Star Tech

LUMED: Artificial Intelligence Serving Patients

“With our technology, patients whose files need to be reviewed in priority are automatically identified by an alert score. The higher the score, the more important it is to review the file, because the chances of success of an intervention are that much higher. Rather than reviewing all 200 patients who receive antibiotics, the pharmacist looks at around forty, using a strategy supported by software that gathers all the information required for a good review of the file.”

Vincent Nault, President, LUMED

LUMED, a software development company dedicated to improving hospital care, was born in Sherbrooke in 2012. It started a few years earlier as part of a research project on the optimal use of antibiotics to treat infectious diseases, particularly by avoiding their overuse.

The wide range of medical and computer skills of the three founders Louis Valiquette, Mathieu Beaudoin and Vincent Nault, has led to the design of the world’s most effective antibiotic stewardship system: the subject of various publications, widely recognized by pharmacists and infectious disease specialists, and winner of several awards for innovation.

The comapny’s flagship software, APSS, tracks the progress of hospitalized patients over time and identifies potential improvements to their treatments. The positive impacts of this software affect both patients and hospital administration, as well as the use of resources involved in the treatment process.

To develop and commercialize its software, LUMED has benefited from the support of various provincial research funds, such as the NSERC, FRQS, MEDTEQ, Canada Economic Development and the Business Development Bank of Canada. The company was also chosen by Université de Sherbrooke’s tech company accelerator (ACET), an incubator designed to guide software development among start-up companies, to enable them to achieve growth, by, for example, helping to secure financing.

A tried and tested product

Thanks to their various partners who believe in the quality of their innovative products,  LUMED’s current team of nine is likely to grow over the next 18 months.

On the day of our interview, the company announced an international alliance with bioMérieux, an in vitro diagnostics specialist. The challenge for LUMED will be to bridge all the data produced by bioMérieux with the patient’s bedside care. “If new information on the patient’s context requires a treatment adjustment, our system generates alerts that advise clinicians to respond based on the newly available information,” explains Vincent.

“For us, this partnership highlights the fact that the world leader in microbiology diagnostics looked at all the competing software from around the world and determined that our technology was the most effective in meeting the needs of clinicians,” the co-founder proudly asserts. Accordingly, LUMED’s chances of penetrating numerous markets in Europe and North America are greatly increased.

It’s no wonder that their technology is gaining ground on the international scene: its long-term use has been shown to produce sustained savings of $350,000 per year in drug purchases (representing about 30% of a hospital’s antibiotics budget), in addition to the drastic cost reduction associated with shortened lengths of stay. In addition, the overall decrease of 20% in antibiotic consumption helps to minimize the emergence of resistant bacteria.

Innovating every day…

The Centre hospitalier universitaire de Sherbrooke is a major partner of LUMED, who collaborates with its research centre on an ongoing basis. The company is currently involved in a number of new projects, such as a drug management platform for intensive care, oncology research and infection prevention.

With a broad range of applications for its technology, LUMED’s biggest challenge is to convince hospital IT teams to collaborate on the implementation of its solution. “It’s not something you can put on a CD and give to a pharmacist to install on their computer,” indicates Vincent. “It’s a sizeable implementation and our challenge is to get the IT teams on board. The benefits of this technology aren’t necessarily obvious to them because they’re not the ones who will be using it. So we need to find the right people to lead the project internally and get the support we need to make it a success.”

With its growing reputation in Quebec and around the world, LUMED will surely be able to overcome this kind of obstacle!

Source: Mélanie Pilon, Writer for the Star Tech Vitrine 

Translation: Jenn Mierau

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