McLaren's technology arm is bringing big data to the operating table

McLaren Applied Technologies has started developing tools to analyse a surgeon's movements during an operation to make surgery more effective.

"We're starting to look at simulation for training surgeons and complex procedures that can be improved and aided by certain tools that we have got", McLaren Applied Technologies operating director, Tim Strafford said.

It currently involves modelling the procedure and applying data analytics (which have been honed by the group over two decades to assist the Formula 1 team) in a partnership with Oxford University's medical school.

"We had to pick the right partnerswe don't pretend to have domain knowledge on everything", Strafford added.

"Admittedly, it is early days for the technology. Right now, McLaren and Oxford University are focusing on optimising surgery in training and the theatre, but research "could develop into automated tools."

As the project continues it hopes to improve patient care by reducing the time a patient spends in hospital and optimising the allocation of medical resources - like emergency departments and clinical staff - to make emergency care more efficient.

The project is using NHS surgeries to test out the tools, but it is hoped it will expand into private healthcare too.

McLaren Group recently changed its name to McLaren Technology Group, to appeal to clients in the oil and gas, healthcare, pharma and financial services who could benefit from its data analysis IP.

At the time, chief executive Ron Dennis said: "The McLaren companies now employ more than 3000 people, three-quarters of whom are not involved in motorsport. Technology drives everything we do - creating the world's most advanced road cars, working with blue-chip companies to enhance their performance and their products, and/or developing the world's most robust electronic control systems.

"Our new name therefore reflects our ever-increasing focus on innovation and the creation of disruptive technologies that will have a positive and far-reaching impact."

A new 57,000 square metres 'applied technology centre' is awaiting planning permission, the racing team announced today, alongside new aerodynamic research facilities, workshops offices and training spaces which will double McLaren's estate.

Its original, award winning designed HQ in Woking took 18 months to build, so it is expected to take the same amount of time once planning is approved.

It is actively recruiting in the technology and automotive divisions to support its growth.


Margi Murphy

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