Detectivio work paying off
Hot on the heels of being invited to join MobilityXlab, Detectivio – a company in Sahlgrenska Science Park’s Healthtech Accelerator programme – has now won the prestigious HealthTech Award 2022.
“It’s fantastic. I’m really happy. The whole team is very happy and proud of this award. It’s a good acknowledgement of the work we are doing, and confirmation that other people believe in Detectivio and our idea. Today, we have something to celebrate," said Stefan Malmberg, CEO and co-founder of Detectivio.
It’s likely the Detectivio team will have occasion to celebrate more days moving forward. The company has developed a camera-based, AI-powered solution for contactless measurement of vital signs. The technology is initially being applied to improve health assessments in emergency medical environments and has the potential to be used in other areas that could benefit from automatic, contactless measurement of vital signs.
Contactless measuring of vital signs
For medical professionals, the five vital signs – blood pressure, respiratory rate, body temperature, pulse and oxygen levels in the blood – have long been the basis for assessing health and determining the level of medical urgency.
Stefan Malmberg explains, “Vital signs are typically measured and registered several times for each patient during their emergency room stay. Numerous devices and safety steps are required. These take time and resources. With our technology, the vital signs can be measured simultaneously, with a comfortable and contact-free scan of the patient’s face.”
Clinical validation ongoing
Collaborating with researchers from Sahlgrenska Academy, the University of Gothenburg and Region Västra Götaland, Detectivio’s technology was used in a Covid-related clinical study in 2020. Data was collected from 214 patients in the emergency department at Sahlgrenska Östra Sjukhuset in Gothenburg, and the results from this first independent clinical study are submitted for publication.
This year, a second larger clinical study has been initiated by the same collaboration partners. In this study, the Detectivio solution will be used and tested for reliability and accuracy on around 800 patients at the infection ward at Östra Hospital and four primary care health centres in West Sweden.
“It’s an important milestone for us to be included in these studies and have the opportunity to validate our method,“ comments Stefan Malmberg. “It has been very motivating to see the positive reaction from our collaboration partners. They see the potential benefits of our solution and how it can help them be more effective and safe on a day-to-day basis.”
When technology and physiology converge
Detectivio was formed in 2017 after Stefan Malmberg met Taha Khan. Stefan’s interest in technology and his medical education was a great fit with Taha’s research which focused on using AI to measure health parameters.
Stefan had previously been working with trauma and triage in the emergency department at Södra Älvsborgs Hospital in Borås. He was prioritising and treating patients according to how urgent the need for care was. He saw the importance of rapidly measuring vital signs, but also saw that the devices and procedures used were old-fashioned and cumbersome.
Stefan spent time thinking how these common and crucial measurements on the human body could be made simpler and more efficient using modern technology, such as infrared imaging. After meeting Taha in the autumn 2016 and realising how well they complemented each other, they bought some equipment and started testing ways to realise Stefan’s idea. Growing confident in their measurement method, they started Detectivio in December 2017.
Nurtured by Sahlgrenska Science Park
“When we started Detectivio, we didn’t have much of a clue about things like financing, regulatory requirements and how we could test our technology in the real world. We joined Sahlgrenska Science Park Accelerator’s program in 2018 and, thankfully, they knew what they were doing and could connect us with relevant information, contacts and support systems. They have taken good care of us and have been an important first platform from where we have been able to embark on our exciting development journey,” says Stefan Malmberg.
When asked what advice he would give other budding healthtech entrepreneurs, Stefan replies swiftly, “Dare to ask for help. There are so many things that come up that you need to think about but which you don’t know about. It’s not just about having a good idea and a great team. The great thing is that most people are only too happy to help – if you just ask for it. It’s very cool that there’s some of that positive Silicon Valley feeling even here on Medicine Hill!”
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