Innovation and health: a winning combination in Piedmont

15 July 2022
The past few weeks have brought along a lot of interesting news regarding the virtuous relationship between Piedmont and Turin's innovation ecosystem and the healthcare sector.

Piedmont a leader in supporting biomedical startups

The study "The life science industry, is it the future of Piedmont?" presented at the Bioindustry Park Silvano Fumero by Confindustria Piemonte, Ires Piemonte and UniCredit, highlighted Piedmont's leading role in the birth and growth of biomedical startups in the region. In our region operates one-fifth of the 571 sector companies surveyed throughout Italy by Assobiotec and Piedmont ranks first in the incubation of startups working in the life science field, with 24% of the national total. Much of the credit for this goes to the work done by the Bioindustry Park, which was founded in the 1990s in a strategic position as a link between the production clusters of northern Italy and those of the Rhône-Alpes region of France.

Andrea Tronzano, Councillor for Productive Activities of the Piedmont Region, commented: "Fundamental European funds are on the way for this sector. We would like to invest especially in supporting local startups to help them, after the research work, in getting to the production of the actual products. The idea is to invest in this because getting to production means profit and employment. Life sciences is already a strong sector and we need to support it."

Artificial intelligence arrives in the hospitals of the AOU Città della Salute of Turin

News on the hospital front as well: the AOU Città della Salute has signed an agreement with Fujifilm to implement the use of a new artificial intelligence platform that will revolutionize the work of the diagnostic imaging department: machines used for MRIs, CT scans, X-rays, and mammograms will be able to take advantage of the advanced Reili algorithm, which is able to highlight abnormalities thanks to its database of 7 million diagnostic data, collected from 2019 to date. In addition, it will also be possible for doctors at the Turin hospital to get in direct communication with more than 200 laboratory technicians and 90 radiologists around the world to seek consultation with respect to diagnoses related to the tests performed.

Fujifilm's artificial intelligence will be operational starting next fall and will be installed in the departments of the Molinette, Sant'Anna, Regina Margherita and CTO.

The joint venture between Cuneo-based startup DoctorApp and CupSolidale

In terms of improving the patient experience, last week a joint venture between the Cuneo-based startup DoctorApp and the Lazio-based startup CupSolidalewas announced: thanks to this partnership, it will be possible to book diagnostic and specialist visits, quickly and easily as soon as you leave your GP's office.

The goal is to reduce waiting times, simplify access to services and make the patient increasingly central in the necessary process of innovation in the health sector. After concluding a doctor's appointment, booked through the DoctorApp app, it will be possible to receive a notification on the smartphone to access the CupSolidale platform where one can search for prescribed examinations or specialist visits required by the family doctor and be able to compare dates, times, locations and prices to choose the most convenient and affordable solution in minutes.

On CupSolidale, the first digital platform in Italy that aggregates and compares health services and benefits free of charge, more than 1,700 clinics in 438 locations in Italy are already active, with an average rate of 500 bookings per day of which 40 percent are from returning and loyal users.

DoctorApp, the first patented system for comprehensive practice management of primary care physicians, pediatricians, clinics and specialists, enables queue and reservation management, reducing crowding. It is currently used by more than 350 physicians, with a total of 153,000 patients through Italy.

Leonardo Aloi, CEO of CupSolidale, said, "We are really happy with this partnership: together with DoctorApp we can, through family doctors and pediatricians, reach out directly to those users who already use technology to save time and in addition have a healthcare need to be met. Starting partnerships with companies similar to ours that are innovative, technology-driven, and solve real problems is a path we are pursuing in CupSolidale and will continue to do so."

Alessandro Giraudo, Founder and CEO of DoctorApp, added, "This joint venture is an important step for us toward a system with an increasingly patient-centric approach. This collaboration was created to solve a very relevant problem for our patients and concerns the booking of diagnostic or specialist examinations prescribed by their doctor: queues, hours of waiting, and impractical dates. Thanks to the Solidarity Cup system integrated with DoctorApp, from now on all patients can book their own specialist examinations and those of their loved ones quickly and easily."

LIFTT invests in Lipogems regenerative medicine

LIFTT, a Turin-based not-only-profit Venture Capital Company founded by Compagnia di San Paolo and Politecnico di Torino through the Links Foundation, annuncia un nuovo investment of €1.7 million in Lipogems, a multinational regenerative medicine company based in Milan and present in 28 countries.

Lipogems, which enjoys the status of an innovative SME, has patented a device and technique for the treatment of osteoarthritis, one of the world's most widespread disabling diseases with more than 250 million cases per year, which sets a new standard for orthopaedics. Lipogems' technology harvests and processes adipose tissue and activates the adult stem cells contained therein for use with the autotransplantation technique to initiate the tissues' natural self-repair mechanisms, supporting a regenerative process that stops or reverses tissue degeneration.

In 2020, the economic size for osteoarthritis therapies was approximately $7 billion and estimates predict it will reach $16 billion by 2030. The efficacy of Lipogems' solution is backed by a track record of more than 50,000 applications and over 100 publications. On 22 June, the US FDA gave the go-ahead for the 200-patient medical trial that will make the therapy reimbursable and give Lipogems the opportunity to take advantage of a key business growth opportunity in what is the leading market for this disease.

Author

Luca Coppolella
Head of Content

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