comes to learning more about the brain and developing treatments for diseases and medical conditions.

Optogenetics at Work

Although optogenetics is not approved for humans, clinical trials have been performed including one that helped a blind man recover partial vision.

The 58-year-old man had been diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa, a rare genetic disorder that results in degeneration of the photoreceptor cells in the retina ultimately causing blindness 40 years ago. Scientists aimed to compensate for the loss of the photosensitive cells by making existing retinal ganglion cells, that receive information from photoreceptors under healthy conditions, respond to light.

The scientist injected the gene for artificial channelrehodospin (ChrimsonR), into the retina of the patient’s most damaged eye. This is a light-sensing protein that takes several months to be expressed on the cells’ surfaces. Once expressed, the protein must be activated with specially engineered goggles that detect changes in light.

In addition to the treatment and goggles, the patient also required visual training so he could re-learn how to control eye movements. Before treatment, he was unable to perceive light at all. He has since shown signs of visual improvement.

While the progress the patient has made is limited, it is a step in the right direction.

Conclusion

Optogenetics opens the door to a better understanding of the brain that can lead to advanced treatment for many medical conditions. While optogenetic implants can be invasive, researchers have developed a small device that can be inserted with minimal inconvenience. This will make for faster progress in future medical developments.

The biological technique has been effective in countless applications so far. It’s exciting to see what the tomorrow will hold in terms of the progress being made.

Remote Monitoring in Health Care and How It Can Save Lives
26 Aug 2021

Telehealth is the way of the future. Instead of patients going into the office to see a doctor, they can use virtual means to conduct check-ins and have non-urgent health matters taken care of.

One major telehealth breakthrough is remote monitoring.

Some consider remote monitoring and telehealth interchangeable, but remote monitoring is a little more specific. While telehealth involves any type of treatment conducted via a virtual platform, remote monitoring requires patients to use various tech gadgetsto keep track of health.

Read on to see how they play out in today’s medical industry.

What is Remote Monitoring and How Does it Work?

Remote monitoring is a home-based system that automatically transmits medical data to doctors via the internet. It collects and analyzes various pieces of health information like vital signs, blood sugar levels and more. It allows doctors to stay on top of their patients’ health and it provides information to patients so they can take steps to boost their wellbeing.

Setting up remote monitoring requires a variety of steps on the part of the physician. These include the following:

1. The physician identifies the patient’s health condition and determines what medical data will be most useful.

2. The physician prescribes an RPM device he or she feels is best suited to the patient’s medical needs.

3. The patient is provided with a device that connects with the physician’s network via the internet or Bluetooth.

4. Once the device is set up properly, the physician will immediately begin collecting medical data from the patient.

5. The provider analyzes the data and makes suggestions based on the information being received.

Remote monitoring is often used to monitor weight, blood sugar, blood pressure and respiration. It can also be used as an EEG or oximeter.

What are the Benefits of Remote Monitoring?

As you can imagine, remote monitoring provides several benefits for patients and doctors. Here are some to consider.

· Provides detailed information on personal health to the patient and physician allowing both parties to make, knowledgeable decisions to boost wellbeing.

· Provides up to the minute data so patients can access healthcare the second something goes wrong. This makes for higher longevity rates, and it reduces the risk of serious illnesses developing.

· Patients become more aware of their health conditions and are in a better position to take care of themselves.

· Remote monitoring is ideal in emergency situations. The pandemic is a perfect example. The virus meant many people were reluctant or unable to see a doctor. Telehealth devices allow for ongoing care no matter what emergency may arise.

· Remote monitoring eliminates the need for doctors close by. Many areas do not have enough physicians on hand to meet the needs of the population. In fact, the United States is currently dealing with a doctor shortage. Remote monitoring means patients aren’t limited by location when it comes to getting the help they need.

Examples of Remote Monitoring Devices

There are several types of devices that can be used for remote monitoring. Here are some of the most common.

Blood Pressure Monitor

Blood pressure monitors are typically strapped to a patient’s wrist. They are ideal for patients dealing with high blood pressure and hypertension.

One major advantage of an at home blood monitoring device is that it reduces the risk of false blood pressure readings. It is not unusual for patients to get nervous in a medical office setting causing their blood pressure to rise. Remote monitoring allows measurements to be collected when the patient is relaxed making for more accurate data.

Weight Monitor

Obesity is a major problem in the United States. It can lead to diabetes, heart conditions, arthritis, and more.

