The start-up sector related to innovations in medicine is becoming an increasingly significant support for the health care system. It includes future solutions that respond to current market needs and can effectively revolutionize it. Some of such visionary products will be on display at the SALMED trade fair.
The International Trade Fair of Medical Equipment and Instruments SALMED will have a specially arranged start-up zone presenting solutions that influence the development of the entire medical sector. – For proper functioning of start-ups, optimal and effective cooperation with the medical market is necessary, including government institutions, medical personnel, business environment and patients. The SALMED fair combines science and business, forming a platform for cooperation between these sectors. It not only supports the development of an innovative economy, but also becomes particularly important in the era of fighting the Covid-19 pandemic and its long-term consequences – says Paulina Pietrzak, director of the SALMED fair.
Special zone and discussion panels
Some of the start-ups presented at SALMED was described in the last year project: “Top Disruptors in Healthcare − report on medical start-ups in Poland”, carried out by the Polish Federation of Hospitals and Young Medicine Managers. Just like last year, the SALMED fair took patronage over this year's edition of the event, which started in January.
-The market of medical start-ups in Poland is constantly developing. There are new solutions that improve the patient's treatment process and optimize the doctor's working time. Particularly, the solutions based on artificial intelligence (AI) may support the health care sector, e.g. by increasing the detection of incorrect test results or helping to diagnose diseases. In Poland, start-ups of this type are already operating, improving patient care. In the "Top Disruptors in Healthcare", which is the only Polish medtech inventory report, most start-ups indicated that they were developing new, innovative solutions, acting e.g. in the field of telemedicine, artificial intelligence and medical data. This shows that Polish medical start-ups are driving technological progress, despite many barriers, even of legal or financial nature – assesses Ligia Kornowska, managing director of the Polish Federation of Hospitals.
During the SALMED fair, the Polish Federation of Hospitals will organize a discussion panel on medical start-ups. During the event, experts will present the current situation of innovative solutions in Poland. – The session on medical start-ups and AI will answer the questions about finding an innovative solution, checking its actual effectiveness and safety, as well as managing properly the cooperation between an innovative technology supplier and a hospital – adds L. Kornowska, who will lead the start-up panel.
Innovative support for diagnostics
The vast majority of start-ups present at the fair support the diagnostic process of patients. One of them is Higo (HigoSense Sp. z o.o.), an innovative device that takes telemedicine to a new level. Higo is used to test the ears, lungs, heart, throat, measure the temperature and heart rate of the patient. The doctor receives diagnostic medical data for diagnosis remotely. Ewa Wierzbowska, Medical & Business Development Director at HigoSense Sp. z o. o., say that the idea of the solution emerged during professional talks with insurance companies and private meetings of families with children.
- Higo increases the availability of a GP and paediatrician. The physician is able to make the diagnosis within 4 minutes, and the diagnosis may be sent to any place, where the patient is present. Families with children, the elderly and chronically ill can benefit from it– assures Ewa Wierzbowska.
Another device supporting the patient at home is StethoMe – a stethoscope, which helps to comprehensively monitor respiratory diseases. StethoMe records and detects abnormal sounds that may occur during an asthma exacerbation, bronchitis or pneumonia. Test results may be easily shared with the doctor.
– I am a mother of two children. Like many parents, I had to deal with their frequent infections, and one of them had suspicions of asthma. However, the idea of creating a home stethoscope was born when I was taken to the hospital with my baby. It was then that I became interested in auscultation. It was related to my work because I dealt professionally with psychoacoustics. Together with my colleague, Jędrzej Kociński, who is a professor at Adam Mickiewicz University, we agreed that such a home stethoscope could change the lives of many families around the world. The implementation of this idea was possible only thanks to Wojciech Radomski, Paweł Elbanowski and Marcin Szajek, who at the time were running a company providing IT services. We met and together we decided to commercialize the auscultatory tests - explains Dr. Honorata Hafke-Dys, the originator and co-founder of StethoMe.
Further research is currently being carried out to develop the functionality of the stethoscope. A team of experts is focusing on developing a Personalized Respiratory Index (PRI). PRI, similarly to some functionalities of StethoMe, will also use artificial intelligence algorithms. It will provide the patient with various information, including the level of exacerbation of the chronic disease.
Another diagnostic support solution presented in the start-up zone of the SALMED fair is SensFloor– a system of under-floor sensors, which supports caregivers in assessing health of patients by creating patient movement profiles and optimizing the work processes of nursing staff. The analysis algorithms help to generate activity profiles of patients.
