X-rays of the brain.

Photo credit: Shutterstock

General Atlantic, long known for its investments in healthcare technology, has made its first foray into the medical device field.

The company recently invested an undisclosed amount in Synaptive Medical, a Toronto-based company known for its suite of healthcare technology products. Synaptic said that General Atlantic’s investment will help to accelerate the commercialization of the company’s BrightMatter Guide brain imaging system, which provides 3D visuals of the brain in the operating room to help guide surgeons.

This is not a surprising move, considering the fact that General Atlantic’s portfolio includes a number of companies in the healthcare sector.

Bill E. Ford, CEO of General Atlantic, also has a personal interest in healthcare companies. He serves on the boards of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and the New York Genome Center.

In a recent interview, Ford said, “I am particularly excited about the life sciences area as we enter the ‘golden era of biology’ that was catalyzed by the Human Genome Project from 15 years ago. The Affordable Care Act … has helped to spur significant innovation as healthcare companies try to address the issues of cost and improving [the] quality of healthcare in an efficient manner.”

Synaptive Medical president Cameron Piron agrees. “The healthcare industry is shifting toward an integrated delivery model that treats the whole patient from the diagnosis to the surgery and beyond. Efficient medical imaging, combined with timely and effective care, is a critical driver of that change,” he said. “We look forward to leveraging GA’s deep healthcare expertise and strong track record backing high-growth companies.”

Synaptive’s surgical technology, which combines informatics, imaging, surgical planning, navigation, and advanced optics, has been installed at a number of top hospitals in the U.S., including Emory University Hospital, the Gates Vascular Institute, and Mount Sinai Medical Center.

As part of the funding, General Atlantic managing director Alex Crisses and principal David Caluori will join Synaptive’s board.

“Synaptive marks the first investment by General Atlantic in the medical device sector, which speaks volumes to the attractive market opportunity we see in the healthcare technology industry,” said Crisses.

“We are excited to partner with Synaptive’s passionate team, whose commitment to innovation, engagement with surgeons, and passion for patient care, has built an incredibly unique suite of products,” Caluori added.

Other healthcare companies that General Atlantic has recently invested in include Alignment Healthcare, CitiusTech, eviCore Healthcare, Oak Street Health, Ourofino Saude Animal, and Sanfer.