Remote monitoring for weight management usually comes in the form of a scale with virtual means to communicate losses and gains to the doctor. He or she can be alerted of weight gains that can be a cause of major concerns.

Scales can also be used to keep doctors apprised of weight loss, which is a factor in patients dealing with cancer, anorexia, and compromised immune systems.

Blood Glucose Monitor

It’s essential for diabetes patients to constantly monitor glucose levels. Rises and dips can lead to major health complications that patients may not be aware of until its too late.

A blood glucose monitor keeps physicians up to date on their patients’ levels so they can make recommendations to avoid dangerous situations.

Spirometer

Spirometers are used to measure lung function. They play an essential role in monitoring asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and they can also detect lung disease. They have proven to be invaluable in the COVID crisis as they allowed practitioners to monitor lung conditions that may be negatively affected by the virus.

Conclusion

Telehealth is taking over the medical industry. Both patients and doctors enjoy the convenience it provides.

Remote monitoring is a branch of telehealth that’s effective in monitoring specific conditions. It is useful in preventing health issues from becoming more serious and it allows patients to take control over their well-being. It is the way of the future when it comes to boosting longevity and increasing quality of life.

Tim Murawski and the History of Intuitive Inc.
25 Aug 2021

Tim Murawski joined Intuitive, Inc. in August 2000 as an Account Manager. Shortly after he joined, Intuitive’s stock price was $4.53. By the time Murawski left in 2007, he had worked his way up to the position of Area Sales Director. Intuitive’s stock price had worked its way up too. It sat at $65.70, an increase of 1319% since the beginning of Murawski’s tenure.

Today, Intuitive’s market capitalization is over $119 billion. Of course, since it’s not a consumer company like Uber or Airbnb, Intuitive’s story isn’t as well-known. Despite this, Intuitive outranks both Airbnb and Uber in market capitalization and has generated multiple decades of profit. Neither Airbnb nor Uber has seen even one year of profit.

All that said, when it’s told, the story of Intuitive is a tale of technology. Usually, the role of sales, marketing, and commercialization plays second fiddle to the story of the technology. The case of Intuitive Inc. is no exception. Later on in Intuitive’s journey, however, it becomes increasingly clear that what moves the company forward goes beyond R&D.
Intuitive is Born as a U.S. Army Project

The technology that led to Intuitive’s current market capitalization of $119 billion in 2021 was born over 30 years ago. On behalf of the U.S. Army, the non-profit research institute, SRI International, began researching telepresence operations. The army was interested in this technology as a way for doctors to conduct operations on soldiers remotely. All SRI’s research took place in the 1980s before Intuitive was incorporated. At the time, Intuitive’s founder, Dr. Frederic Moll, was busy building two medical equipment businesses which he later sold.

Intuitive became a company several years later in 1995 after Moll’s partner, John Freund, obtained an option to acquire SRI’s intellectual property. The newly incorporated company refined SRI’s system with a series of prototypes until it landed on the daVinci system. While working through the FDA approval process, Intuitive first began marketing the system in Europe.

After obtaining FDA approval and hiring salespeople like Tim Murawski, Intuitive took off. In 2007, the year Murawski left, the company’s total sales equaled $600.8 million. And it was growing quickly. As of July 2021, total sales for Intuitive hit $1.3 billion.

The Untold Story of Tim Murawski’s Domain: Commercialization and Sales

Bringing any medical device to market in the United States is fraught with regulatory complications and financial risk. Bringing a medical device like the daVinci to market is among the hardest things to do. The daVinci helps doctors conduct operations on patients, which is one of the riskiest treatment options. Therefore, Intuitive’s technology faced a high degree of regulatory scrutiny as it was tested and deployed to the market.

“When I told cardiac surgeons I accepted a job at Intuitive to help launch the daVinci system, they said, ‘you’re crazy, robotics will never work in surgery.’ I said, I disagree, I know I’m on to something very special,” says Tim Murawski.

Yet even when a device like the daVinci passes regulatory muster, success isn’t guaranteed. Hospitals and trained doctors are a special kind of buyer. So marketing and selling to these buyers requires a unique, deeply technical set of skills. Salespeople like Tim Murawski need to help doctors understand the clinical benefits of the technology. At the same time, they also need to be capable of speaking with CFOs to address their financial concerns and priorities. This requires a deep understanding of the hospital’s market and how the device plays into the hospital’s revenue forecasts.

