Belgium-based, KU Leuven spinoff ArtiQ has raised €1m in seed financing from KBC Focus Fund, the KU Leuven Gemma Frisius Fund, University Hospitals Leuven and private investor Bart Swaelens.

WHY IT MATTERS

ArtiQ has developed an AI-based decision support tool that aims to support clinicians diagnose and monitor respiratory diseases, offering a “standardised evaluation” of the patient’s lung function.

The software, which can be integrated with EHRs and linked to pulmonary function test (PFT) machines, has been in the making for several years, with the team working with doctors from University Hospitals Leuven, the largest university hospital in the country, where it has since been used for over a year.

“Using artificial intelligence, ArtiQ|PFT facilitates the interpretation of PFTs and improves the diagnosis of lung diseases. This is usually done manually by expert readers,” said Marko Topalovic, CEO of ArtiQ.

ArtiQ plans to use the new money for the launch of its solution, expected to take place later this year.

“In the future, of course, we hope that this kind of software will end up in the hands of as many as possible pulmonologists in the world,” Topalovic told MobiHealthNews.

The focus, however, is on Belgium at the moment, with the spinoff having recently completed an installation in another hospital.

“We are a Belgian based company, but because [of] the way the software is made and the way the pulmonary function tests are performed, it’s pretty much identical in every country in the world, so it’s quite a standardised approach,” the chief executive added.

“We do not see any limitation to deploying it internationally, apart from following the regulatory routes. So, we are starting from Europe first with the CE label [expected in the autumn], and then later on we want to move on to US and other countries as well.”

THE LARGER TREND

In addition to the first solution, the spinoff is working on other products, with a prototype of the AI-based software for GPs already developed.

At the beginning of the year, a study published in the European Respiratory Journal found that, with 120 pulmonologists from 16 hospitals in Europe examining 50 cases, they made the correct diagnoses in 44.6% of instances, compared to 82% for the AI software.

Source : MobiHealthNews

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