Periodic Reporting for period 1 - SpotLab (Immediate, ubiquitous and affordable image diagnosis combining the power of AI, smartphones and 3d printing to achieve Universal Diagnosis by 2030)
Reporting period: 2019-11-01 to 2020-10-31
The treatment and prevention of infectious and chronic diseases are dependent on their early detection. Optical microscopy is the gold standard tool for the diagnosis of many diseases impacting millions of people, however it has barely changed since its conception 150 years ago. It still requires the presence of an expert microscopist to manually review samples under the microscope, which isn’t always practical or financially feasible. The EU-funded SpotLab project aims to address this problem by bringing microscopy to the digital era, enabling remote diagnosis supported by artificial intelligence to reduce the time, costs and distances involved in microscopy diagnosis. Its solution is a digital health ecosystem based on a smartphone transformed into a portable, smart and low-cost medical device, a flexible telemedicine platform that can be tailored to multiple diagnosis protocols and an artificial intelligence factory which can create algorithms for image analysis of any relevant global health disease. The Spotlab project aims to industrialize the digital health platform and pilot it in relevant clinical environments around the world to accelerate its market access and therefore contribute to the democratization of the access to medical image diagnosis.
Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far
During the first year of the project, Spotlab has worked in the achievement of a version of its technology platform ready for the clinical performance evaluation studies with new critical functionalities and testing protocols. The industrialization process has followed the medical device design and development guidelines from the ISO13485 and will result in a version which is ready for CE mark following the directive of an in-vitro medical device. In order to perform the clinical studies, Spotlab has partnered with different european and international health institutions, in Europe, Africa, Asia and Latinamerica. As a result, 3 clinical protocols have been co-developed and submitted for approval to the ethical committees covering three use cases - screening, remote diagnosis and training-, and a range of diseases from haematology to neglected tropical diseases. The study of these opportunities has allowed us to advance the market access strategy. These studies are expected to be executed during the second part of the project, which will demonstrate the clinical performance of the Spotlab digital health ecosystem.
Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)
With the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for digital transformation has become more important than ever. The opportunities for digital health are advancing exponentially and the lack of medical specialists and the need for quality diagnostics tools and remote access to health services is evident. SpotLab has an opportunity to contribute to fill this gap, in particular for those diseases that affect the most vulnerable, by creating high tech and low cost technology applied to diseases that affect millions of people and which -in fact - are increasing as a collateral damage of the COVID-19 pandemic. Spotlab’s digital health platform composed of mobile hardware, cloud software and its AI factory is a first in its class. SpotLab's strategic objectives include to be the first organization in the world which deploys a digital diagnosis system supported by artificial intelligence for infectious diseases as the neglected tropical diseases. Our vision is immediate, ubiquitous and affordable image diagnostics for everyone, contributing to universal health coverage.