(Bloomberg) -- The growth equity unit of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. has invested $47.5 million in Kontakt.io, a startup that helps hospital managers make decisions about patients, beds and equipment.

It’s the 39th investment in health care from the bank’s growth equity division and the deal is “a good example of what is coming down the pipe” for its portfolio, according to Christian Resch, the UK-based the Goldman partner who led the financing and will sit on Kontakt.io’s board.

Kontakt.io, formed in Poland in 2014, makes small bluetooth-connected devices that stick on hospital equipment and software for managing the data collected by the sensors. The idea is to track practically everything inside a hospital — from patient beds to ultrasound machines — to help managers make decisions about capacity and replacement. The startup wants to build out an AI system that can offer suggestions to managers. It bills for the entire tracking system, rather than solo sensors. 

Philipp von Gilsa, Kontakt.io’s chief executive officer, said his business helps health-care operators curb inefficiencies and manage pressures like crippling nursing shortages. “Hospitals are extremely, extremely wasteful in how they treat their resources,” he said. “We help them address that and, at the end of the day, save money.”

Health-care and life sciences IT spend is expected to continue rising, growing 8.3% in 2023 to $245.8 billion, according to Gartner estimates. But that money hasn’t always found its way to startups, which have struggled to compete with entrenched medical suppliers and navigate byzantine health-care networks. While many startups offer tools for managing health records or apps for patient use, Kontakt.io is focused on operations. The company pointed to a 2019 study that found roughly a quarter of US health spending was wasted due to issues like fraud and administrative hassles. 

Kontakt.io has largely grown without major outside capital. It first marketed to a range of sectors interested in tracking indoor data, but has since homed in on health care, which now provides 80% of its sales, according to von Gilsa. 

The startup has “roughly 500” enterprise customers, he said, including HCA Healthcare Inc. and the UK’s National Health Service. Von Gilsa declined to share revenue but said 2022 sales exceeded the $7.5 million his company raised before Goldman’s funding, and revenues tripled in the last twelve months. Kontakt.io, he said, has been profitable for the last four years. 

With the financing, which came solely from Goldman, von Gilsa plans to hire more engineers to build an automated system for hospital staff using artificial intelligence. Machines will offer recommendations for daily decisions like how to stock certain machines or when to move patients into surgery.

Some 4 million devices in circulation give the startup an edge in building this AI, according to von Gilsa, who said the large quantities of data gathered by Kontakt.io sensors can help train its models.

Larger rivals, like GE HealthCare Technologies Inc., have also touted recent AI features designed to streamline hospital operations. Goldman’s Resch said Kontakt.io’s integration of sensors and software gave the bank confidence in its prospects. 

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