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The Company Behind the Cardiac Care Revolution in Romania

A man sitting in front of a computer writing down notes. The logo for Autosymed is in the picture.© Autosymed
In this exclusive interview, we sat down with the brains behind Autosymed SRL, a pioneering startup, to discuss their groundbreaking Corflow system – financed through the EEA and Norway Grants - and its potential to transform cardiac care in Romania. With cardiovascular diseases claiming millions of lives annually, Autosymed's innovative approach offers hope in the fight against this global health crisis.

Innovation Norway: Can you tell us about the urgent need for advancements in cardiovascular care?

Kamil Sterna (Autosymed): Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are the leading cause of death worldwide, taking an estimated 17.9 million lives each year. More than 4 out of 5 CVD deaths are due to heart attacks and strokes, and one third of these deaths occur prematurely in people under 70 years of age – an estimated 32% of all deaths worldwide. It's a staggering statistic that underscores the pressing need for effective diagnostic and treatment solutions.

Innovation Norway: Could you introduce Autosymed SRL and the motivation behind developing the Corflow system?

Kamil Sterna (Autosymed): Autosymed SRL is a young, innovative start-up company with a singular mission – to create and implement a functional system for automatic recognition of cardiovascular stenosis called Corflow. Given the widespread utility of medical imaging in modern healthcare, our endeavor to address this need is of paramount importance. Heart and blood vessel diseases are pervasive and considered diseases of our time, making them a prime focus for our efforts.

Innovation Norway: How does the Corflow system work and what impact does it aim to achieve in cardiology?

Kamil Sterna (Autosymed): Corflow is set to disrupt medical AI by delivering a precise identification, diagnosis, and treatment solution for cardiovascular stenosis. Through a specialized ecosystem, it automatically analyzes coronagraphy image data, providing critical parameters like SyntaxScore using AI/ML-based techniques. This automation aims to eliminate manual and error-prone activities from coronary angiography procedures, optimizing diagnose delivery time and enhancing accuracy for medical professionals.

Innovation Norway: Can you share some insights into the specific technology and tools that have been developed for Corflow?

Kamil Sterna (Autosymed): Certainly. Corflow operates on a microservice-based approach, allowing for efficient scaling and seamless integration with other systems. It includes components like Hospital DICOM Repos, an AI toolset for algorithm development, and teleconsultation and data sharing capabilities. The algorithms behind Corflow are based on unique IP, enabling precise coronary artery segmentation, stenosis detection, and lesion specification, all contributing to a comprehensive report for clinicians.

Innovation Norway: How do you envision the long-term impact of Corflow in the field of cardiology and beyond?

Kamil Sterna (Autosymed): Our vision extends beyond cardiology. We aim to continuously advance cardiac care by enhancing diagnostic accuracy, personalizing treatment, and improving patient outcomes through rigorous research and collaboration with medical experts. We see potential applications in fields like cardiogenomics and even expanding to diagnose other internal organs based on our expertise.

Innovation Norway: How has the support from the EEA and Norway Grants transformed Autosymed and what new opportunities has this project opened up?

Kamil Sterna (Autosymed): The support from EEA and Norway Grants has been invaluable. It allowed us to develop critical medical imaging algorithms and build the Corflow ecosystem. This backing has paved the way for enhanced cardiac care, combining AI capabilities with clinical expertise. Initiatives like these are crucial for young entrepreneurs like us to realise their visions and scale their businesses.

Innovation Norway: Can you share some notable successes or milestones achieved during the project's duration?

Kamil Sterna (Autosymed): Absolutely. After introducing our MVP, we received excellent feedback from partnering hospitals, leading to fruitful collaborations with medical experts. Corflow's services for medical imaging recognition and SyntaxScore calculation were evaluated, leading to enhancements that were presented at a prestigious international conference. We were also selected for the acceleration phase in the 2023 edition of InnovX-BCR Scaleups, solidifying our belief that the best is yet to come.

About the SMEs Growth Programme

SMEs Growth Romania is a business development programme aiming to increase value creation and sustainable growth in the Romanian business sector. The Programme is part of the EEA and Norway Grants 2014-2021. The EEA and Norway Grants aim at contributing to the reduction of economic and social disparities in the European Economic Area (EEA) and to the strengthening of bilateral relations between the Donor States (Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein) and the Beneficiary States.

About Innovation Norway

Innovation Norway is the Norwegian Government's most important instrument for innovation and development of Norwegian enterprises and industry. Innovation Norway supports companies in developing their competitive advantage and to enhance innovation. In Romania, Innovation Norway is managing two programmes: the Energy Programme and the SMEs Growth Programme.

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