inveox is the Startup of the Week 8: Rethinking Pathology


Health & FoodTech

One out of every two people will confront a cancer diagnosis at some point in their life. That’s why each and every cancer test needs to be quick, safe and reliable. To increase safety and reliability, we need an automated system for histopathology. This system comes from inveox, our startup of the week. Shelley Pascual, Communications Specialist at inveox, told us in an interview what exactly is behind it and how it works.

Hi Shelley! We are glad you could join us today. Inveox is all about reducing mistakes in cancer diagnosises. How do you optimize the process in that area?

inveox brings artificial intelligence and a large data potential to cancer diagnosis by automating the pre-analytical process and reducing errors. The errors can occur, for example, due to sample mix-ups or data loss. At the same time, patient safety and laboratory efficiency are improved.

How do your products help to automate the process?

Research shows that tissue samples (biopsies) in today’s laboratories can be confused, contaminated or lost with a probability of 1-15%. But our products – an intelligent sample container, an automation device and a digital data platform – are designed to work as one coherent unit to make sample entry in histopathology safer, more efficient and reliable.

Thanks to a QR code, our intelligent sample containers offer all patients safety by ensuring that mix-ups and contamination of tissue samples are a thing of the past. The container also has an intelligent filter that enables automatic mounting in biopsy cassettes. In this way, the sample always remains in one container and its unique ID facilitates data transfer, track & trace and process control.

A complementary product, the automation device, increases the throughput and quality of tissue samples by processing dozens of samples simultaneously and in a consistent, systematic manner. This allows the laboratory technician to focus on value-added tasks rather than repetitive data collection and repackaging. More importantly, it introduces artificial intelligence and collects data on every single tissue sample. Until now, the data has either not been recorded or is stored away in paper and cardboard boxes instead of being aggregated for scientific research.

Finally, our digital platform opens the door to a new and truly connected laboratory of the future. It enables seamless communication between the doctor taking the biopsy, the lab technician, the pathologist, our container and our machines. In short, this platform enables us to integrate the entire diagnostic experience from the taking of a tissue sample to the delivery of a diagnosis.

Cancer affects people all over the world. Reducing the potential mistake rate is a major goal. Why is your approach better than others? What makes your idea stand out?

Not only is there an enormous demand for our innovation worldwide, but there is no direct competition for inveox, apart from the manual process of preparing biopsy samples in pathology laboratories. This pen-and-paper method, which has been performed by laboratory technicians for decades, misses the potential for data collection and utilization. It also requires technicians to remain alert and focused on monotonous tasks that can be performed by machines.

inveox solves the biggest single problem in histopathology by introducing the world’s first automated system for sample entry in histopathology, for which we hold the corresponding industrial property rights. We are the first to use a combination of hardware and software, but most importantly, we have designed it for the future so that it can collect and exchange data that can be used for medical research and further process optimization. We are the first in the market and have a solid base of investors and customers who believe in our cause and the value of our solution.

What business model do you use?

Our component-based product and a modular contract structure enable us to offer all laboratories (regardless of size and throughput) service packages tailored to their individual needs, while remaining flexible and scalable at all times. These consist of Hardware as Service, Software as a Service and consumables in various package sizes.

Since your product is intended for histopathology, the corresponding laboratories are probably your main target group, right? In how many countries do you already sell your product?

Exactly! Our customers are private and public histopathology laboratories, which may include residences, parts of hospitals, laboratory chains or research institutes. Currently we are mainly active in the DACH region with the aim of expanding into other EU countries.

The European market alone consists of 6,500 laboratories that process 1 billion tissue samples every year, which results in an addressable market of 2 billion euros per year. We are also aiming for a US market, which includes 9,000 laboratories that process 2 billion samples per year, resulting in a total addressable market of €4 billion per year, and finally a global market with a potential of more than €13 billion per year.

How advanced is your product? Is it already being used successfully?

