Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) and cancer are the first two causes of death globally, taking 27.4 M lives a year, representing 49% of all deaths worldwide. The primary cause of cardiovascular disease is atherosclerosis– the narrowing and eventual blockage of arteries by the deposition of fatty plaques in the walls of arteries. Eventually, these plaques can generate thrombosis which occludes blood flow causing stroke and heart attacks as the leading causes of death in developing countries. In the EU alone, there are about 1.2 M strokes annually. Thus, the diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular and oncological disorders are of great importance and a key objective of the health care systems worldwide. A 40-year-old imaging technique called Digital Subtraction Angiography is widely used in the diagnosis and treatment CVDs. DSA technology has limitations and drawbacks, e.g.: image quality is often insufficient, high radiation exposure affects patients and medical staff, and the applied iodinated contrast media can lead to major kidney damage. To solve these limitations in the angiography field, Kinepict Health Ltd. has developed the ground-breaking Kinepict Medical Imaging Tool (KMIT) platform with the imaging technology called Digital Variance Angiography (DVA).
The overall objective of the KMIT-ACC project (grant agreement No 968430) was to revolutionize X-ray angiography by introducing a dose management and image processing tool based on KMIT with the following objectives:
a) clinical validation of our technology for new indications
b) organization of a reference laboratory network
c) software and hardware optimization to reach the TRL 8 level by the end of the grant period
d) baseline commercial activities.
Work performed: Software and hardware optimization was performed in the first phase of the project and the new imaging tool was tested during clinical validation. Clinical aims were fully achieved as the clinical data provide evidence for 1) improved image quality in novel indication areas including prostatic artery embolization and transarterial chemoembolization of liver tumors, 2) radiation dose reduction capability in lower limb angiography and prostatic artery embolization, 3) contrast agent dose reduction capability in carotid angiography. The clinical results related to this project have been published in peer-reviewed, open-access scientific journals. Based on the feedback of the clinical studies the KMIT software was upgraded and reached TRL 8.
The project also supported the organization of the reference laboratory. The commercial backbone of KMIT's marketability has been also established. Kinepict knows the market where it wants to reach success. In addition, KMIT has the regulatory approval to enter the market. The results of the project were communicated and disseminated throughout the execution phase.
At the end of the project, we have a unique imaging tool in our hands that is ready to be marketed and can revolutionize x-ray angiography. Kinepict Medical Imaging Tool will provide great benefits for patients and for medical professionals across the European Union and around the world. This result would have not been achieved without the EIC-Accelerator Grant.