Ireland-UK, EIT Health Ireland-UK

Community Stories: Optellum’s AI-Powered Journey with EIT Health

16th August 2023

Lung cancer, responsible for almost 20% of cancer-related deaths across Europe, demands timely intervention. Swift diagnosis is a game-changer, with early detection drastically improving survival rates.  

Supported by EIT Health, Optellum, an Oxford-based AI-powered lung health technology company, is using the power of artificial intelligence to revolutionise early diagnosis and treatment for lung disease patients.   

At the heart of Optellum’s journey is its AI-based lung cancer decision support software, known as the Virtual Nodule Clinic. This technology calculates a clinically validated Lung Cancer Prediction (LCP) score using imaging AI, enabling physicians to accurately identify and assess the probability of malignancy in lung nodules. By leveraging AI’s capabilities, Optellum empowers healthcare professionals to make informed decisions early in the diagnostic process, ultimately leading to more effective treatments and improved patient outcomes. 

The Optellum technology was developed and clinically validated in partnership with leading hospitals across the USA, UK and EU, including EIT Health partners Oxford University Hospital, Heidelberg University and the University of Groningen. 

Journey with EIT Health 

Optellum’s partnership with EIT Health marked the beginning of a transformative journey. “From our first proof of concept, before Optellum raised initial funding, to product development and clinical trials, EIT Health support has been essential to see this work realise its potential. Now that support has taken us all the way to becoming the leader in AI-enabled lung cancer care, and having a cleared medical device software, used in hospitals to help patients be diagnosed and treated early, save lives,” said Dr Václav Potěšil, Founder and Chief Business Officer at Optellum. 

Grant Funding and Acceleration: EIT Health’s Catapult pitching competition and Headstart Business Accelerator program in 2016 set the stage for Optellum’s growth journey. 

The LUCINDA Project: Launched in 2017, this EIT Health project brought together experts in lung cancer, machine learning, and medtech product development. This collaboration led to the launch of Optellum’s advanced AI technology in 2021. 

Regulatory Milestones: Optellum became the world’s first AI-powered software platform of its kind to achieve FDA 510(k) clearance in 2021. Subsequently, Optellum’s Virtual Nodule Clinic achieved CE certification under the EU’s Medical Device Regulation in 2022.   

Empowering Partnerships and Investments 

Optellum’s collaborations with industry giants like Johnson & Johnson, GE Healthcare, and Intuitive Surgical have expanded the horizon of lung health innovation.  

The Johnson & Johnson Lung Cancer Initiative has a unique precision medicine portfolio that includes diagnostics, therapeutic devices, and drugs as well as a dedicated team of scientific experts focused on prevention, interception, and cure of lung disease. With this partnership, Optellum aims to enhance survival rates through early intervention and prevention. 

In September 2022, Optellum secured $14 million in a Series A funding round, bringing their total equity and innovation grant funding to approximately $30 million since their inception. The funding was led by Mercia with co-investment from Intuitive Ventures (independent VC arm of Intuitive, the global leader in robotic-assisted surgery), and Black Opal Ventures (New York, USA). 

Shaping the Future of Lung Health Care 

With EIT Health’s support, Optellum continues to redefine lung health diagnostics and treatment for improved patient outcomes. Click here to read our latest case study on how Optellum is helping shape the future of lung health care.  

To join the league of innovators and learn more about EIT Health’s impactful initiatives, subscribe to our newsletter.  

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