Yes, considering that our company was founded almost three years ago, the current state of our product development can be considered quite advanced. Since then, our products have been used successfully and with high satisfaction by well-known customers. In August 2019, we closed a financing round of 17 million Euros, bringing our total financing to 23 million Euros, which will allow us to further expand our team, scale globally and enhance our software. We currently have a team of almost 100 teammates, consisting of approximately 30 nationalities, spread across our offices in Munich and Krakow.

Shelley, thank you for this super exciting insight into the world of inveox! We wish you continued success and are curious to see where you will develop into. If anyone wants to learn more about inveox, check out the requests on inveox’ Innoloft profile.

MagnoTherm Solutions is the Startup of the Week 6: Next generation cooling


Energy Efficiency and Environment, Health & FoodTech

Conventional cooling systems often use problematic gases. In this case “problematic” means extremely flammable, toxic or refers to a high greenhouse effect. Our startup of the week does without these gases in their products and uses magnetic materials instead. Timur Sirman, Co-Founder of MagnoTherm Solutions, explains today how this works exactly.

Hello Timur! Thanks for being here today. Our first question is this: What is behind MagnoTherm Solutions?

We develop and build environmentally friendly cooling units for the cooling and heating systems of the future: with magnetic materials without any problematic gases.

How does this process work?

Active metals are cyclically heated and cooled by means of a permanent magnet. This is done by the magnetocaloric effect of these active metals. They become warm when they are exposed to a magnetic field – and cold when the magnetic field is reduced. Using a water-based exchange medium, the heat and cold can be transported from the solid and made useful. For this purpose, motor, pump, valves and control elements are used.

Why is it better to dispense with gases and use magnetic materials instead?

Without the use of F-gases, flammable gases, toxic gases or other problematic gases, our system is up to 40% more efficient than the best compressor-based cooling system available today. And this is independent of the temperature stroke or temperature range. This can be achieved by individualizing the active metals. As a result, highly efficient systems can be realized even for warm ambient temperatures and small temperature strokes, with a greenhouse potential of zero.

And that in turn is better for the environment. How do you integrate it all into a business model?

Our cooling units are integrated by our customer into his cooling system and then sold to the user. Here we develop customized products for our integration partner. In doing so, we can respond very quickly and precisely to the respective needs of the user, as our standardized structure allows the active metals to be adapted to the requirements at any time.

Who do you address with your products?

In principle, we can implement cooling units with a cooling capacity between 100 W and 100 kW. The European supermarket refrigeration industry is the first sales market, as the challenges are the greatest there. However, other markets we address are IT cooling, industrial cooling and heat pumps.

What stage of development are you currently in? How mature is your product?

We are currently building the first prototype, which will have a cooling capacity of 500 W to 1kW. This year we will equip a cooling system for Food&Beverages with this. At the same time, we are in talks with development partners to build further systems.

Timur, I’m afraid we’ve come to the end of the interview. We thank you for the exciting interview and wish you continued success. To find more about MagnoTherm Solutions, you can take a look at their Innoloft profile!

Climedo Health is the Startup of the Week 3: Accelerating Clinical Research


Health & FoodTech, IT & ICT

Innovation in the health sector has many faces. To accelerate medical innovation, it is necessary to collaborate between different partners like Pharma companies, hospitals and patients. Climedo, our startup of the week offers a smart digital assistant that supports various stakeholders in the efficient and safe execution of studies, e.g. regarding new cancer treatments. We spoke to Catherine Higginson, Marketing Manager at Climedo Health, to find out more about their innovative idea.

Hey Catherine, thank you for taking the time today! Let’s dive straight into this interview. How would you pitch Climedo in one sentence?

Thank you for having me! Climedo’s mission is to bring the best treatment to every patient by empowering healthcare professionals with intelligent software solutions.

That is quite a big mission! What does that software solution look like in detail?

