#ClinFlows10Years: For us, our 10th anniversary is the best reason to shout out to version 10 of decidemedical and to make our popular platform even better. Find out, what’s new!
Interview with company founder Uwe Gladbach
In this interview on ClinFlows’ 10th anniversary, founder Uwe Gladbach provides insights into his very personal funding story and gives outlooks on the company’s future as well as the development of the industry.
When you look back ten years, why did you decide to found ClinFlows back then?
Well, it was actually more or less by chance. At the end of 2010, I had the opportunity to take over a software from a failed startup. Based on my many years of experience in various management positions in medical technology, I was convinced that this software would add a lot of value to the medical industry: remember that the internet was different back then and sending gigabytes around the globe was a huge deal. At the same time, after 20 years of being an employee, I felt that it would be great to start my own business and do “my own thing”. No sooner said than done, ClinFlows was founded together with Jeff our CTO .
Wasn’t it a big step for you to become self-employed?
Yes, it definitely was. But the anticipation of self-determination outweighed it. I found the idea exciting of taking responsibility for all the strategic decisions of my own business, setting the right priorities, and being confronted with the good and, of course, sometimes not so good results. In any case, I haven’t regretted my decision for a second so far and I think the fact that our products decidemedical and dicomdrop are now used in 94 countries and by the big players in the industry speaks for itself.
What is it like today: What do you like best about your work?
Well, one the one hand, it’s being in touch with the most innovative technologies in medicine, the progressiveness of our industry, developing state-of-the art technology that helps people. And on the other hand, it’s our global reach, connecting specialists worldwide for the benefit of the patient and the impact this has on the individual and their health.
What moment in the last ten years with ClinFlows stands out in your mind?
There are many special moments when you lead a company for 10 years. For me, the above-average team spirit and the high level of customer orientation in ClinFlows are of the utmost importance. One situation that has particularly stuck in my memory is therefore the following:
At the beginning of each year – when Covid-19 is not dominating the world – we typically spend a few days with the entire ClinFlows team at a winter sports resort – we call it the ClinFlows WinterCamp. There, we discuss strategies, do roundtable discussions, and hold internal meetings. And, of course, we also enjoy some nice ski days together.
Years ago, there was this evening after skiing when the whole team was sitting in an Italian restaurant after a very sporty day, all pretty exhausted and tired and ready to spend a nice evening together. But then my phone rang and a customer from California was on the line, complaining that there was a problem, and she couldn’t retrieve some medical images from our platform, which she urgently needed because the patient needed surgery the same day, thus the case review was urgent. When I described the situation to my team, one immediately grabbed his tablet, the other trudged through the snow to get his laptop from the hotel. And then we all sat at the table in the restaurant, reviewed the situation and fixed the problem so the data could be reviewed and the patient operated. No one groaned, everyone was very focused and motivated. That was a very satisfying moment for all of us.
What was the most important lesson you learned in ten years of ClinFlows?
Clearly, “Business is done by, with and for people.” I think it’s quite important to keep reminding ourselves of this, because even though we are software providers and thus deal mainly with IT and artificial intelligence, the focus on people and health drives us.
Let’s venture a look into the future: Where do you think your industry will develop in the next 10 years?
I am convinced that artificial intelligence will play an increasingly important role as well as personalized medicine to provide individual treatment plans and options. In the space of clinical trials it will be most interesting to see developments with regard to the concept around Human Digital Twins and its consequences to speed up innovation in medicine.
Thank you, Uwe, for the open conversation!
They are essential to our health: new medical products. Every year, medical device manufacturers, biotech companies, and pharmaceutical companies spend billions to develop them – and then millions to train and educate physicians to know how to use them and how to best help patients. But what happens after that, and how can medical product manufacturers support physicians when it comes to treating real people?
Once a medical product or treatment has been developed, various methods are initially used in the training phase. These range from descriptions and instructions supported by e-learning platforms, videos and audio files to sophisticated training centers with hands-on learning in real operating room facilities with training on animals or cadaver explants. Simulation software and 3D-printed artificial materials to mimic real-world scenarios are also emerging technologies for training and preparing physicians to use new treatments.
Time gap between training and first patient treatment
All of these efforts are designed to prepare medical teams for the moment when a real patient is to be treated. Right after training, what usually happens first is…. nothing! That’s because often the first treatment of a real patient doesn’t happen until weeks or months after training. This is the moment when training and reality meet.
Now it’s up to the physician in his or her clinic to decide whether the patient meets the criteria for a particular implant or interventional treatment. The physician may need to select the right size implant or decide on the access route.
