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AIgnostics - Computational Pathology

Prof. Dr. Frederick Klauschen

Institute for Pathology CCM - Clinical Pathology, WG System Pathology, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin

Microscopic evaluation of tissue samples performed by pathologists is the basis of diagnosing cancer as well as many degenerative, infectious and inflammatory diseases. Given our aging population, the increase in numbers and complexity of cancer cases worldwide, a global shortage of pathologists is imminent. As a result, the capacity of healthcare systems to perform histological diagnostics and determine the right therapy is under increasing pressure.

The DHA enabled us to turn our research results examining AI-based cancer diagnostics into practical applications. Not only did we have the chance to develop a software that is currently tested live, but we were also exposed to the business, regulatory, and legal aspects of our project. Learning these challenging skills put us in the position to pursue a stringent development path towards launching a spin-off company in the near future. I highly recommend the DHA to fellow researchers and clinicians looking to generate digital health innovations for better patient health outcomes.

To address this challenge, team AIgnostics has developed an AI-based image analysis system to assist pathologists in standardized and quantitative automated tissue diagnostics. This solution promises to be more accurate and faster than today's manual gold standard. The system can also be applied to drug development, where pharmaceutical companies depend on accurate assessments of histological tissue samples in preclinical animal studies or in clinical trials to stratify patients in drug efficacy and toxicity analyses.

Team AIgnostics consists of experts in the fields of diagnostic and computational pathology from Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, in cooperation with Prof. Klaus-Robert Müller, a globally renowned expert in machine learning from Technical University Berlin.

Project Website

BodyTime - A New Diagnostic Assay to Assess the Internal Clock

Prof. Dr. Achim Kramer

Institute for Medical Immunology - Chronobiology, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin

The biological clock is essential for health. The fast-paced and globalized lifestyles in modern society increasingly lead to the misalignment or disruption of our biological clock, which is associated with numerous common diseases such as sleep disorders, psychological disorders, metabolic syndromes, rheumatic disorders, cardiovascular diseases, and cancer.

DHA helped us to focus on issues scientists usually do not consider as too important - but they are important to move a technology towards market application. DHA was great in training and coaching us in a limited time frame with a high degree of knowledge and flexibility.

In the emerging field of chronomedicine, team BodyTime addresses this medical need with a blood test (ChronoMarker) to determine the individual’s biological clock by profiling genetic biomarkers and applying machine-learning algorithms. While as accurate as currently established tests, this solution promises to be less complex, faster and more cost-effective. As the first application, the team is targeting sleep disorders in collaboration with sleep labs as a stand-alone tool or companion diagnostic for pharmaceutical or behavioral therapy options. Other opportunity areas include stratification of clinical trial cohorts, application to other disease types, and solutions directly empowering affected individuals.

Team BodyTime consists of experts in the field of chronobiology, medicine, and data-analysis / software development from Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, supported by an expert in life sciences and new venture development.

Press and Media Coverage

Project Website

Cardio Prime - Diagnosis and Therapy Planning Platform for Patients with Cardiovascular Diseases

Prof. Dr. Titus Kühne, Kay Brosien

Institute for Imaging Science and Computational Modelling in Cardiovascular Medicine, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin

The care path for cardiovascular patients, ranging from symptom detection to diagnosis to therapy and disease management, is fragmented. Providing each patient with the right type of care at the right place of care is a key challenge for each healthcare system. In a fragmented cardiovascular care path, quality and efficiency of care suffer.

The DHA provided us with an outstanding support system as we embarked on our journey to a solid transition from research to market with expertise, endurance, and connections.

Kay Brosien

Team Cardio Prime has developed an innovative Digital Health platform for diagnosis and therapy planning to inform and improve the care path for patients with cardiovascular diseases. The solution enables physicians working in cardiovascular and other specialties at hospitals, in specialist practices and in general practices to diagnose cardiovascular conditions earlier and make even more informed care path decisions. The first application is a stress test of cardiac and heart valve function without pharmaceutically or physical activity-induced stress. Other opportunity areas are complementary cardiovascular analyses and decision-support systems for cardiovascular diagnosis and therapy planning.

Team Cardio Prime consists of an interdisciplinary team of experts in cardiovascular disease diagnostics and treatments, physicists, engineers and software developers from Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin.