“During our mitral valve clinical trial, a surgeon invited me to meet the patient the next day after the mitral valve repair. At 8 am the patient was sitting on the edge of his bed and said, ‘doc, I’m ready to go home.’ The surgery was completed less than 24 hours earlier. I could see with my own eyes how we were making a positive impact on the patient’s life,” says Tim Murawski.

“On a regular basis, surgeons told me that the daVinci system helps to make them a better surgeon and that the patients were benefiting from it every day.”

During Tim Murawski’s time at Intuitive, the system was approved for the following categories of surgical procedures:

● General laparoscopic
● Thoracoscopic

● Cardiac procedures performed with adjunctive incisions

● Urologic

● Gynecologic

These approvals massively increased Intuitive’s potential total addressable market. These approvals also presented salespeople like Murawski with a new set of customers. After the FDA’s approval, Murawski and his colleagues were expected to sell to a wide range of other specialists. That meant reorienting their sales procedures to speak to gynecologists, heart surgeons, urologists, and others.

(Photo : Tim Murawski and the History of Intuitive Inc.)

Tim Murawski’s Long History of Innovation

All of the challenges in medical device commercialization listed above are universal. Yet life becomes even harder with a device like the daVinci because the technology is brand new. Doctors and hospitals have to be introduced to a brand new way of doing things. They have to be comfortable that the device is tested, effective, and worth the investment. Much of the work of introducing this new technology to the market falls on sales and marketing people like Murawski. It’s up to them to build trust with key opinion leaders in the medical field and spur adoption. Murawski and his colleagues are a big part of the reason that using the daVinci system for certain procedures became common practice.

For Murawski, introducing new technology to the market was nothing new. He began his career in medical device sales at Baxter International where he sold a product called the Interlink Needleless IV. This product helped mitigate the threat to frontline healthcare workers from unintentional needle sticks from infected needles. After that, Murawski spent three years at a startup dedicated to innovative medical technology as a Regional Sales Manager. Around the time Murawski finished up there, the company was acquired by the multinational giant, Tyco.

Coming into his role at Intuitive, Murawski had already spent several years introducing new products to the market. That said, given the risk involved with Intuitive’s system compared to a needleless IV, it was a new kind of challenge.

A Team-First Philosophy

To understand how Tim Murawski made the leap to medical telerobotics, one only needs to look at his guiding principles. In interviews, Murawski cites his team-first philosophy as central to his career success. He explains that his approach revolves around preparing, coaching, and mentoring all of his team members. Early in his career, Murawski may have been hesitant to reach out-whether it was to solicit or give out help. But he soon learned that, by seeking out and giving help when needed, his team was better able to increase sales.

And it’s a good thing he did. Because Tim Murawski and his teams have made and will continue to make, huge impacts in the field of medical robotics.

Tim Murawski Helps to Create Next-Gen Robot-Assisted Medtech
20 Aug 2021

Robot-assisted medical operations have been a growing area of the medical field for some time now. The technology has helped many medical teams improve their outcomes by leveraging the precision and accuracy of computers and robotic devices. However, not all robotic systems are created equal and the field often depends on innovations from private companies for advancement. Of late, one company — Augmedics — has become known for its efforts under President & CCO Tim Murawski to bring forth a new way of using these technologies to help improve patient outcomes. Read on for a look at how the President & CCO is making an outsized impact on his broader industry.

How a Robot-Assisted Operation Works

Before we dive into the specifics of how Tim Murawski is helping to move his field forward, let’s first look at where it’s been to date. Robot-assisted operation is largely known for the manner in which it allows doctors to perform complex surgical activities in an augmented fashion. Often, these technologies allow medical teams a greater degree of flexibility, precision, and control than they might otherwise be able to achieve through older methods. The technology can also allow doctors to perform operations in a less invasive fashion, which can help to improve patient outcomes and reduce recovery time.

In the past, robot-assisted operations have often been conducted with the use of a console nearby the operating table. A camera arm operated next to medical instruments would feed data back to the console and provide a detailed view of the operation site. This would allow doctors to visualize the interior of the body and what is going on below the surface of a patient’s skin.

However, this setup would also require a doctor to direct their attention to the console beside the operating table, rather than at the patient themself. For many doctors, this configuration has been less than ideal.

Tim Murawski Relies on Long Career of Experience

It’s difficult to separate the field of robot-assisted operations from of President & CCO Tim Murawski since he’s played an outsized role in increasing the adoption rate of the technology.

The executive first helped to introduce the technology in 2000 through business development, strategy, and sales operations. This was in his capacity working in sales at the time, which allowed him to introduce the exciting technology to medical teams around the country and help showcase the benefits that could come along with the adoption of such a system.

