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Tero Puustinen esittelee CorFlux-projektia Tarton startup-tapahtumassa.

Tero Puustinen of Corflux Team presents the software in the sTARTUp Day event in Tartu on March 2023.

CorFlux analysis software wins Start Me Up 2024 prize in the research-based business idea category

CorFlux analysis software for predicting aortic aneurysm rupture risk is based on research conducted at the University of Eastern Finland and Kuopio University Hospital.

The awards gala of the Start Me Up 2024 business idea competition was held in the Joensuu Science Park on 15 May. The first prize in the competition was received by the start-up company VitalSigns Oy’s innovation in the field of health technology, the Response 1.0 diagnostic device, which measures and analyses a number of bodily biosignals and provides probable diagnoses and suggestions for suitable further examinations.

The winner of the research-based business idea category, CorFlux, is a new medical analysis programme that predicts aortic aneurysm and rupture risk. CorFlux is a joint research project of Business Finland and the University of Eastern Finland. The background research has been carried out in cooperation with Kuopio University Hospital, the University of Eastern Finland and Jamk University of Applied Sciences.

Corflux allows physicians to identify high-risk aortic aneurysm patients more accurately compared to the current clinical practice and to refer them to preventive surgical treatment in time, which might be lifesaving. The program can also reduce the need for follow-up scans, which significantly reduces health care costs. In addition to the patient’s risk data, the analysis program is based on aortic imaging, creating a digital model and an assessment of aortic aneurysm rupture risk. 

There is no effective analytical method for predicting aortic aneurysm rupture risk on the market, leading to unnecessary and costly follow-up scans in hospitals. People have to wait for their scans longer. This also generates significant costs for the national economy globally. Follow-up scans are estimated to cost the healthcare system EUR 3 billion worldwide every year. Still, aortic ruptures occur despite follow-up. CorFlux enables optimal treatment planning, as the right time to perform surgery and the frequency of follow-up scans can be determined more accurately and cost-effectively. In some cases, mild risk patients may be excluded from the follow-up. This way, healthcare resources could be used for different purposes. 

A patent is pending for CorFlux analysis software and the PCT procedure is progressing. The next steps in commercialising and launching business operations include applying for CE marking and launching a spin-off company at the University of Eastern Finland.

CorFlux’s multidisciplinary expert group includes Tero Puustinen, Marja Hedman, Matti Kurki, Pasi Karjalainen, Saara Sillanmäki, Nora Rauhala, Mikael Kurki and Robert Brandt. They are experts in cardiology, cardiac imaging, cardiac surgery, physics, mathematics, commercialisation, regulation and programming. Their prize includes a cash award of EUR 3,000, and expert services with a value of EUR 10,400.

Electronic narcotic records software awarded in the student category

The University of Eastern Finland’s winner in the student category is an electronic narcotic records software, whose developers, Kuopio residents Eelis Komulainen and Teemu Sorsa, are awarded a prize of EUR 3,000. 

The software provides health care actors, such as pharmacies, nursing homes, health centres and hospitals with a digital narcotic records system. The current practice of accounting on paper forms is slow, difficult to trace and prone to errors. The electronic system speeds up work and enables electronic certification. Digital processing increases work productivity and cost-effectiveness and enables the collection of new types of statistics. The system promotes patient safety and employees’ legal protection. 

There is an obvious need to reform and digitalise narcotic records in the health care sector, which makes this solution important, feasible and tradeable. After the prototype, the team aims to pilot the application in the pharmacy sector, then to expand the use of the software to health centres and hospitals administered by the wellbeing services counties, based on user feedback.

Business Joensuu’s Start Me Up business idea competition has been running since 2000, promoting entrepreneurship and the transformation of new growth and start-up companies into sustainable business. This year, Start Me Up received 168 competition ideas, of which 37 were submitted to the jury for evaluation. The total value of the prizes exceeds EUR 90,000.

Source: Business Joensuu