Project Website
Press Coverage

dentalXr.ai - Deep Learning for Dental Image Diagnostics

PD Dr. Falk Schwendicke, Dr. rer. nat. Joachim Krois

Dept. of Restorative and Preventive Dentistry, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin

Dental diseases are among the most prevalent of mankind, burdening billions of individuals with pain, impaired chewing movements, impaired speech and aesthetics. To manage these diseases, early detection and regular monitoring with supportive therapy is needed. While visual-tactile detection has low sensitivity for early disease stages, the analysis of dental images is challenging due to limited accuracy of individual examiners, low consistency between examiners, and required time.

The DHA was a great opportunity for us. It allowed us to not only develop a strong team using the flexible financial support provided, but also to grow into a start-up, building the mindset and the network. We would not have reached our current status without this support. We can highly recommend the program!

Team DentalXr.AI is developing an artificial intelligence (AI)-based decision-support system for dental images, intended to help dentists to systematically and comprehensively assess X-rays, document these assessments, and form evidence-based decisions. The envisioned solution enables faster and more accurate assessments of dental X-rays. This will result in reduced diagnostic uncertainty and better treatment decisions in less time. DentalXr. AI reduces assessment and treatment costs for patients and the healthcare system and makes dentists’ lives easier. Future application areas include incorporating additional image types and predictive capabilities.

Team DentalXr.AI consists of senior clinicians, machine learning experts and software developers from Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin.

Project Website

LingPed - An Innovative Monitoring Platform for Post-Surgical Rehabilitation

Dr. med. Serafeim Tsitsilonis, Nevda Kaya

Center for Musculoskeletal Surgery, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin

Today, the rehabilitation of patients after surgery of the lower extremity is mostly a black-box to the surgeon. The responsibility to control the loading of the operated extremity and to move in a safe manner rests with the patient. This can be overwhelming and complex for patients. Failure to adhere to the postoperative protocol leads to an increase of complications, re-operations, socioeconomic costs and can negatively affect the quality of patients’ lives.

Team LingPed is closing this gap in post-surgical rehabilitation with a monitoring system for patients after orthopedic surgery of the lower extremities. The system consists of an insole for use e.g. in postoperative shoes (orthoses) for data collection, and an app for patients as feedback mechanism to monitor and, if needed, adjust their behavior during recovery. The solution will also assist the surgeon in planning an individualized rehabilitation protocol. The system intends to reduce the risk of re-surgery, shorten and optimize the individual rehabilitation process, and reduce healthcare system costs. Future application areas include pattern recognition of gait abnormalities, telemedicine, prognosis and prevention of foot deformities for children and teenagers for optimal foot development.

Team LingPed consists of orthopedic trauma surgeons of the Center for Musculoskeletal Surgery from Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin and a medical student with hardware and development software expertise.

Project Website

mTOMADY - A Transaction Platform for Accessible and Affordable Healthcare

Dr. med. Julius Emmrich, Dr. med. Samuel Knauss

Dept. of Neurology with Experimental Neurology, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin

More than 1 billion people in low- and middle-income countries lack access to basic healthcare. The majority of affected people do not have access to savings mechanisms and are at risk for unexpected expenses and even medical impoverishment. Recognizing this and related needs, promoting good health and well-being and alleviating poverty are UN Sustainable Development Goals.

The flexibility and willingness of the DHA to adapt to the needs and requirements of each individual team is the greatest strength of this program. It is not a one-size-fits-all approach. Instead, each team receives the support required to take the next step towards application.

Leveraging the global mobile phone infrastructure, team mTOMADY has developed a digital health wallet – a mobile transaction platform for healthcare savings. Healthcare sponsors, e.g., international aid organizations, governments, employers and communities, can contribute to individuals’ healthcare accounts, which in turn can only be used at accredited clinics within defined reimbursement ranges. This solution promises reduced “leakage” of aid funding by international aid organizations, quality improvement and cost-control for governments and healthcare providers, and – most importantly – increased access to affordable, quality healthcare for patients. mTOMADY is currently live with a pilot in Antananarivo in cooperation with the Government of Madagascar.

Team mTOMADY consists of two neurologists from Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin and a team of mobile technology, software development, and public health experts.

Project Website