Climedo is a cloud-based platform consisting of three core elements: two integrated databases (a digital patient file, as well as a biodatabase) and the main module, which enables the execution of a large number of studies. It is available for laptop/PC as well as on a tablet or smartphone. This allows sponsors, physicians and medical professionals to access all relevant study data in a central, holistic solution, yet still tailored to their individual needs. The intuitive and flexible study design allows for cost-efficient execution of mono- and multi-center studies. Parameters can be validated and analyzed in real time. We use technologies that are particularly suitable for the processing of unstructured data – which we believe is a must-have in the healthcare sector. This data becomes available in an intuitive and comfortable user interface, so that even complex relationships can be displayed quickly and comprehensively. In order to guarantee the highest level of data and information security, our servers are located exclusively in Germany and are certified according to relevant industry standards.

What added value do your products generate that other existing solutions do not have?

Clinical trials usually involve several parties located at different sites (e.g. industrial partners, CROs, hospitals, patients, etc.). Parties tend to work with completely disconnected systems. In addition to that over 50% of all clinical studies are still conducted on paper or using spreadsheets. In light of the healthcare sector’s digital transformation and several new EU regulations awaiting us, this is no longer a realistic or sustainable solution. Bringing all data and results together costs a lot of time and money, which could instead flow into patient treatment. This is where Climedo comes in. We seamlessly connect all parties within a cloud-based system and enable the structured collection and management of all study-related data. Patients can also enter information, such as the efficacy of a drug or the satisfaction with an inserted implant, without any special IT knowledge via email or SMS. That means they do not need to visit study sites as often, saving both them and the physicians valuable time. Unlike existing solutions, Climedo is 100% user-oriented and connects all parties in a holistic system.

Especially the integration of patients sounds really helpful and time-saving! Do you offer your software as a service?

Yes, exactly! We have a SaaS model. It consists of a one-time set-up fee and a flexible monthly usage fee, depending on the scope of the study and the product portfolio.

Who do you address with Climedo Health? And which countries are you targeting?

Our target customers are medical device manufacturers, pharma companies, contract research organizations (CROs) as well as hospitals and academia. Currently, we are mostly active in the DACH region and in the coming year we would like to expand into additional EU countries. Furthermore, some of our Germany-based studies are already rolling out internationally, including in the USA.

So you are already established on the market and now in the process of expanding your start-up?

Yes! Our product is available on an international level and several industry and academic partners already use it. We recently secured a 7-digit finance round which will enable us to further grow our team, expand internationally and continue driving our software development to make clinical validation more efficient for our clients.

That sounds very exciting! Catherine, thank you for this interview! We hope to hear a lot more from you and wish you continued success! Those who are interested in your products or a cooperation with, can have a look at your Innoloft profile and your request for further information.

Flawless Communication in Healthcare


Health & FoodTech

Bureaucracy and inefficient communication channels tend to overwhelm large parts of the healthcare workforce. This creates unnecessary stress on staff and patients. As a result, there is an acute need to improve communication between all stakeholders in the healthcare system. In particular with regard to the content and the temporality of the transmitted information, e.g. patient data, there are still plenty of problems to be solved. In terms of content, this information can suffer from a lack of quality. In addition, the information does not flow fast enough so that it reaches decision makers in time, which in turn can contribute to flawed decision-making.

The following startups have recognized the communication problems in healthcare and invented intelligent, scalable solutions. This not only gives the patient better personalized care. Caregivers, doctors and other healthcare workers are relieved of repetitive, strenuous tasks. This saves valuable time that caregivers can spend with their patients instead of paperwork.

visidoo – Digitized Appointment Management

Failed appointments are frustrating and cause unnecessary stress. The organization around appointments including reminders costs time and money. visidoo has realized that these tasks can largely be automated using digital tools. The business model is a monthly lump sum for small practices and an amount per patient per month for larger practices. Communication between practice and patient takes place via the mobile visidoo app. It includes a messenger for practices, automatically sent out reminders and recalls. Patients benefit from a clear presentation of their appointments and upcoming check-ups, including for their children.

