UAMS Startup Angel Eye Licenses Neonatal Camera

A University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences BioVentures startup has licensed technology that enables parents of babies in neonatal intensive care units to monitor their children 24 hours a day through a camera placed at the baby's bedside.

Angel Eye Camera Systems LLC is the startup and Angel Eye is the technology it has licensed from UAMS. Angel Eye also received an undisclosed investment from TriStar Technology Ventures of Nashville, Tenn.

The LLC was formed in January to exclusively license the technology from UAMS. The Angel Eye tech was first developed in 2006 when webcams mounted on IV poles were placed next to infant beds so parents and other family members who couldn't be at the hospital could view their babies.

In 2009, a bed-mounted camera unit was developed. Last year, Lehigh Valley Hospital in Allentown, Penn., became the first health-care facility other than UAMS to use the system.

"Our company is very excited to have licensed the underlying technology of the Angel Eye Camera System, which was conceptualized and developed at UAMS more than seven years ago and is now in its third generation of hardware and software," said Steve Bethel, the company’s president and CEO, in a press release. "We look forward to commercializing this innovative communication platform to connect patients, families and clinicians across a wide spectrum of health care settings."

TriStar is an early-stage fund that invests mainly in ventures related to health care.

"We believe our experience and network position us to be valuable investor partners," said Christopher Rand, TriStar co-founder and partner. "We have been working with UAMS and other organizations in Arkansas to identify investment opportunities and are excited about additional investment prospects."

Rand is a Little Rock native who grew up in Searcy and now lives in Nashville.

In 2012, the Arkansas Development Finance Authority invested $500,000 in TriStar's Fund II through its Arkansas Seed & Angel Capital Network program. Angel Eye represents TriStar’s first Arkansas investment.

BioVentures is the commercialziation arm for UAMS technology.