NLC has signed four agreements with universities in Germany and Austria to build highly innovative ventures

We have been able through these successful collaborations to evaluate many inventions, which has so far led to the signing of four agreements to exclusively continue with the process that leads to the building of these ventures.

The inventions we are looking at are:

  • Image Enhancer. A fast and patented method that claims to enhance images in healthcare, such as in radiology, monitoring invasive treatments and the better analysis of pathology images. This will not only help clinicians to view and analyse patient-related images better, but will at the same time provide the same output for X-ray, CT or PET images with less exposure to radiation for both patients and clinicians. Moreover, the algorithm can be used in other applications and markets such as security cameras, drones (see below), the military and so on, as it can provide colour images in near-dark conditions in real time.

  • Stent graft for treating Type A Dissection. This innovative tool claims to be used to place a new stent into the aorta ascensis in a minimally invasive way, while ensuring optimal placement. The claim is that it stabilises patients with a Type A dissection. Acute aortic dissection is highly lethal world wide, if it is not recognised and treated aggressively. Most patients die within 24 hours if untreated. Open heart surgery poses a high risk for patients in an acute state and is therefore not recommended until the patient has been stabilised. At the same time the dissection has to be repaired as quickly as possible, which is a challenge for the heart surgeon. This invention means that the patient can be stabilised with a minimally-invasive approach and clinicians can monitor the patient (who is often unconscious) and cautiously plan the next steps. We have had promising feedback about this new method from several heart surgeons across Europe.
  • Intuitive steering of an endoscope. This invention covers a new way for gastro-surgeons to steer an endoscope by moving their head and, combined with augmented reality, to inspect the patient’s gastrointestinal tract at the same time. The claim, which will have to be proved in trials, is that this invention will cause less harm to the patient, speed up the treatment and free up at least one hand of the surgeon. Surgeons typically need one assistant to help them perform this treatment, so it could potentially help them not only to perform operations more quickly with higher quality, but also to perform more operations while being less dependent on clinically-trained assistants. On top of that, teaching this kind of operation is challenging and it is expected that the learning curve for young doctors will be much steeper.

 

  • Novel diagnosis for detecting osteoporosis. This invention relates to a new way of detecting osteoporosis using existing and widely-available ultrasound devices. Osteoporosis is one of the most under-diagnosed diseases, leading to fractures due to the high porosity of the bone structure. A lot of people worldwide suffer from osteoporosis, most often without knowing they are affected, even after several bone fractures. Osteoporosis cannot currently be cured, but can be stabilised by regular exercise or the right nutrition with protein and calcium once diagnosed. Due to this novel approach, the claim is that it will not only be possible to detect osteoporosis more accurately and cost efficiently than in the current way (DEXA incl. X-ray), but also that it could be used to detect the pre-phase, called Osteopenia (all of the above is subject to further clinical validation). This major advancement will help patients avoid developing osteoporosis and thereby increase their quality of life.