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Health IT pre-commercial procurement boosts Bulgarian scale-up company

Pre-commercial procurement key to Bulgarian scale-up's growth in the area of smart wearable devices and self-learning telemedicine centre business.

Pre-commercial procurement propelled the business of the Bulgarian Scale-up Checkpoint Cardio, by catalysing the market introduction of a low cost wireless remote monitoring solution that automatically detects patients at risk, shortens hospital stays and enables doctors to continuously improve in-hospital and outpatient treatment in real-time. Since the project, the company increased its revenue and expanded its customer base across Europe.

In 2019, a buyers group with leading healthcare organisations from the Netherlands, the UK, Sweden, Belgium and Germany selected the company Checkpoint Cardio to participate in their NIGHTINGALE pre-commercial procurement. In 2021, Checkpoint Cardio came out of the clinical tests of the five hospitals as the best performing and cheapest solution.

The Checkpoint Cardio solution is a robust early warning system for acute deterioration of patients' health condition in and out of hospital that learns and adapts to individuals in different situations. Important is that the solution is able to work in ‘low tech’ care environments: regular hospital wards and the patient’s own home setting.

The solution is a combination of:

  • Smart virtual ward software that enables general practitioners, specialists, nurses and hospitals to monitor their patients in hospital and in outpatients settings and to adapt treatments in real-time from anywhere and from any device. All the patients’ physiological data is constantly monitored, analysed by the smart learning software, stored automatically (no more nurse paperwork) and equipped with a smart alert system for adverse conditions. The solution brings the healthcare to the patient home and his natural environment. Remote diagnose, medication plan management and emergency reaction are made easy to use, for both patients and healthcare providers.
  • Wearable sensors that deliver a complete vital signs feature set. This enables to measure also blood oxygen saturation and blood pressure in addition to easier-to-measure parameters such as heart rate and respiratory rate. The wearable medical devices are life streaming the following patients’ physiological data to healthcare professionals: 1,3-9,12 lead ECG, Spo2, Respiration rate, NIBP, Pulse rate, Body position, Location of the patient, communication (Bluetooth and 3G). In terms of sustainability, the sensors are reusable and rechargeable.

Latest evidence shows that the solution decreases the length of care with 30%. This enables hospitals to increase their capacity. The quality of healthcare for the patient also improves significantly. The self-learning capabilities alert doctors much earlier than before about automatically detected pathologies so that treatments can start earlier. The solution enables mixed groups of carers (specialists and non-specialist doctors etc.) to better follow-up the patient remotely and truly deliver the best integrated care that the patient needs to recover faster. As clinicians can adapt treatments in real-time, also when the patient is already back home, the patient’s health deteriorates much less than before, without the solution. 

In 2020 the system was CE marked and used clinically during the Covid-19 pandemic in several eastern European countries on hospital wards and for remote home observation. New improvements to make on-chest monitoring easier are currently in clinical trials and expected to the certified by end 2022. The smart learning software already enables automatic detection of over 200 pathologies and this is still continuously expanding.

Through Nightingale PCP procurement, we gained an additional team from the leading university hospitals which helped us to build a solution that is leading on the market and is best matching the needs of the patients and healthcare specialists.

 says Dr Boichev , CEO of Checkpoint Cardio.

The Nightingale pre-commercial procurement has propelled the scale-up company’s business growth. Revenues increased with 40% per year and the number of pilots increased with 300%. Meanwhile, the solution has been sold to customers in several European countries (Romania, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Serbia), several testing pilots in preparation of new deployment are ongoing (e.g. Belgium, Netherlands, the UK) and the distribution network is growing (e.g. Macedonia, Austria, Benelux, Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, Germany, Sweden, Spain, France). The work that was done in Nightingale raised so much interest that this resulted also in new collaborations for the company with the Nightingale hospitals and other hospitals.

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