In the years since those first efforts, he has remained in the space, growing his career as the field itself matured. He has worked at a variety of companies focused on bringing the benefits of robotic operations to medical teams and patients and has helped a wide range of doctors improve their operation success rates. Since taking on his role as President & CCO of , he has turned his attention to a new chapter in his legacy and has focused on improving the field in a variety of ways. This work has been driven by the introduction of the company’s xvision system, which seeks to fundamentally change how robot-assisted operations are conducted.

Limitations of Older Robotic Medical Operation Systems

In order to fully grasp the improvements that Tim Murawski is bringing to his field through xvision, it helps to first understand some of the limitations of older robotic medical operation systems. One of those limitations has been the manner in which visualization consoles/monitors are placed adjacent to operating tables. As the camera arm collects data from inside the patient, the console/monitor would display a visualization that helps direct surgeon movements.

However, the doctor would then have to frequently switch their focus from the patient to the console/monitor in order to fully monitor the procedure as it unfurls. This requirement for switching focus has been a limitation of older systems as it requires frequent attention shifts that can make it difficult for doctors to remain focused. This can add complicating factors to operations and serve to draw out procedures that might otherwise be completed much faster. In the past, this has meant that an operating doctor could gain the added precision and benefit of a robot-assisted medical operation system at the expense of having to manage that system in a more complex manner than with past methods.

Tim Murawski Helps Commercialize xvision Spine System

This frequent context switching has been one of the main problems that Tim Murawski and his team have sought to address through their creation of the xvision Spine System. This robot- assisted medical operation system allows physicians to visualize a patients’ 3D spinal anatomy during surgery as if they had “x-ray vision.” The system helps them to leverage the accuracy improvements of robotic technologies while still being able to directly look at the patient and avoid the frequent focus shifts necessitated by the use of adjacent consoles.

The system utilizes a transparent near-eye-display headset along with other elements of a traditional robotic-assisted navigation system. The system can accurately determine the position of medical tools in real-time and superimpose them on the patient’s CT data. That data is then projected onto the operating physician’s retinae from the headset which allows for continuous viewing of the patient while having access to the data stream. This system does away with the need to context switch by turning to another screen and may help doctors achieve faster and safer operations.

While robot-assisted medical operations have garnered widespread adoption in recent years, there are still some outstanding issues with existing systems that have stood as an impediment to medical teams. One such impediment has been the frequent context switching that is necessitated by traditional console-based display systems. In an effort to address this, President & CCO Tim Murawski and his team at Augmedics have created the xvision Spine System, which allows for the simultaneous viewing of navigation data and patient visualization during operations. This new technology stands out as an exciting advancement in the field and is being viewed by many as a major step forward towards the goals of achieving increased precision, faster operation times, and overall improved patient outcomes.

Originally published at https://techbullion.com on August 19, 2021.

Tim Murawski, Augmedics President & CCO, Shortlisted for Award in Innovation
20 Aug 2021

( Newswire.net — August 19, 2021) —

Humans are a species defined by the tools they use. Most of us augment ourselves subtly, wearing glasses or walking with a cane. But when these innovations emerge suddenly and shake up old expectations or procedures, they are referred to as disruptive technology. Tim Murawski, President & CCO Augmedics, has been in the disruptive technology business for his entire career. Whether it came to mitigating unnecessary injuries via syringe or developing orthopedic technology to reduce the invasiveness of a spinal procedure, Tim Murawski has his name on it. After all, the burden of any piece of disruptive technology is to convince potential users that the novelty of innovation should not scare them off. In the case of the xvision from Augmedics, not only do the benefits outweigh the risks, but the reduced cost is undeniable.

Technology that assists orthopedic physicians has historically been cumbersome to the point of uselessness. The precision and concentration required for work on the spine makes it difficult for the operating physician to split their attention. The xvision has altered that experience concretely by offering the closest thing to X-Ray vision on the market, a 3d display superimposed on the patient , offering tip-of-the-spear information and the real-time CT readout of the patient’s spine. The technology is gaining momentum and international attention as it has been implemented into private practice, but now more eyes are on Augmedics than ever. Their proprietary technology, the xvision, has been shortlisted for the 2021 Index Award, meant to celebrate innovations in design that improve day-to-day life. The road from “disruptive technology” to becoming an essential piece of medical equipment available in every hospital is arduous, but thanks to awards like these and the marketing of Tim Murawski, xvision is on its way from novelty to ubiquity.

