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Building Relationships Overseas

“You know there’s this old expression: It’s not brain surgery... well, this is brain surgery.” —Don Bush, SMHeuristics Advisor


On Wednesday, July 31st, SMHeuristics signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Taiwanese biotechnology company, Brain Navi. The signing of this document, a “celebration and a beginning” according to SMHeuristics Advisor and event emcee Don Bush, was “the first of many that you’re going to see over the next several months and years.”

By partnering with an innovative company like Brain Navi, SMHeuristics is bridging the gap between Boise and Taiwan.


In 2018, Brain Navi’s product, NaoTrac, a robotic-assisted surgical system for brain surgery with autopilot navigation, performed it’s first in-human trial and has gone on to complete seven other successful brain surgeries. The device combines AI, machine vision, and robotic technology to provide a procedural solution for surgical planning, precise anatomical location of the patient, and accurate handling of instruments.

“Our device can act like an assistant for the surgeon which can help the surgeon standardize the operation and provide a higher degree of accuracy throughout the surgery,” says Dr. Jerry Chen, CEO of Brain Navi.

Brain Navi is at the forefront of introducing groundbreaking technology in neurosurgery, and Dr. Chen says that these exciting advancements can be used “not only in brain surgery, but also cardiovascular, orthopedics, and others.” NaoTrac has the potential to make a significant impact on success rates for intricate surgeries, and SMHeuristics is ready to help them reach that goal.


Over the last year, SMHeuristics has grown its relationships with other Taiwanese businesses. Thanks to development efforts, we are now actively assisting these companies as they enter U.S. markets. In the months and years ahead, we are focusing our efforts on commercialization, sales, and marketing. “To do this, the only way to succeed is through relationships,'' says SMHeuristics CEO Derik Ellis. By establishing these relationships, we are opening the door to new opportunities — not only for Taiwanese companies and SMH, but also for the local community. As we continue to grow, we look forward to the possibilities.

This growth will likely entail creating new Treasure-Valley-based offices for these companies looking to expand their professional footprint, which will in turn create more jobs in the area.



We are thrilled to partner with Brain Navi, and more negotiations are underway to strengthen business relationships between Idaho and Taiwan. Later this year, SMHeuristics executives will accompany Idaho Governor Brad Little on a trade mission to Taiwan.

This is just the beginning of an incredible opportunity for SMHeuristics, Brain Navi, and the Treasure Valley as a whole, and we look forward to growing together.