What did our 2020 look like?
The year 2020 in STEMI was full of interesting moments. We have had to deal with the COVID19 pandemic and face new challenges just like the rest of the world. The following lines summarize all the important events of the last 12 months.
One of our first innovations was created in response to the current pandemic. The aim was to protect hospital staff from possible COVID19 infection. It involved the extension of the STEMI, STROKE, and TRAUMA modules with an integrated early warning system associated with COVID19 infection in acute patients, as well as the completion of a separate fourth module interconnecting ambulances with wards specifically designed for patients with severe infection.
Yet another feature that was added is the "Hospital PC Dashboard" designed to provide better management of incoming cases to specific hospitals, as well as the "Central PC Dashboard" designed for nationwide monitoring, analytical and statistical purposes.
We have also expanded the STEMI platform with "Multihotline" and "Team Activation" features to streamline communication and simplify working within the hospitals, enabling remote virtual service handover between doctors or to efficiently call upon the entire team for intervention by touching a single button. The platform was improved with a dynamic "Ambulance to the center" indication, which prevents false alarms and inefficient use of resources due to miscommunication between the ambulance crews and emergency teams in the hospital.
Last but not least, the iOS STEMI version was made available as soon as summer 2020.
STEMI at home and abroad
The initial testing of a new STEMI communication technology module called "TRAUMA" was completed early last year. It was done in cooperation with the Košice EMS Rescue Service and the Department of Trauma Surgery at UNLP Košice. The testing has manifested the need and practicality of the technology, even in such time-sensitive cases, where timely information about a patient with a serious injury allows for the potential to accelerate the medical intervention itself but also improves the management of human and material resources of the trauma surgery departments. Markíza TV has also reported on this initiative, the report is available here.
March 2020 marked an important milestone when we have managed to launch our first-ever pilot project in a live production environment abroad. In collaboration with San Guemes Hospital in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and a small fleet of local ambulance crews, we have successfully managed to test the operation of STEMI on the other side of the Atlantic. Although we were forced to stop the pilot prematurely due to the pandemic, we have cooperated with a local health insurance company to prepare a follow-up, even more, important testing, in the autumn. It has been ever since and has the potential to extend into strong regional cooperation in 2021 with key players in Argentine healthcare.
In addition to Argentina, in the last year, we have been able to organize several meetings with potential customers in Brazil, Mexico, Costa Rica, Portugal, England, Egypt, Serbia, and Slovenia. We expect to launch new pilots this year for some of them.
EU project grants
STEMI communication technology was able to develop in 2020 also thanks to the support of several project grants, which was achieved even with strong competition at both Slovakian and the European level. The two of most interesting ones included:
One of them was the EIT Health Bridgehead Europe initiative program, which was aimed at helping prospective healthcare startups enter new European markets of their own choice. Negotiations with approximately 15 institutions operating in 10 European countries have allowed us to choose to cooperate with Tec Labs LabToMarket in Portugal and UK Innovation Agency in England. These activities are running at full speed and will continue throughout 2021. We are already harvesting the first fruits of this effort - we have received an official request for cooperation from Liverpool just a few days ago - from one of the key competent cardiology centers in England.
The second project was a Central European Initiative (CEI) initiative to support solutions with potential rapid and effective assistance against the current COVID19 pandemic. We have begun to actively address the issue of protecting the hospital staff from COVID19 infection right after the outbreak of the pandemic, utilizing an early warning mechanism integrated with the STEMI Platform. However, the current situation has introduced a new challenge - "How to train a such large userbase with so many different levels of access in such a short time, without personal participation, and in the required language?" That´s why we have chosen to take part in the development of an automated online training portal (competing with another 7000 European applicants). We were the only Slovak startup, that has managed to receive this grant and we could boast with a finished product localized in 6 languages just a few months later. You can learn more about the entire cooperation and the portal itself here or on our new blog.
Achievements and awards
The main theme of autumn was “Awarded”. Our CEO, Andrej Studenčan, gave an interview in October to the influential health magazine "Healthcare Tech Outlook", which ranked us among the TOP 10 telemedicine providers in Europe.
November was marked by our participation in one of the largest global startup competitions called the "Unicorn Cup" organized by Startup.Network, which took us from the European round to the world finals. We are very pleased that we were able to achieve the 5th highest scores in the competition of the thousands of startups, convince a commission consisting of more than 50 international jurors and become the best-rated European startup. As this event took place online due to the global pandemic, you can watch the recording of the world finals, too.
Last year´s accomplishments certainly include the fact that our team was expanded with three new members, we have successfully completed the source redesign of the application, ended the year with a positive return, and the contract with the Slovak Operations Center was extended for 2021, thus our communication platform will continue to play its role in saving Slovak lives.
2020 in numbers
+ 7 new features
+ 4 approved grants
+ 3 pilot tests
+ 3 new team members
+ 2 awards
+ 9 796 cases consulted between crews in the field and specialists in hospitals using the STEMI communication platform :)