What is the Index Award?

The qualifications for the Index Award could not be simpler, but that is what makes the competition so steep. The award is meant to celebrate any piece of design that improves life. Often these designs, just like the xvision, are obscure during their nomination, but household names after the fact. The now world-renowned electric car company, Tesla, received an Index Award back when in 2007 when knowledge of it was still relatively niche. Raspberry Pi, the incredibly compact, single-board computer, now a commonly used tool among programmers, and computer scientists, won an award back in 2013. The most important qualifications are that the design is no older than five years and that it addresses genuine needs and improves life as a result. Beyond that, the innovation can be anything from a piece of architecture or medical technology to a new service or even a new concept. Whether it’s intangible or tangible, as long as it improves life, it qualifies.

The field Augmedics competed in was substantial, with some 1500 other applicants. Having made it to the shortlist is already a phenomenal feat for the up-and-coming medical technology company. After that, it will be up to the jury for the Index Award to judge xvision and other innovations through a set of three criteria: form, impact, and context. In each of these fields, Augmedics’ proprietary technology has the chance to excel above the competition.

Augmedics stands out among the Competition

The first of the Index Award’s is form. Simply put, it’s concerned with the aesthetics of the design. The xvision has an immediate advantage in this category due to its sleek, compact, and minimalist form factor. Especially in the field of orthopedics, non-invasive, compact technology is hard to come by. By not only freeing up an operating doctor physically but being sleek and comfortable, xvision meets and exceeds expectations in form. The user interface, which so often scares off medical practitioners from new innovations, is built from the top down in the xvision to be seamless and nonintrusive. The best part is that the form of the device contributes directly to the next piece of criteria for the Index Award: Impact.

In 2017, 5.2 million spinal operations were performed worldwide, and the number is projected to hit 7.6 million by 2022. The need for spinal operations is incontrovertible, and any innovation that makes those operations easier has innate and far-reaching value. The convenience of xvision cannot be understated, with its ability to project a three-dimensional layout of the spine and other patient information directly on the patient. Not only has xvision demonstrated 98.8% overall percutaneous implant placement accuracy, but it has now been approved by the FDA. This is especially noteworthy because it’s the first augmented reality guidance system to do so. The system has only been commercially available since the back half of 2020 and already over 250 operations have been performed using xvision. This brings us to the final piece of criteria for the Index Award: context.

Why is this technology needed now? Who needs it? Are there elements of the design that clash with modern expectations and social mores? The context category is in place for the jury to determine all of this. They will find that xvision, like other pieces of “disruptive technology” Tim Murawski has built his career around pushing into the spotlight, is meeting the precise needs of the moment. Orthopedic operations are incredibly delicate, demanding complete and total concentration. By offering all the information a doctor needs in their immediate field of view, xvision not only mitigates the amount of time spent operating, but the amount of pain a patient could experience. Through its easy-to-use form factor and inexpensive price point, xvision is poised to succeed where previous spinal navigation technologies have failed. Xvision’s founder, Nissan Elimelech, when explaining why he began Augmedics , bemoaned the state of innovation in orthopedics. The cycle of a hospital investing in a new piece of equipment required the operator to look away and wound up gathering dust in a corner. User-friendliness and accessibility are at an all-time premium, and xvision is well suited to meet that demand.

Tim Murawski’s faith in the future

If today’s language were applied historically, some of our oldest innovations could be called “disruptive technology.” The phrase has a negative connotation and is often associated with designs that never take hold. The wheel and the steam engine could also be called disruptive because they were never seen before, but they dramatically changed the way we live and work after they came about. Tim Murawski’s life’s work is the popularization of new ways to make life better: for physicians, patients, and everyone in between. When we look back on 2021’s Index Award winner, chances are we’ll see something that felt strange and new when it arrived on the market, but can now be found in every hospital in America. With its use of cutting-edge augmented reality to mitigate operation time and pain for patients, xvision is a glimpse at the future, and the future looks bright.

Originally published at https://newswire.net on August 19, 2021.

Optogenetic Advancements are Opening the Door for a Deeper Understanding of How the Brain Works
15 Aug 2021

It seems that medical technology can be used to do anything these days. But can it control minds? Maybe.

Optogenetics are a form of technology that can control the brain using light. It causes the neurons in the brain to open on demand to promote a variety of functions. It has shown to be useful in promoting a better understanding the brain and treating movement disorders such as Parkinson and those related to chronic pain. It may even be used to develop a pacemaker that uses light to regulate the heartbeat.

