For Intuitum, it all began at UCL in 2012, with a project aimed at developing innovative tools for medical imaging. Intuitim, founded by Vincent Nicolas and Edouard Delvaulx, stemming from the laboratory of professor Benoît Macq (ICTEAM) plays into the medical imaging diagnosis market by bringing specialized tools for diagnosis reporting to specialists (mainly radiologists).
The young Brussels spin-off is now looking to build awareness and recognition of its first product, MammoNote, an innovative breast cancer-screening device, with an aim to eventually reach the Chinese market. This first product could be considered as a flagship product as it can be adapted for other specialties like thyroid or prostate cancer on which Intuitim is currently working.
Currently, Intuitim is concentrating on its initial launching of activity within Benelux and North France. But this young company has already tapped into other potential interesting markets like China with an active investigation to select the right entry on the market.
“In this mission, we had some help from BioWin and after having tested the market last year when visiting Shanghai this huge country appeals to us for many reasons,” says Intuitim COO, Edouard Delvaulx. According to Delvaulx, the country has a high demand for better quality diagnosis with already part of the population expressing a willingness to pay for an international diagnosis. Another appealing factor, he continues, “is the long distance separating the tier cities from remote areas which indeed makes our teleradiology tools interesting for the country. ” In this country, there is an unsatisfied demand for top of the range medical care”, notes Delvaulx, who returned to China in May to study the market and find partners. “We plan to go further in China within 2 years.”
Standardized solutions for healthcare specialists
The aim of Intuitim is to facilitate healthcare specialists’ workflow of imaging diagnosis by providing access to value based radiology, intuitive “2.0” annotation as well as communication tools so as to replace, for example, old and time-consuming tools such as the voice recorder. With radiology evolving and becoming more and more complex the company develops solutions centered on the diagnosis procedure that integrate all the data into an intuitive software aid.
“In our solutions, we strongly emphasize on the standardization of annotation and reports (for each medical specialty by using international standards such as BI-RADS or PI-RADS), on the easiness of integration (into existing hospital infrastructures) and finally on the intuitiveness of the user interface.” Explains Delvaulx. “As a result we are able to help specialists to switch from old and time-consuming tools towards new applications leveraging on cutting-edge ICT technologies such as semantics in patient records, tablets, ubiquity, etc.”
An intuitive interface with universal “icon-based” language system
Its first product MammoNote is an intuitive interface that enables radiologists, (with the help of a simple stylus), to annotate mammography results directly on the image. Most doctors and radiologists generally record their comments on a voice recorder, from which they are transcribed later, but with this pioneering technology that’s all about to change. Vincent Nicolas, CEO of Intuitim, explains, “The analysis of mammography is a procedure which requires double reading, and sometimes triple if the initial two readings do not concur. The process can therefore take time. The aim is to shorten this procedure and with it, the waiting time, which can sometimes be long, before obtaining results.”
A unique characteristic of MammoNote is its «universal language» delivered by the standardized thesaurus-based annotation system, accessible via user-friendly iconography. This technology will allow the radiologist to make more precise diagnosis regarding the type of lesion (form, mass, profile…) by simply clicking on the icons. By enabling an automatic translation system, doctors are presented with a standardized language allowing an easier analysis of the information that has been obtained which therefore provides a facilitated teleradiology solution between different specialists from all over the world.
In addition, the innovative tool is able to generate a diagnostic report that can be sent to the doctor or the center of the respective reading. Already, this breast cancer-screening device is being used at the Bordet Institute, a partner in this project and is demonstrating its ability to simplify the diagnostic process within the healthcare centers. Indeed, by centralizing various tools it enables doctors to gain access to any software, from anywhere, thus offering them much more flexibility.
Today, Intuitim’s main customers are represented by medical imaging centers such as hospitals. But there are also B2B opportunities to be considered as other medical imaging companies and clinical research centers have expressed great interest in using Intuitim’s unique annotation solutions in their own devices.
In order to go further and multiply the solutions portfolio and the targeted specialties the company is actively searching for partners and/or investors who wish either to join forces in this challenge or simply provide expert advice. With much gratitude, the company has already received some help to develop new products from the Brussels Institute for Research and Innovation (Innoviris). Intuitim is currently located at the Brussels Life Science Incubator.
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