On a mission to improve acute stroke care
Today, only 1 in 4 stroke patients get the right treatment in the right time. Every 10 minutes’ delay in the stroke care chain adds 40 days of rehabilitation for the patient. Imagine if there was a device that enabled emergency responders to perform a quick neuro examination that gives objective guidance as to the correct treatment of a suspected stroke patient in just a couple of minutes…
Medfield Diagnostics, is selling MD100 Strokefinder, an innovative AI and microwave-powered device that holds significant promise in the rapid detection of strokes. Thereby, potentially reducing the time to initiate treatment and improving clinical outcomes. However, as with any disruptive technology, the journey to widespread adoption and scale-up presents both opportunities and challenges.
We caught up with Jonas Liljedal, Director Sales and Marketing at Medfield Diagnostics, to learn more:
Jonas, what do you see as the main opportunities and challenges for a more widespread adoption of the Strokefinder technology?
“We are proud to be pioneering a novel technology with a sensitivity of 97% in detecting stroke according to the performance claim we have. We believe this will enhance precision in assessing stroke patients. MD100 Strokefinder is the first of its kind to have obtained a CE marking, which demonstrates that the product has been assessed to meet high safety, health, and environmental protection requirements. Current methods of detecting and triaging stroke patients are outdated, as evidenced by the sheer number of stroke scales that are in use. Medfield's portable device can be used by any healthcare staff anywhere, recognizing the increasing mobility in healthcare. The device addresses the crucial 4-hour treatment window for effective stroke treatment. The challenge lies in gaining clinical evidence for this paradigm shift in stroke patient triage; aiming to not just save lives but also improve life quality and reduce rehabilitation costs.”
Drawing from your own background as a paramedic nurse, how has your first-hand experience on the front line shaped your perspective on acute stroke care?
“The scales for assessing stroke patients are subjective. They require patient communication which can be hindered by language barriers or cognitive issues. Clear symptoms like paralysis are evident, but there's a grey zone with vague symptoms like dizziness or nausea. Paramedics often meet patients for the first time, lacking context about their prior health status. MD100 Strokefinder is much-needed, objective scan that eliminates subjectivity related to language, socioeconomic status or gender. It provides a non-biased scan in 2 minutes, determining stroke presence with high accuracy.”
You mentioned that the main challenge was gaining healthcare evidence. How are you going about getting that?
“We are introducing a new technology. We need clinical evidence to speed up a new and improved way of doing things. MD100 Strokefinder is a game changer and we are focused on proving it. We have the CE marking and the technology is supported by eight publications. There are currently 5 ongoing clinical studies generating clinical data in Sweden, Australia and the UK, and we have exciting feasibility studies ongoing in Greece and Australia. Activities like these will give us the clinical acceptance we need. We need to get out in as many various clinical environments as we can, to demonstrate the value of the product.”
“Strokefinder is a game changer and we are focused on proving it.”
What can you tell us about your plans to enter the German and UK markets?
“Well, Germany is one of the largest healthcare markets in Europe and it's the fourth largest in the world. So, it's important for us to take the right steps to enter that market in the right way. We are benefitting from some very good help from the CO-AX team on that. They have facilitated for us to be offered a spot on a trip to Germany in December which will be important for us to make the right connections, find the early adopters and, again, get clinical acceptance of the product.
Similarly, in the UK, thanks to CO-AX, we are part of the Nordic Propel initiative and have been selected as one out of 10 companies from the Nordic region that have been invited to the UK for five days of intensive support, knowledge and engagement with UK healthcare experts. So that is an activity that will help us leverage the UK market.”
What other support do you receive from CO-AX and Sahlgrenska Science Park?
“We receive support in many areas from CO-AX and Sahlgrenska Science Park almost every day. Even to the extent that, through their networks in Europe, CO-AX paved the way for us to plan for additional commercial and clinical work there. As a startup company, CO-AX and Sahlgrenska Science Park have provided us with capabilities, such as branding and IR, that we haven’t been able to afford to have in house. This support has been invaluable, and we are very grateful for that.”
Finally, what does the future have in store for Strokefinder and Medfield Diagnostics?
“We are confident that Strokefinder will eventually be the new benchmark for triaging stroke patients. It’s great that we have the CE marking, but we don’t intend to stop there. We want to continue to develop the product so that it can differentiate between stroke types – that’s the next holy grail for us – which will help to save and improve even more lives.”
Emma Hallenberg, Head of Operations & Business Adviser at CO-AX, comments:
It is a thrilling adventure to support the scale-up journey of companies like Medfield Diagnostics, where innovation, technology and purpose are being combined to advance healthcare. Having achieved CE certification of their product and now looking towards international commercialization, Medfield is an inspiration to other healthtech entrepreneurs who want to drive a positive impact on global health challenges."
Medfield Diagnostics - snapshot
Headquarters: Gothenburg, Sweden
Origins: Chalmers University of Technology
5 ongoing clinical studies
June 2022: CE certification (MDR) of MD100 Strokefinder
Oct 2022: First commercial order (distribution agreement in Greece)
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