Romanian innovation in the fight against cancer: software developed in Cluj, successfully tested in 12 clinics in the country.

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Romanian innovation in the fight against cancer: software developed in Cluj, successfully tested in 12 clinics in the country.

Advanced solution based on artificial intelligence created in Cluj, which aims to revolutionize diagnosis in cancer cases, is now successfully tested by more than 70 doctors, in 12 clinics in the country.

The Mediq software designed to make cancer treatment more efficient, created by the Cluj-based startup Synaptiq, has demonstrated remarkable effectiveness and is now being tested by specialists in 12 clinics in Romania. The AI-based software solution was developed to shorten the time it takes for radiation oncologists to delineate target volumes to lymph node areas and organs at risk.

The Mediq application, developed by the people of Cluj from Synaptiq.io, comes to the aid of doctors and patients, significantly reducing the time required for medical imaging analysis, from an average of four hours to less than a minute.

“Our motivation is to help those who are diagnosed with cancer get access to treatment as quickly as possible. We come to the aid of doctors, giving them the opportunity to save as many lives as possible”, declares Dragoș Dușe, co-founder and CEO of Synaptiq.

Following the initial success in testing the app and the significant impact on making radiotherapy treatments more efficient, Synaptiq recently secured an additional grant of €103,000, which was added to the initial funding of €158,000 obtained from the Norwegian fund Innovation Norway.

The project supported by Innovation Norway was a crucial catalyst in this progress and in achieving strong international exposure, providing funding and support for the development and implementation of Mediq. Successfully completed in March 2024, the project achieved key objectives, confirming the ability of Cluj-Napoca people to bring innovation to the medical field. The project included the development of the technology architecture of the now fully functional Mediq software, but also the successful integration of the interface with the clinics’ software and hardware.

The Mediq solution is currently adopted in 12 clinics, where 71 doctors are involved in testing and refining the product. In addition, participation in prestigious conferences, continuous learning and Synaptiq’s commitment to the constant improvement of patient care brings them closer to expanding globally.

Lucian Bicsi, CTO of the development team, talks about the progress made in the project supported by Innovation Norway: “In a surprisingly short time, we managed to train our high-performance algorithms on more than 140 structures from all areas of the body, which which means the doctor’s assessment work can now be done in less than a minute. In addition, we have built a nice and easy-to-use interface where the doctor can view, edit, review and consult other doctors about the affected structures. Throughout this process, the patient’s data is secured and confidential,” says Lucian Bicsi.

The implementation of Mediq in clinics demonstrates not only technological advancement, but also a remarkable improvement in patient care. Remus Stoica, specialist in radiation therapy and consultant to the Synaptiq team, which tested the software, explains the significant impact of using the solution: “The possibility to use artificial intelligence in the clinic over the last year means a considerable reduction in time, in treatment planning phase. It usually takes me several hours to outline 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 precision of the software means that the organs at risk are delineated better and better, and in the end this translates into less toxicity in the actual treatment for the patient,” says doctor Remus Stoica.

These developments and additional funding mark an important step in Synaptiq’s aspiration to expand the use of Mediq globally. With an ambitious vision and a dedicated team, the people of Cluj continue to push the boundaries of innovation in the medical field, significantly contributing to the improvement of cancer treatment worldwide.

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

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

The latest report by the World Health Organization estimates 20 million new cases of cancer globally in 2022 alone. Moreover, these numbers are expected to increase by around 60% in the next two decades. In Romania, the number of new cancer cases increased by 21% in 2023, up to 550,000 new patients fighting for their lives.

The solution created by the people of Cluj from Synaptiq fights for a future where cancer treatment is faster, more precise and more accessible. By integrating artificial intelligence into healthcare, the Mediq app gives every patient the best chance to fight cancer.

The Synaptiq company was founded more than three years ago in Cluj by Dragoș Dușe, Roxana Săbău, Diana Andrițchi and Lucian Bicsi, and at the moment the team consists of 18 members. The Synaptiq team brings together engineers and business specialists, with studies and doctorates at faculties at home and abroad, such as the University of Bucharest, Amsterdam, Munich and Heidelberg, as well as 10 radiotherapists with high competence and experience in the field of artificial intelligence applied in radiotherapy, all from Romania.


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