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Inovus Medical uses Solid Solutions’ services to help them grow as a start-up

18 July 2019

“Now that we’re leaving our start-up phase and moving toward scaling up our business, we see the importance of adopting a more complete package like SOLIDWORKS right from the start.”

Started in 2012 by an engineer and a medic, Inovus Medical has been fast disrupting the healthcare simulation market by providing access to historically expensive training equipment. Their core range of simulators includes the world’s most affordable ‘take-home’ laparoscopic simulators and a growing range of simulators for teaching skills in critical care, medicine and surgery.

A fast-growing company based in Warrington, they design and manufacture medical simulation products with 3D printing and are also currently developing a surgical AR platform.

Building products that make a difference to people’s lives around the globe, Inovus started when founders, Jordan Van Flute and Elliot Street, met at a university party and shared their frustration on how difficult it was to access training equipment for their research on psychomotor testing and laparoscopic surgery. As students, they were refused access to laparoscopic surgery simulators, which were very expensive and only available through university and hospital labs.

“So, we set about designing and building a simulator in my university bedroom, soon moving into a family member’s garage. We decided we could produce more affordable laparoscopic devices by making the parts ourselves. In the beginning we were bending pieces of plastic with rudimentary jigs; now we use thermo forming, CNC machining, laser cutting, 3D printing and silicone injection moulding”, says the CEO, Dr Elliot Street. 

“For an SME like us, time is the most important metric. With SOLIDWORKS, our production turnaround time has decreased by about 35 to 40% - with our electrical and product engineers working together using the same software without any delays,” says CTO, Jordan Van Flute.

As someone who had no engineering background when starting the business, Jordan is a keen advocate on SOLIDWORKS’ training, he continues; “When we bought our first SOLIDWORKS licence, I found the software to be incredibly intuitive and easy to use. I’ve always been a self-learner; however, it was getting the formal classroom training at Solid Solutions that really tightened up how I design things, and how we design as a company – so much quicker than being self-taught. Plus, when you have the distraction of running a company, it’s very easy to end up doing something else instead of learning the software in the office. Taking the time to attend a training session in person means I can fully concentrate on learning, and also take advantage of meeting people from different industries during the course, but who actually have relevant questions about the content being taught.”

Inovus Medical now has an expanding range of healthcare simulators on the market and their original turnkey laparoscopic simulator is sold in over 65 countries worldwide and used by nearly 100 hospitals. They currently employ 12 people at a larger plant in St Helens and have won several business awards. Inovus’ ambition is to become the number one choice in surgical simulation globally by introducing their affordable and accessible devices, together with their AR and VR simulation products. 

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