Assessment of medical images vital during post-training-phase
Medical images play a key role in the best treatment outcome, such as methodological selection and determining the size of an implant. And this is where medical device manufacturers can come in: Namely, by supporting physicians with a second opinion at these critical moments. But this is not always so easy and, above all, often too slow, for example because of a physical distance. It is not uncommon, for example, for the attending physician and his patient to be located in Europe, but the manufacturer in the USA, and for medical images to be exchanged by mail.
Clinical decision support via web-based tools to ensure the best treatment possible
A straightforward and secure solution here can be provided by web-based clinical decision support tools, such as our GDPR-compliant online solution decidemedical, which has been used by the medical device industry for ten years. With its help, clinicians can upload their clinical data and medical images and submit them securely and compliantly to industry experts to either get their opinion on the suitability of a case or industry provides sizing services. Clinical experts from the manufacturer review and measure the medical images using specialized imaging software and submit their assessments to the physician via the web-based platform to recommend the best treatment option and implant size.
The benefits to the physician, the industry – and most importantly, the patient – from using web-based Clinical Decision Support tools in the post training phase are clear:
- Utilization of existing medical expertise,
- available worldwide,
- fast turnaround time,
- enables a controlled product launch,
- efficient customer support,
- compliance with regulations, and it’s
- accessible from anywhere – no software required.
How do you manage physician support in the post-training phase? And how does your clinical team share medical images with the different sites?
Discuss here or contact us at info(at)clinflows.com
We are proud to announce great news: Hermes Medical Solutions, the leading company when it comes to imaging software in Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging, signed an agreement to license our worldwide used decidemedical platform. Through the collaboration, a seamless data flow can be utilized, allowing sites to safely transfer their image data (in DICOM format) via the web based decidemedical platform to the image analysis and processing servers of Hermes Medical Solutions. International research projects and clinical studies will now profit from a most safe transfer and efficient workflow solution in combination with the best tools available in Nuclear Medicine when it comes to providing vendor neutral, multimodality software for most innovative diagnostic and discovery of personalized treatment options for patients.
The Stockholm-based company has been recognized for clinical excellence and innovation for over 40 years, providing independent, vendor-neutral software solutions in Molecular Imaging and Nuclear Medicine.
We are very much looking forward to expanding our activities into the Nuclear Medicine market with Hermes Medical Solutions!
Congenital cardiac malformations are the main cause of death among children. Worldwide, more than 6 million children suffer from heart diseases, while 80 percent of newborns affected by these malformations do not survive in developing countries. Bambini Cardiopatici nel Mondo, an Italian nonprofit organization (NGO), works hard to change this condition. Along with other groups, the NGO leads medical missions abroad to visit, treat and operate on children affected by congenital heart diseases. Furthermore, it provides training and education to physicians and health personnel.
Our platform supports global communication about children’s clinical cases
Our donation allows the NGO to use our web-based decidemedical online platform at no cost, benefiting children across the world. This software allows the NGO to share clinical data and medical images among various stakeholders involved in the treatment of children in various countries.
By using the platform, hospitals can submit cases with clinical information and medical images online. As soon as cases are uploaded, the medical team at Bambini Cardiopatici nel Mondo is notified, allowing the team to review and download the provided case information. With this information, case eligibility and treatment options can be discussed and advice provided – all centralized, remotely and quickly.
“This collaborative initiative allows us to further improve our activities aimed at treating and increasing life expectancy for children with heart diseases. At the same time, it helps us to develop distance learning and the real-time exchange of experience and training between doctors and healthcare professionals in developing countries where our association operates,” said Prof. Alessandro Frigiola, president of Bambini Cardiopatici nel Mondo. “The online application also improves the safety, accuracy and timeliness of diagnosis and follow-up for children who need our evaluation.” In total, as part of the donation for the NGO, up to 100 sites can participate and discuss 600 cases annually.
A real matter of the heart for us at ClinFlows
We are very impressed by the work done by the organization and its health professionals to help children with heart diseases around the world. In my first job, I worked as a perfusionist in the operating room, where I observed many children being operated on by skilled and passionate heart surgeons. Therefore, it is a real honor to contribute to this group’s efforts through the donation of our online solution to ease the work of Prof. Frigiola and these hard-working teams. In the truest sense of the word: this is a real matter of the heart for us.
About the author:
Uwe Gladbach is a biomedical engineer, who started his career as a perfusionist in open heart surgery back in the 90ties. In more than 25 years he gained experience in the medical device industry in various positions, covering clinical research, as well as sales and operations in global positions. Uwe is the CEO and founder of ClinFlows, which offers e-solutions for clinical workflows.