Ford Stock – Henry Ford spin-out firm nabs $3.2 million in VC backing
“We are really excited by the increased functionality that the NavvTrack provides for hospital operations,” Dr. Richard “Chip” Davis, senior vice president for Henry Ford Health System and CEO of the Henry Ford South Market and Henry Ford Hospital, said in an emailed statement to Crain’s. “It has improved efficiencies and made better use of hospital resources like patient transport and housekeeping services, equipment utilization and visitor wayfinding across all five of our acute-care hospitals.”
In addition to being the company’s co-founder and CEO, Siegal is the vice chair of the radiology department at Henry Ford Health System and has a background in computer science.
The company’s other co-founder and CTO, Paul Zieske, has a background as an engineer and in health care IT.
Navv Systems projects revenue of about $500,000 or just over for this year, and expects that figure to triple next year. The company has five employees and seeks to grow to 10-15 over the next 12-18 months, according to Siegal.
Siegal said Navv Systems seeks to rely on a “confluence of technologies” and works with Apple Inc.’s indoor positioning system that allows for tracking of a hospital floor plan. Existing tracking technologies like radio-frequency identification, or RFID, have traditionally been very expensive for hospitals to implement at scale, Siegal said.
While acknowledging a good amount of competition in the health care equipment-tracking sector, Siegal said Navv Systems aims to differentiate itself by offering a single platform. For competitors, the CEO points to companies such as Connexient Inc. and AerosScout Industrial.
“If you were to try and do this using some of the other existing tools that are out there, you’d have to have separate solutions that don’t necessarily talk or play nicely with one another,” Siegal said.
The CEO added that because the company is focused on using software rather than hardware, the platform can be up and running at a hospital in a manner of weeks.
Additionally, Siegal said Navv Systems relies on what he called a “responsive web app” for patients and visitors using the company’s service on their mobile device for navigating the hospital complex. Doing so, he said, means the person does not need to worry about trying to download a new mobile application as they enter the facility.
Brian Peters, CEO of the Michigan Health & Hospital Association, said the need for modernizing the health care supply chain has grown exponentially in recent years as more health systems are becoming integrated with thousands of employees and equipment across several facilities.
“Years ago, health care in the state of Michigan, in particular, consisted of primarily independent hospitals that did not have relationships with other hospitals and skilled nursing facilities,” Peters said. “Today, that looks very different. There’s a number of large integrated health systems that have a large regional or even multi-state footprint. We are much more sophisticated now than ever before in health care. Not only supply chain management. But how we deploy staff. That’s taken on a very different look in recent years.”
Supply chain management is a critical focus for the industry, he said.
“Making sure you have the right people and the right equipment and supplies in the right setting and the right amount is paramount now,” Peters said. “We are an operation that is running 24/7, 365, and we don’t know minute by minute who is going to walk though the door at the hospital and what services they will need.”
Life science and health care-focused startups such as Navv Systems accounted for the majority, 40 percent, of venture capital dollars invested in Michigan last year, according to the most recent research report released by the Novi-based Michigan Venture Capital Association trade group.
As part of the Navv Systems deal, Arboretum Ventures Managing Partner Tim Petersen will join the company’s board of directors.
“We’ve been very impressed with the sophistication of Navv’s technology, and the early customer traction Dan and his team have achieved,” Petersen said in a statement. “Navv is another prime example of clinician-led innovation emanating from a world-class organization like Henry Ford, addressing an important and immediate health care challenge.”
— Crain’s Senior Reporter Dustin Walsh contributed to this report.