Optogenetics is endlessly beneficial but its potential to cause damage to the skull and brain is a cause for concern. Scientists have recently come up with a wireless, battery-free implant that can shine light through the skill without causing damage. Read on to find out more about optogenetics and new developments in the field.

How Does Optogenetics Work?

Neurons play an essential role in how the brain communicates. They use a combination of electrical and chemical activities allowing the brain to assist the body in basic functions.

Optogenetics work by controlling neurons’ activity with light and genetic engineering. Scientists take the genetic code of the neurons they want to study and add new code to it. The new code causes neurons to make special proteins (opsins) that respond to light.

To get the opsins into the neuron, the opsin must be inserted into the neuron’s genetic code. If done correctly, every neuron will have an opsin. Opsins can also be inserted into specific types of neurons or into specific locations in the brain. This allows scientists to choose the neurons they want to control.

Once opsins are inserted, they can be activated when certain lights shine on them. This provides scientists with overall control of the timing of the neuron’s activity.

Optogenetics are instrumental in allowing scientists to produce a structural map of the brain. Much like a road map, the neuron activity maps out paths that mark the communications the neurons are sending and where they are being received. It provides a better understanding of how the brain communicates and the diseases that result from a disruption in communication.

So far, optogenetics is available only for animal studies. But even with their limited scope, they have provided scientists with a better understanding of fear reactions in the brain, how memories are stored, risk and reward centers, and the effects of a stroke.

Recent Study Make for Safe Optogenetics Research

Optogenetics has been the source of several medical breakthroughs, but the technique is invasive. The insertion of the light source causes the penetration of the brain and skull. Researchers at the University of Arizona have come up with a solution in the form of a wireless, battery-free implant that shines light through the skull.

The device’s diameter is as small as a dime and as thin as a piece of paper. Its small size means it can be implanted in the scalp without too much disruption. Once available for humans, it will provide seamless light delivery to the neurons in the brain and spine and may help treat conditions like epilepsy and chronic pain without drugs and invasive surgery.

For now, it provides less invasive procedures for experimental animals making for faster progress when it comes to learning more about the brain and developing treatments for diseases and medical conditions.

Optogenetics at Work

Although optogenetics is not approved for humans, clinical trials have been performed including one that helped a blind man recover partial vision.

The 58-year-old man had been diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa, a rare genetic disorder that results in degeneration of the photoreceptor cells in the retina ultimately causing blindness 40 years ago. Scientists aimed to compensate for the loss of the photosensitive cells by making existing retinal ganglion cells, that receive information from photoreceptors under healthy conditions, respond to light.

The scientist injected the gene for artificial channelrhodopsin (ChrimsonR), into the retina of the patient’s most damaged eye. This is a light-sensing protein that takes several months to be expressed on the cells’ surfaces. Once expressed, the protein must be activated with specially engineered goggles that detect changes in light.

In addition to the treatment and goggles, the patient also required visual training so he could re-learn how to control eye movements. Before treatment, he was unable to perceive light at all. He has since shown signs of visual improvement.

While the progress the patient has made is limited, it is a step in the right direction.

Conclusion

Optogenetics opens the door to a better understanding of the brain that can lead to advanced treatment for many medical conditions. While optogenetic implants can be invasive, researchers have developed a small device that can be inserted with minimal inconvenience. This will make for faster progress in future medical developments.

The biological technique has been effective in countless applications so far. It’s exciting to see what tomorrow will hold in terms of the progress being made.

Tim Murawski: An Inspiring Story of Innovation in Tech and Business — The Dishh
23 Jul 2021

Tim Murawski: An Inspiring Story of Innovation in Tech and Business — The Dishh

Augmedics has taken a pioneer position in healthcare. Under the leadership of Tim Murawski, Augmedics leads healthcare into the future with its flagship product named xvision. This futuristic system allows surgeons to visualize in 3D the anatomy of a patient’s spine during surgery. In addition, this amazing tool will enable surgeons to navigate their instruments accurately while focusing on the patient and not a screen. This revolutionary development in surgery is a trademark of Augmedics and the company’s values.

As president and Chief Commercial Officer, Tim Murawski has shown exemplary leadership in his company and business. A specialist in medical robotics, Tim Murawski has made a name for himself with his innovation and execution. To better understand this company, it is essential that we first understand what it is precisely that Augmedics does.

What does Augmedics do?

