How a Romanian MedTech Startup Helped American Doctors Treat Cancer Patients from Ukraine

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A new innovative medical start-up in Romania has helped doctors from three countries collaborate to treat Ukrainian cancer patients who became refugees after Russia’s brutal invasion.

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The Tumor Board project was initiated by doctors from the US, Romania and Moldova to provide life-saving treatment to Ukrainian IDPs with cancer.

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Cooperation Heal 21 associations as well as Blue Heron FoundationCouncil used a platform provided by a Romanian startup Medicay to connect physicians, share medical files, and provide a platform for discussing treatment plans, and for patients to track their own progress.

Starting in April, images of cancer patients from Ukraine (who had them) were uploaded, and new images from Moldova were translated from Ukrainian into Romanian/English, and reports were prepared for each patient.

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Medicai, which has raised €1.2 million in venture capital funding to date, says its HIPAA-compliant web platform hopes to become a kind of “Health World” that allows healthcare professionals to work collaboratively on patient documents and records.

The problem that Medicai is solving sounds familiar. To this day, for example, patients walk into a $1 million MRI machine and, generally speaking, walk out with a CD of their knee or some other body part. This is just one example of how data can be siled and how patients tend to get locked up in large, centralized systems. This means that healthcare professionals cannot easily collaborate with specialists outside of their hospitals.

Notable corporations selling these centralized systems include BoxDICOM, Ambra Health, and start-ups include EnvoyAI and Collective Minds Radiology ($6.7M raised).

Medicai founder Mircea Popa’s path in healthcare began in 2011 when, with a friend, he co-founded what is now SkinVision, a skin cancer screening app that detects melanoma (skin cancer) using machine learning algorithms applied to images made with smartphones. SkinVision reached 1.2 million downloads and grossed $15 million in total. Medicai co-founder Alexandru Artimon (CTO) was previously a co-founder of software development company Atta Systems.

Popa told me via email, “One lesson we’ve learned recently about healthcare is that we desperately need flexibility. With the help of the Tumor Board project, we have shown that Medicai can create the infrastructure in a matter of days to provide access to expertise on 2 continents, from the US and Canada to Romania and Moldova, and it was done under less than ideal conditions.”

“Through the Tumor Board project, we were able to touch the lives of cancer patients who had no other choice for treatment, and we are really proud to be a part of this,” he added.

So far, Medicai reports that it has reached 29 fee-paying clinics/hospitals, with 2,434 doctor accounts and 1,400 patient accounts. He also announced strategic partnerships with Microsoft and pharmaceutical companies.

Investors to date include D Moonshots, Cleverage Venture Capital, Roca X and Gapminder VC.

Meanwhile, the Tumor Board project continues. If there is predicted four million Ukrainian refugees arriving in the coming months, between 13,000 and 16,000 new cancer patients per month could arrive in countries bordering Ukraine.

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