 

Patientus – Virtual Room instead of Waiting Room

Since April 2017, doctors and patients can be connected via video-conferencing thanks to internet-based communication software. Patientus service enables medical care from a distance and thus represents a complimentary offer. With their service, consultation and follow-up appointments can easily be carried out online. The need for physical contact between the doctor and patient is reduced, at least for aftercare. However, the attending physician may continue to make diagnoses only in an on-site interview with the patient. Patientus was acquired by jameda in early 2017.

 

eHealth Ventures – Synced Data between all Care Stakeholders

Nowadays, patient data is often shared slowly and on a request basis between care organizations. This leads to long wait times for patients and in the worst case, costly overdiagnosis and therapy. The Berlin-based startup eHealth Ventures GmbH offers POLAVIS CLINIC, a communication portal for hospitals, with which they can securely share relevant case data with resident physicians for follow-up. In addition, the software suite offers functionalities such as a mailbox and scheduling. The platform is connected to the hospital’s internal information system and retains the data on-site.

 

myo – A Holistic Elderly Care Communication Platform

Often, relatives and friends of people in need of care are curious and worried about their health. myos holistic care communication platform takes residents, relatives, carers and nursing home operators into account. It makes it easier for relatives to be in contact with residents and to be informed about their health. Caregivers gain time with the app by recording activities and preventing confrontational conversations. In an increasingly digitized healthcare environment, myo is a unique selling proposition for nursing home operators to attract more staff.

 

Examples from abroad

Healthcare systems are diverse across countries. Despite their common goal of returning patients to health, every system is unique. Each has its own regulations, culture, caregivers and patients. This is why every app and solution can’t just be copy-pasted from one system into another. Often, startups have to deal with plenty of bureaucratic hurdles. Nonetheless, below we present three international startups which improve communication within healthcare. They issue an outlook on what is already possible today.

 

KRY – Successful Telemedicine Model from Sweden

When KRY was founded in 2014 in Sweden, its founders wanted to ease the access to care and work on making waiting rooms a thing of the past. Via the KRY app, you receive care through a digital video doctor consultation, including diagnosis, prescriptions, sick leave and referral. KRY acts as a middle man and tries to get doctors, as well as patients to use their platform. Consultations and payments are handled inside the app, creating little bureaucratic effort. Despite not having an official launch date, KRY is about to be launched in Germany.

 

Komed Health – Real Time Hospital Communication Platform from Switzerland

An application with a similar structure to WhatsApp is Komed Health’s first software product. The startup wants to revolutionize the communication between all stakeholders inside of a hospital. Their application works synchronous and in real time across a range of mobile devices. It offers the possibility to create group chats specific to a single patient and bundle internal working groups to shorten communication channels. Currently the system is being used in multiple Swiss hospitals.

 

MUrgency – A Global Emergency Service from India

If you’re living in a developed country, chances are that you take the ability to summon an ambulance with your phone for granted. It is less known that millions of people do not have access to such systems. MUrgency’s vision is to use mobile web technologies to create a global emergency network and make this lifesaving tool accessible to everyone. MUrgency has an especially profound impact in regions with weak infrastructure, where its response times are quicker than comparable systems. 50.000.000 people have received care through MUrgency’s services. The app has integrated a feature that alerts MUrgency users of an emergency happening in their close proximity, to further reduce emergency response times.

 

Suki – Intelligent Voice Assistant for Doctors

The Redwood startup develops and sells Suki. It is a voice assistant that reduces the amount of time that needs to be spent on medical reporting. Doctors simply dictate their report and Suki transforms the speech into a format that is compatible with common hospital information systems. Suki claims that reporting with their software is up to 76% faster than traditional writing methods. The company has received over 20 million dollars in venture capital.