Proximie is a global company with a team of over 140 people supporting over 90 countries and 40 device manufacturers. Dr. Nadine Hachach-Haram, Proximie Founder, Faculty Singularity University, TED Speaker, and surgeon, shares the company's mission to change and disrupt surgery rooms across the world.
Before Dr. Nadine Hachach-Haram was the founder of Proximie, she had a passion for helping others. Exposed at a young age to the fragility of life while raised in postwar Lebanon, Dr. Hachach-Haram questioned the purpose of her life.
"It exposed me to things that probably most teenagers aren't exposed to. And that made me think about what I want to do with my life? What meaning or purpose do I have by being on this earth? It was very much around helping people have a better quality of life," she said.
Choosing a career in reconstructive plastic surgery, Dr. Hachach-Haram continually involved herself in delivering care to more people.
In 2014, after involving herself with global health and device companies, she was left frustrated with variability in patient care and the analog environment in healthcare.
"I started to imagine this world where you can almost imagine it digitally connected. A pipeline connecting operating rooms and turning these once analog and undigitized environments into connected, collaborative, and intelligent environments. And perhaps by creating this pipeline that connects all these rooms and this expertise, we could find better ways to connect, collaborate, and activate knowledge and information in a meaningful way," she said.
Dr. Hachach-Haram approached the digitized environment with her surgical background. She understood the need to provide immediate value for clinical teams. Telementoring and teleprompter-proctoring were the first critical use cases.
Proximie works on cases across the United States' coasts daily. The company also has doctors supporting work in countries like Ethiopia, Kenya, Brazil, France, Italy, and more.
Now in operating rooms, she mentioned that people are unlocking many new use cases. Medical schools utilize the tool to train students and provide more surgery access. Hospitals are also working alongside Proximie to optimize their efficiency.
Surgical training is designed around the idea of seeing, doing, and teaching, according to Dr. Hachach-Haram. However, this method also presents flaws in the system. When people learn through stores of training and experience, there are learning curves and challenges.
Learning through apprenticeship presents a natural learning curve, which is challenging to track or assess. While there is a significant evolution in how surgical training assesses competency, validation, and accreditation, she believes there is a lot left to do in the digital environment.
"My mantra has always been that we need to eradicate that concept...It should be a continuum called 'Prepare, Perform, Perfect' because it doesn't matter if you're a medical student, intern, resident, or even a surgeon at the top of your game. You will go through that journey because surgery evolves, new techniques come out, and new devices come out on a weekly, daily, and monthly basis," she said.
The learning cycle continues for those in medical careers, so there must be an environment to enable this preparation. Proximie presents opportunities for clinicians to join live cases in real-time, look at equipment utilized, or review past cases in a video library.
When it comes to performing cases, Dr. Hachach-Haram sees it as an opportunity to be beyond a moment in time. By recording cases, surgeons can later review their performance. This creates an environment where surgeons can give feedback to peers.
While Proximie is a telecommunications engine at its core, it is much more than that, Dr. Hachach-Haram explained.
The system contains a high proprietary video communication layer designed to optimize video and audio performance and direct and ingest direct video feeds. An additional layer of this experience within augmented reality allows a more immersive interaction. She mentioned that with such a robust system, even the UK military is a customer.
Proximie features a whole user journey around surgical instances. Compared to video conferencing platforms like Zoom, it is designed for surgical operating rooms and integrates with any operating hardware.
The platform approach allows Proximie to partner with third-party software to further enrich the operating room environment in meaningful ways.
Proximie often works in partnerships and licensing with health systems and hospitals. The company does not charge per minute or use like other telecommunication platforms. Prices are instead based per room each year to encourage as many people as possible to access the resource.
With this solution, health systems can deliver high-quality care to patients at lower costs. This is meaningful for both providers and patients and unlocks a long-term value chain.
In cases where remote providers in the United States are looking to up-skill surgeons for better care, there is an immediate value-added by reducing travel times, carbon footprint and delivering care to patients.