Lung Diagnostics Startup ArtiQ Keeps Innovating During Pandemic

Leuven-based startup ArtiQ has had plenty to keep them busy these last months. Using artificial intelligence-based software, ArtiQ.PFT, they help doctors interpret pulmonary function tests and improve the diagnostic environment for respiratory diseases. As the covid-19 pandemic hit, their lung diagnostic innovation has found fertile ground.

lung diagnostic testing in a hospital

Lung diagnostics innovation in the time of Corona

Recently, ArtiQ CEO and co-founder Marko Topalovic wrote about how he and his team have been tackling the Covid-19 pandemic for Eureca (European Respiratory Cluster Antwerp). In his article, Marko explains how the pandemic shifted ArtiQ’s focus somewhat.

“Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all lung function tests were shut down during a certain time. Now hospitals are restarting their practice and lung function tests can be used to monitor the progression of the disease,” he writes.

After requests from doctors inundated by pandemic patients, Marko and the team decided to offer their software free of licensing fees until September. As such, their diagnostic AI technology is increasingly being used to follow-up on patients, in addition to its original intention to help with initial diagnoses.

ArtiQ.PFT, is already used in the interpretation of more than 50.000 lung function tests in UZ Leuven, CHU Saint-Pierre, OLV Aalst and ZOL Genk.

Marko Topalovic

Following Patient Roadmaps

As Covid-19 patients leave hospitals, they’re increasingly visiting their primary care doctors for check ups. This means that non-hospital healthcare providers are in more need of lung care technology. In response, ArtiQ is looking to move out of hospitals, too, and is actively working on bringing their technological support to GPs.

“ArtiQ plans to integrate AI-expertise with spirometry to support GPs in identifying lung diseases and improving their decision making,” Marko states. “In the future, such tool may play an important role in the follow-up of COVID-19 patients on the GP level.”

A stethoscope lying on a cloth

ArtiQ in drug development

Given the success they’re seeing in patient follow-up, the team at ArtiQ is also looking into expanding their technologies into pharmaceuticals and drug development. They’re specifically looking to bring their technology to clinical trials and improving quality control of lung function measurements.

As Marko explains, “In respiratory drug development, lung function is the primary clinical tool to assess the efficiency of treatment. Therefore, it is critical for pharmaceutical companies and the success of their clinical trials that the results of these tests are consistent and reliable.” ArtiQ’s new AI-based software can do just this.

Using AI to improve healthcare

Ultimately, it’s the AI ArtiQ integrates and innovates that’s making the big difference. The ArtiQ team is profoundly aware of the changes AI is bringing to the healthcare system. As they see it, using artificial intelligence in healthcare can provide tangible support for healthcare workers. Three top examples, elaborated in a recent blog post. include:

  1. Providing consistent decision support for healthcare providers, especially where large amounts of data are involved
  2. Reducing the administrative burden so that healthcare professionals spend less time on paperwork
  3. Creating more time to focus on human interaction. The preceding two will allow health professionals to have more time with patients and for meaningful collaborations with colleagues

You can visit ArtiQ at their website and follow them via their social media channels

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