Medtech at its finest: How Croatian Q and London-based Accunea developed a transplant monitor app - Netokracija CEE

Medtech at its finest: How Croatian Q and London-based Accunea developed a transplant monitor app

When capable tech meets medical expertise, many world-class solutions arise and Accunea Transplant Monitor is definitely one of them. How it came to be, we found out from leading tech company behind it.

From one of the fastest-growing European IT companies, we get another interesting medtech project. This time, even more revolutionary, cooperation between Croatian IT company Q and biotech company Accunea brought us an application that helps track vital information from organs cued for transplantation.

The problem they are solving is well known and the solution is much needed. About 15-20% of donated organs across the world end up never being re-used because there are no tools to thoroughly analyse them or how they will be received by new patient’s body. Accunea Transplant Monitor application can become a part of the solution as it is developed to determine in advance whether the new host will be able to receive a particular organ before the organ is transplanted.

For now, they are focused primarily on kidneys and the long-term goal is to learn the potential of each donated organ before the transplanting procedure takes place. Having that insight will inevitably help a donated kidney find its suitable recipient more easily and more quickly.

How does it work?

Usually, to get all the necessary information the procedure requires the data analysis to be performed manually. However, Accunea’s application can enable remote analysis, so the data can be also tracked chronologically.

The technology itself works by placing sensors connected to an Arduino device on an organ set to be transplanted in a sterile environment. In that way, particular organ functions are available real time via Bluetooth. The Arduino device itself reads three values ​​- creatinine, glucose, and lactate, as well as their oscillations important for the analysis.

Of course, every medical solution has to go through extensive testing so it is still only used to track information from animal organs. However, as we found out, the negotiations to test the app at London Hospital are already in progress.

How did this solution – came to life?

Of course, before the solution became hardware and software ready, Accunea’s team had hundreds of thousands of medical experiments and various readings and analyses throughout the years. But in this case, we want to focus on the technical side that brought all that hard work to life.

The native Android application was developed in Kotlin. The app is still used in-house, mainly by researchers, and it is not still available on Google Store. Besides the app itself, the Q team also assembled the firmware that was installed on the Android hardware (Android 33 BLE), which sends sensor data to the Android application.

Project Manager Igor Anušić, shared more details about the process:

Using BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) technology, the application remotely connects to the module and continuously receives the measured data from it, which is then displayed on a line chart and written to a file in CSV format on the Android device. This ensures that data is not lost if an unexpected interruption occurs during the experiment – the data will be safe and available for later analysis.

The line chart view provides an overview of the experiment in progress and allows medical personnel to add notes at specific points on the chart to indicate potential points of interest in the experiment.

Q team developed and designed the app during first weeks of 2021 and delivered it at the end of February. It also important to add that for this solution, Accunea even received financing from many relevant sources such as EU’s EIT program and Innovate UK.

(Med)tech pioneers

This is not the first medical project for Q and by now it is fair to say they’ve outdone themselves in this field. At the end of 2020, in collaboration with American partners, Lymphatechnology, Q developed the innovative solution for non-contact measurement for compression fittings, they even received the German Innovation Award.

How Croatian Q and German medi developed a solution worthy of German Innovation Award

Besides that, this Croatian based company was already praised at large as one of the fastest-growing companies in Europe and last year, Clutch, the world’s leading research agency for ranking companies, named them one of the 20 best web development companies in the world, among the top ten in Europe and the best B2B company in Croatia.

Way to building better medtech solutions

In regards to all that, I talked with Q’s project managers to learn more about medtech challenges they face and what can their future clients expect if they approach them with a project. Besides them being very interesting, medical projects are quite a challenge for the fact that they are directly involved with health of an individual, Sanja Cvek, Q’s Project Manager, points out.

Our applications have an impact on the patient and as developers, we also have to assume great responsibility for the work we do. Also, we get to meet very interesting and knowledgeable people. However, there are some negative sides to the field. A very long chain of command leads to difficulties in decision-making. More complex functionalities can lead to few other hardships. Strict regulations don’t help either.

Also, usually technical development is not a priority of the day for the medical experts involved which sometimes can hamper the development process. In that case, Q would advise clients in advance to at least dedicate specific time for the product they work on so the tech team can have all the necessary information to work faster and more effectively in the meantime.

So, to conclude, the most important things that need to be set up in any (medtech) project are:

  • a clear vision of the final product but also of the “journey” it has to go through (if it ever comes to an end because a good product is constantly being upgraded);
  • a partnership relationship– clients need to trust the tech company, “the supplier”;
  • key people on both sides (client: product owner & subject matter expert; supplier: dedicated project manager and business analyst)
  • extensive understanding of all the circumstances and problems that can arise (and will) during development, and
  • transparent communication with the aim to manage expectations.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Popular

Startups

Whether you are new or an established company – finding product-market fit is never easy

They could have continued being successful on a smaller scale and be stagnant but they recognized there is a global market opportunity and decided to act. Here is the story of Lemax, a successful Software-as-a-Service company from Croatia.

Careers

Am I a lazy developer if I need a PlayStation break at work?

Me: “Gosh, I can’t go out for coffee now. I’m all fried from work. Gotta rest today.” My gang: “Liar, how would you get tired from work? All you do is play games on PlayStation!”

Startups

What is it like to be a social science major in the technology sector?

Economist Tanja Matošević paved her career path in the IT industry, in the Croatian agritech company AGRIVI, so she shared with us her experiences of how she managed leading technology projects for global clients.

What you missed

Startups

Travel companies need to free up time for customer-centric activities – through digitalization

Are travel companies aware of the need to change and why this time it is imperative, how should they plan their digital transformation and what benefits should they expect from it? We sought answers from Iva Vodopija, Head of Sales Operations at Lemax, a travel Software-as-a-Service company from Croatia.

Tech

Croatian airt has an API that will enable all developers to use AI without a hitch

Croatian AI startup airt that applied for a global patent protection of their algorithm in July, surprised us with another news at the Infobip Shift conference – their platform can now be used and implemented by developers as well.

Startups

What can international teams gain from Croatia’s first AI incubator?

In February of this year, Croatia got its first incubator for ventures working with AI, machine learning and data analytics. Sixteen startups already joined!

Startups

A day in the life of a Game Designer at Nanobit

What does a game designer actually do and how does that tie in with the world of mobile games? Allow me to explain.

Startups

SofaScore’s CTO: From student to expert who scaled a solution for 20 million users

You will not learn how to handle 20 million users at any college and few developers have the opportunity to do so. For SofaScore's CTO Josip Stuhli, who does just that every day, the first and biggest challenge was optimizing their own "machinery" to work better than Amazon's cloud.

Internet marketing

Developer in a marketing hell (based on a true story)

After half a year of ups and downs, mysteries and HEUREKA moments trying to understand what 'ad groups' are and what do 'keywords' have to do with ads, I am finally confident enough to say that I know what a complete ad group should look like. At last, I pull the trigger that creates 20,000 ad groups with keywords in one hour.