SmartFloor, which is the distributor of the solution, ensures that SensFloor transforms the floor into a huge touchscreen. The device is designed to help doctors in the fields of neurology, geriatrics, psychiatry, etc. in assessing the health of their patients. The SensFloor solution can also be used at home and support the care of elderly patients.
Another company that influences the development of new generation digital medicine is MedApp. – Our innovative solutions revolutionize the way people can heal and save lives. We develop technologies supporting the new generation of imaging diagnostics and digital medicine. Creation of a virtual images provides the ability to recreate any structure of the human body and placing it in a digital model. Our CarnaLife Holo technology enables the exploration of various anatomical areas in the form of three-dimensional holograms. The result is a more precise pre-operative diagnosis and potential additional benefits associated with the procedure itself. Our next solution – CarnaLifeSystem enables remote diagnostics and monitoring of patients with the use of proprietary algorithms supporting medical staff and patients in the treatment process. We are only on the threshold of digital transformation in the healthcare sector. Digital radiology has a chance to enter the world of metaverse, i.e. alternative, virtual reality, as one of the first fields of medicine. The development potential for our technology is very large – forecasts Krzysztof Mędrala, President of the Management Board of MedApp S.A.
Managing a medical facility in the digital age
Visitors to SALMED will also see interdisciplinary start-ups that combine organizational solutions using IT techniques. Such innovations may effectively improve management in medical facilities. With healthcare managers in mind, IC Solutions has developed the IC Pen Platform, which is a unique system for digitizing documentation such as patient consents or forms, maintaining their legal validity. The IC Pen system uses digital pens, tablets and screens dedicated to collecting signatures, as well as document scanners.
– The capabilities of the IC Pen system significantly reduce the circulation of paper documentation in medical facilities. Importantly, this technology uses digital pens, tablets and dedicated screens providing legally important digitization of signatures thanks to biometrics. The solution implemented in medical facilities significantly optimizes the work of staff, reduces costs by eliminating documentation and allows the implementation of the idea of being paperless – states Łukasz Mejza from IC Solutions.
The growing shortage of doctors in relation to the needs of the health care system makes it necessary to optimize processes and support doctors with IT tools. A big problem is the preparation of medical documentation. It takes up 66% of a doctor's working time and there is still a lack of good practices for its standardization. This was the starting point for the idea of Upmedic software. – This smart editor of medical records which, based on structural templates created with doctors, allows users to create a high-quality patient description. Eliminating the need to type on the keyboard makes documentation creation process three times faster. Software development is supported by integration with IT systems and telemedicine platforms used in medical facilities. Upmedic helps doctors to complete the documentation up to three times faster – says Paweł Paczuski, CEO, co-founder of Upmedic.
A similar challenge in health care facilities is also the supervision of planning and confirming patient visits. This problem is tackled by Wandlee Sp. z o.o., which implemented Voicebot No-Show. This solution uses artificial intelligence to call all scheduled patients and confirm their visit. The results of the calls are automatically entered into the calendar system. - We have been implementing products based on artificial intelligence for 6 years. The need to bring our technology to the medical market has increased during the pandemic. We noticed how difficult it is to get your call answered by a medical facility. The waiting time on the line often reaches several dozen minutes. On the other hand, we realized how many scheduled visits are simply skipped. There are over a dozen million of them in Poland every year! This is a loss of approximately PLN 2 billion for the system. Registration cannot handle all persons. Automation is inevitable and this is where our solutions come to the rescue – says Joanna Cichocka, COO at Wandlee Sp. z o.o.
The described examples are only some of the start-ups that will be presented at the SALMED fair. The organizers successively receive new applications for participation in the fair from providers of innovative, visionary solutions. The start-up zone will be a separate space of a rich exhibition offer of the fair. Visitors will also see the current offer of manufacturers and suppliers of medical apparatus and instruments, equipment for hospitals, clinics and medical offices, as well as the latest laboratory and rehabilitation equipment. The International Trade Fair of Medical Equipment and Instruments SALMED will be held on March 23-25, 2022 on MTP Poznań Expo fairgrounds.
The project is sponsored by key media and industry organisations, including: the Polish Federation of Hospitals, the National Association of Private Hospitals, the Agreement of Healthcare Employers, the Wielkopolska Medical Chamber, European Clean Healthcare Association, POLMED and Polish Investment and Trade Agency.