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Press Release: Synaptiq has successfully completed the Innovation Norway project, enabling them to conduct trials in 12 hospitals

April 3, 2024 News

The Mediq software developed by Synaptiq and designed to increase the efficiency of cancer treatment has shown impressive results. It is now being tested by radiation oncologists in 12 Romanian clinics. The artificial intelligence-based software solution is designed to reduce the time doctors need to contour target volumes and organs at risk, from an average needed time of two hours to less than a minute.

“Our motivation is to help those who are diagnosed with cancer to get access to treatment as quickly as possible. We aim to empower doctors to save as many lives as possible,” says Dragoș Dușe, co-founder and CEO of Synaptiq.

Following the initial success and significant impact in making radiotherapy more efficient, Synaptiq has recently been awarded an additional €103,000, on top of the initial funding of €158,000 from the Norwegian Innovation Fund.

The Innovation Norway grant has played a crucial role in advancing the development and implementation of Mediq. Completed successfully in March 2024, the project has met its primary goal: empowering clinicians to drive healthcare innovation. The project included the development of the technological architecture of the Mediq software, now fully functional, and the successful integration of the interface with the clinics’ software and hardware. 

Currently, the solution is operational in 12 clinics, with 71 doctors actively participating in its testing and refinement. Furthermore, Synaptiq aims to expand globally by actively participating in prestigious conferences, continuously learning, and striving for continuous improvement in patient care. The support from Innovation Norway has been crucial in propelling Synaptiq’s progress and facilitating strong international exposure for Mediq.

Lucian Bicsi, CTO of the development team, talks about the progress achieved during the development of the Innovation Norway-supported project, “In a surprisingly short time, we were able to train our high-performance algorithms on more than 140 structures in all areas of the body, which means that the doctor’s work can now be done in less than a minute. On top of this, we have built a pleasant and easy-to-use interface where the doctor can view, edit, review and consult other doctors on the affected structures. Throughout the process, patient data is secure and confidential.”

The use of Mediq in hospitals demonstrates not only technological adoption, but also a remarkable improvement in patient care. Remus Stoica, a radiation oncologist and a consultant to the Synaptiq team who tested the software, explains the significant impact of using the solution: “The ability to use artificial intelligence in the clinic over the last year means a considerable reduction in time in the treatment planning phase. It usually takes me several hours to delineate and control a plan for a patient. So this reduction in time translates into more time spent with the patient and the ability to care for them. Also, the accuracy of the software means that organs at risk are delineated better and better, and ultimately this translates into less toxicity in the actual treatment for the patient.”

These developments and additional funding mark an important step in Synaptiq’s aspiration to expand the benefits of Mediq internationally. With an ambitious vision and a dedicated team, the clinicians continue to push the boundaries of medical innovation, improving cancer treatment worldwide.

“Our biggest achievement so far is that our AI algorithms are very competitive internationally, being in the top 3 best performing algorithms on the market. Synaptiq has managed, with limited budget and low access to medical data, to create a solution that outperforms in accuracy the solutions of many renowned medical device manufacturers”, says Dragoș Dușe, co-founder and CEO of Synaptiq.

In order for the software to be widely distributed and help save as many lives as possible worldwide, certification and CE marking still need to be obtained. “The first results from the clinical trial are already available, and much of the documentation needed to obtain this European approval is done. We have been working on this objective for more than two years and we hope to complete this process in the next 6 months”, adds Dragoș Dușe.

The latest World Health Organization report estimates around 20 million new cases of cancer globally, in 2022 alone. The number is expected to increase by about 60% over the next two decades, burdening the health systems, individuals, and communities even more. In Romania, the number of new cancer cases is expected to increase by 21% in 2023, to 550,000 new patients fighting for their lives.

The innovative solution fights for a future where cancer treatment is fast, accurate, and affordable. By integrating artificial intelligence into healthcare, not only improves treatments but also transforms the fight against cancer, ensuring that every patient has the best fighting chance against cancer. 

Synaptiq was founded more than three years ago in Cluj by Dragoș Dușe, Roxana Săbău, Diana Andrițchi, Dragoș Grama, Marius Stănescu and Lucian Bicsi, and the team currently consists of 18 members. The Synaptiq team brings together engineers and business specialists with degrees and PhDs from universities in Romania and abroad, such as the University of Bucharest, Amsterdam, Munich, and Heidelberg, as well as 10 of the best radiation oncologists in Romania, with high competence and experience in the field of artificial intelligence applied to radiotherapy.

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