Augmedics is a primary provider of technology known as Augmented Reality. In its most simple terms. Augmented reality is the presentation of an enhanced version of the physical world through digital elements. By using augmented reality to produce 3D visuals of the spinal system, Augmedics has harnessed the power of this technology in a new way.

The primary goal of Augmedics is to optimize surgery by using cutting-edge technology. To achieve this goal, Augmedics has developed a pioneering surgical system named xvision. The xvision system gives surgeons X-ray vision, making it easier for them to perform complex surgeries.

The xvision spine system was first successfully used in John Hopkins. The first application, xvision, was for spinal fusion surgery. The xvision spine system helped surgeons successfully navigate the instruments to complete a posterior lumbar decompression. Every year, 1.62 million instrumented surgeries are performed in the United States. By creating the xvision spine system Augmedics provides a solution for surgeons. A majority of instrumented surgeries are done freehand and usually produce sub-optimal results. In fact, 31 percent of freehand screw positioning ends up being inaccurate. While this considerably low percentage is a testimony to the skilled work of medical professionals, there is no doubt that surgeons could achieve better results using xvision technology. Augmedics xvision significantly improves the rate of success in surgeries. A whopping 95% success has been recorded in surgeries where surgeons used this technology.

How does it work?

The xvision spine system is so successful because it addresses the unmet needs of surgeons. The XVS system is made up of a transparent near-eye-display headset. The XVS headset contains all of the elements of a traditional navigation system. In addition to determining the surgical tools’ position, the headset also sets a visual trajectory on the patient’s CT in real-time. To work effectively, the xvision spine systems’ 3D navigation is projected onto the surgeons’ retina, allowing the surgeon to look at the patient while studying the navigation data simultaneously. This revolutionary development in medical technology has produced a 98.9 percent accuracy in screw placement accuracy.

Tim Murawski’s Leadership

The xvision spine system would not have been as much of a success as it has proven to be without proper leadership at Augemedics. As a company, Augmedics t has always maintained that it is and has always been a company devoted to providing solutions. In an interview during the launch of the xvision spine system, Mr. Murawski commented that “We are a team of problem solvers. The creativity and ingenuity of our company began when Augmedics launched to solve a problem our founder saw in the operating room, and it runs through each and every employee who is working to make the vision a success “.

Since its FDA approval in December 2019, Augmedics has been used to complete over 650 successful spinal surgeries. Tim Murawski explains that the xvision spine system is special because it was developed to have surgeon autonomy. This means that surgeons and other medical personnel can use the technology without having representation in the room. Mr. Murawski explains that this was incorporated into the development in order to beat the learning curve and make the product very easy to use. In addition, he explains that Augmedics included this design feature with consideration for the current COVID-19 situation.

Commercial Success of Tim Murawski

Augmedics is more than just an innovative company with a breakthrough product. The company’s commercial success is also very worthy of note. In the thick of the Covid-19 pandemic, the company was able to raise 15 million dollars in series B financing led by its staff. After announcing its Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clearance and its U.S. launch of its pioneer xvision spine system, Augmedics was ready to make full investor decisions and sign a term sheet. Unfortunately, in March of 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic struck, bringing investor relations and plans to an abrupt halt. In addition, as a result of the pandemic, there was a pause in elective procedures such as spinal surgeries. Despite being faced with these difficult hurdles, the company was able to complete a successful launch of its amazing technology.

Led by Tim Murawski, the company proceeded to raise funds needed for their launch internally. By reaching out to employees who saw the vision, the company’s Chief Commercial Officer, Tim Murawski, was able to raise $5 million. He also reached out to former investors, from whom he was able to raise 3.2 million. Mr. Murawski finally raised 7.8 million from undisclosed investors with the use of SAFE notes. This dogged determination is in line with the company’s problem-solving values. Commercially, the number of sales the company has seen is proof that the risk Augmedics employees took to launch their product was worth it. The success of xvision as a product can be tied to the work of the employees of Augmedics.

Originally published at https://thedishh.com on July 14, 2021.

Tim Murawski and Augmedic’s Commercial Success
17 Jul 2021

Augmedics, a pioneer in augmented reality surgical image guidance, recently announced they raised $36 million in Series C funding. The oversubscribed funding came eight months after the company closed a $15 million Series B funding, bringing the total funding to date to $63 million. Augmedics, along with the company President and Chief Commercial Officer, Tim Murawski, have been making disruptive innovations in MedTech. These innovations have attracted investment firms like H.I.G. Capital, Revival Healthcare Capital, and Almeda Ventures. These investors led the funding round with two strategic investors: HCA Healthcare’s Health Insight Capital and existing investor XR Invest.

