ClearCount Medical Solutions Closes Series B Financing Round

ClearCount Medical Solutions, a Pittsburgh-based company focused on improving surgical safety, has announced it has closed a round of Series B financing, raising $3.4 million, which the company says will help fund its sales and product-development efforts. ClearCount has developed SmartSponge, which incorporates RFID tags into surgical sponges to help prevent medical teams from inadvertently leaving sponges inside surgical patients. First unveiled in mid-2006, the system leverages Texas InstrumentsTag-it HF-I passive 13.56 MHz RFID tags, which support the ISO 15693 and 18000-3 standards. In June 2007, SmartSponge received market clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (see RFID-enabled Surgical Sponges a Step Closer to OR). The financing round was led by Draper Triangle Ventures, the Midwestern-based partner of early-stage venture capital firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson (DFJ). The SmartSponge System has a built-in RFID interrogator that, at the start of an operation, records the number of tagged sponges in pre-packs as workers set them on a tray fitted with an interrogator antenna. After an operation, used sponges are then discarded into a bucket, also fitted with an interrogator antenna, which records the quantity of discarded sponges. A small LCD screen displays the counts, confirming whether there’s a match. The SmartSponge System also comes with an RFID interrogator in the form of a wand, enabling surgical teams to scan a patient during postoperative safety checks, and to locate any sponges mistakenly left behind. “The investment team, and the industry in general, have been impressed with the achievements of ClearCount Medical Solutions,” said Mike Stubler, Draper Triangle’s managing director, in a prepared statement. “The company has landed marquis hospital clients, developed new product offerings, gained national attention, won awards and continued to develop important relationships. We are excited to expand our support of ClearCount.”

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