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Dutch Tech Heroes Fighting COVID-19 is a new Techleap.nl initiative to showcase the startups which contribute to the fight against the corona virus through their services and products. By answering three simple questions, they provide insight in how they help us survive and fight the COVID-19 pandemic. This time: Merel Boers CEO Nico.lab.
👩 Who are you?
“My name is Merel Boers and I am the CEO and co-founder of Nico.lab. Nico.lab uses Artificial Intelligence to combat the mounting pressure on healthcare professionals in the acute setting. Our first solution, StrokeViewer, empowers physicians in the stroke setting where every second count and starting treatment just a few minutes earlier is the difference between a patient needing life long care or being able to live alone. StrokeViewer places AI at the physician’s side, streamlining their workflow and supporting each decision with results from algorithms - ultimately ensuring that they can give the best care possible and patients can recover faster.”
“We are a science-driven team that is passionate about using the latest in technology to help physicians provide the best care. When the Covid-19 pandemic hit, we teamed up with other clinical, scientific and technical experts to form the ICOVAI consortium to help in our mission of alleviating some of the pressure healthcare workers are currently facing. The ICOVAI consortium now comprises hospitals from all across Europe as well as leading industry partners.”
🥊 How do you help fight COVID-19?
“We aim to develop and implement a not-for-profit AI-powered solution that assesses CT scans for fast and accurate triaging of Covid-19 patients. In other words, an algorithm that through assessing the damage done to the lungs can determine how sick a patient is and predict the risk that they will get worse. This can help hospitals to better judge the likelihood of a patient needing ICU care. We will deploy the solution in a way that also allows healthcare providers to use it from the safety of their own home, and to easily and securely share data with other healthcare professionals. With a strong understanding of the clinical workflow and large array of expertise in the field we hope the solution will soon be able to take on some of the immense pressure healthcare workers are under.”
🔍 What do you need to increase your impact on this crisis?
“In order to deploy and implement the most precise and accurate solution we are looking for clinicians and other initiatives who are able to share relevant datasets containing positive, negative and control lung CT scans. The consortium offers multiple ways of easy, secure and compliant data sharing. As well as that we are looking for expert radiologists who can support us with annotating the data we have. Only together can we quickly develop and deploy a valuable solution.”