The company commenced financing for Series B in the third quarter of 2019 and intended to close the round by the second quarter of 2020. This was to follow the successful launch of its ground-breaking xvision Spine System in 2020. To keep operations going while looking for a lead Venture Capital, the company raised SAFE investments (simple agreement for future equity). They had received many venture capital bids and were about to make a final investment decision. It was around this period the COVID-19 pandemic brought investor activity to a halt. The pandemic, coupled with a delay in elective treatments like spine surgery, forced Augmedics to develop novel ways to launch its product.

Motivated by their continual success, the company’s mission, and the employees’ enthusiasm, Tim Murawski led a remarkable effort to raise funds internally. The employees were passionate about the technology and future of the business. This led them to commit to securing the company and propel its successful commercial launch.

In a joint effort with their families, the 20 American employees put in $5 million through AUG Management LLC. Existing investors AO Invest and Terralab Ventures contributed $3.2 million to the funding round, and unnamed investors converted the remaining $7.8 million SAFE notes.

By December 2019, Augmedics announced U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clearance and the launch of its xvision Spine System (XVS) in the United States. The XVS is the first, and only, FDA-approved augmented reality surgical image guidance system.

In the second half of 2020, Augmedics began sales of the xvision Spine system in the United States. By the end of the year, the system had been used in over 250 spine procedures. The company planned to use the funds to expand to new markets in the United States and abroad. They also intended to develop the next generation of products and acquire CE approval for European sales.

The company’s flagship xvision Spine System is designed to transform surgery by providing surgeons with the information they need right in their field of vision. The aim is to build technological confidence in the surgical workflow and assist them in performing their tasks.

Medical professionals use the xvision spine to visualize the 3D spinal anatomy during medical procedures as though they have “x-ray vision.” It allows surgeons to navigate instruments and implants while looking at the patient accurately, rather than a remote screen.

The xvision consists of a transparent near-eye display headset and all the components of a standard navigation system. It precisely detects the position of surgical equipment in real-time and then overlaps a virtual track on the CT data of the patient.

The 3D navigation data is then projected onto the surgeon’s retina via the headset. This allows the Surgeon to look at the patient and observe the navigation data at the same time without glancing away from the patient.

The innovative design gives surgeons better control and imagery, resulting in more accessible, faster, and safer surgeries. This result is in line with the mission of Augmedics to provide surgeons with more control by introducing High-tech advancements. These advancements are tailored to their needs and can be integrated into their existing workflow.

Beyond spinal surgery, Augmedics intends to investigate other surgical applications for xvision. The system’s small footprint, low cost, and fit with current instruments make it easy to integrate into any surgical center anywhere in the globe.

“We are a problem-solving team,” said Tim Murawski, president, and chief operating officer of Augmedics. “Our company’s innovation and insight began when Augmedics was founded to tackle a problem our founder witnessed in the operating room. And it continues to run through every employee who works to make the vision a reality. The global pandemic was just another challenge for us to overcome as a team. We believe it has only made the company stronger.”

“The dedication of our team and the leadership of President and CCO, Tim Murawski is second to none. Their work is outdone only by the incredible innovation that they continue to demonstrate in the lab, in the field, and at the board table.” Augmedics’ founder and CEO, Nissan Elimelech, remarked. “Even in these difficult times, the amount of money contributed by Augmedics personnel to continue operations demonstrates how much they believe in what we are doing — in the technology, strategy, and leadership.”

Recently, using the augmented reality headset, the first spinal surgery that combined augmented reality and robotics took place. Dr. Poelstra and his team completed the posterior lumbar fusion procedure on a patient. The process used a combination of Medtronic’s Mazor X robotic platform integrated with Augmedics’ xvision. It usually is an invasive and extensive surgery that takes between six and seven hours. However, this patient’s treatment using the xvision headset and the Mazor X robot took just under two hours.

The surgeon and his team utilized the xvision headset to locate and pinpoint where to place the implants more accurately. Addressing this issue has minimized surgery time.

Renowned hospitals and surgical centers across the United States now use the Augmedics xvision Spine System. The feedback from surgeons indicates that the system aids in providing confident and efficient patient care.

With 20 years of developing, managing, and leading various companies in the medical and healthcare industry. Tim Murawski is on the front line of the design and development of disruptive technology in the robotic surgery market. He has found it exciting to be a part of cutting-edge technology that strives to make surgery manageable.