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In the media: WashU startup SentiAR Inc. awarded $2.2M NIH grant

SentiAR Inc., a startup that spun out of Washington University in St. Louis’ School of Medicine and School of Engineering last year, has been getting a lot of media attention.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the St. Louis Business Journal and HealthiAR have all shared that the biotech startup will receive $2.2 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

SentiAR is developing augmented reality software for use in cardiac procedures. Through a holographic headset, the SentiAR platform converts outputs from CT, MRI, and catheter mapping into a real-time hologram of the heart that “floats” above the patient. Within this sterile field, cardiologists can view, measure and manipulate the holographic heart model in real time in the operating room. The “real-time” aspect of SentiAR’s technology is key: While other companies have used holographic technology for training simulations, SentiAR is one of the first to offer a live, real-time view of the patient’s actual anatomy in the operating room. The goal of the SentiAR technology is to reduce operating time and exposure to radiation while improving accuracy. Another advantage: Using multiple headsets, more than one clinician can view the heart at the same time.

The platform uses technology developed by founders (and husband-and-wife team) Dr. Jennifer Silva and Biomedical Engineering Professor Jon Silva at Washington University in St. Louis.

BioGenerator is SentiAR’s lead investor. St. Louis investment firm Cultivation Capital also has invested in the company. SentiAR is planning to submit its technology to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration later this year.