Aug 2017 Mass Device

Medical robotics start-up IotaMotion said today it raised $2 million in a seed financing round to support the development of its Iota-Soft novel robotic cochlear implantation platform. The Iowa City-based company, spun out from the University of Iowa’s Otolaryngology Department, is developing a robotic-assisted insertion device designed to aid surgeons in advancing cochlear implant electrodes. “We’ve completed our seed round, raising over $2 million within a few months from friends and family in the Midwest and around the world. The reception and excitement from both the cochlear implant community and strategic investors is a testament to the clear clinical need and the surgeon-centric robotics-assisted systems we are developing. The funds will be used to further our development efforts for the IOTA-Soft robotic-assisted cochlear implant insertion system,” co-founder Dr. Chris Kaufmann said.

The company claims that controlled insertion will lower surgical variability and help protect existing structures from damage due to manual insertion, which it says is especially critical when working with hybrid solutions with retained residual hearing capacity. “The core technology being developed at iotaMotion is notable in its simplified approach to robotic-assisted systems. Our aim is to develop devices that open up access to cochlear implant surgery for a wider audience of both surgeons and patients. We are especially grateful for the local and regional support that we received early on from the University of Iowa, and the state, to help us get to this point,” co-founder Dr. Marlan Hansen said in a press release. IotaMotion was spun out of the University of Iowa in 2015, and has received Small Business Innovation Research Grants from the National Science Foundation and National Institutes of Health totaling $1.7 million.