CorFlux team from left: Nora Rauhala, Pasi Karjalainen, Matti Kurki, Marja Hedman, Saara Sillanmäki and Tero Puustinen

Oct 16, 2023

Presenting Health Incubator Helsinki batch 4 companies:

CorFlux software has potential to save patients from aortic rupture

Until now, there has not been a way to assess if a weakened area of the aorta will rupture. Finnish research to business project CorFlux may change this global healthcare challenge with a software under development. The CorFlux team is one of the teams chosen for the Health Incubator Helsinki 2023 programme.

A thoracic aortic aneurysm is a weakened area in the large artery that carries blood from the heart through the chest and torso. This area may bulge and rupture resulting in internal bleeding, which is almost always fatal.

Fortunately, for the majority of patients the aneurysm remains stable. Unfortunately, there is no risk assessment tool to separate patients with low rupture risk from patients with moderate to high rupture risk.

CorFlux business developer, Tero Puustinen, shares the current situation.

“Every aortic aneurysm patient is followed up with expensive and time-consuming medical imaging, placing a burden on global healthcare, with an annual expenditure exceeding 3 billion euros worldwide,” he says.

Even with this follow-up, many patients die before reaching the medical benchmark at which point preventive – and therefore life-saving – surgery is even considered.

The CorFlux aortic aneurysm rupture risk analysis software will utilise numerical algorithms aimed to create an accurate risk assessment, decreasing the amount of follow-ups for low-risk patients, and shifting resources to save moderate-to-high risk patients.

Many patients may be spared from years of worrying and follow-ups if rupture risk is identified as low.

Diverse in-depth expertise to maximise success

The CorFlux team came to be when adjunct professor in mathematics Matti Kurki discussed  calculations related to the aorta with his friend. He was advised to get in touch with cardiologist and professor Marja Hedman who was – and is – leading a research group specialising on aortic aneurysms.

Several fruitful discussions eventually led to the innovation, which in turn led to the formation of a multi-professional team with expertise in cardiology, heart surgery, physics, mathematics as well as commercialisation, regulation and software development.

The CorFlux team is currently working together with universities and physicians to completely change the aneurysms field. In addition to organic networks through the Health Incubator Helsinki programme, CorFlux team also utilises expertise of other esteemed professionals from the healthcare industry who offer valuable advice on strengthening their business proposition, ensuring financial stability, and establishing a network of advisors.

CorFlux logo

CorFlux Fast Facts

Name: CorFlux

Tech in one sentence: Computational tool that aims to give an estimate of the risk of aortic rupture

Target product: Clinical software for the assessment of the risk of rupture due to an aneurysm

Target market launch: After CE approval, approximately 2025

Founded: Research to business project funded by Business Finland project since 2022

Team size: 7

Funding raised (by 10/2023): €650,000 Business Finland research to business grant

Technology made scalable from the beginning

The implications of CorFlux’ aortic rupture risk assessment software could be revolutionary, and totally unique. No one in the world has come up with a solution to this unmet medical need, and this is just the beginning for the team. Health Incubator Helsinki supports the team in this critical period, providing guidance for making their business case solid and sustainable.

With personalised strategies to go-to-market and stay-on-market, the CorFlux team may expand their product to additionally evaluate the rupture risk of abdominal aortic aneurysms in the future, potentially tripling the markets with over 15 million abdominal aortic aneurysm patients globally.

The implications of CorFlux’ aortic rupture risk assessment software could be revolutionary.

Transition from research to business to startup company

The CorFlux team applied for the Health Incubator Helsinki programme to gain insight on the commercialisation of health and medical startups. Although the team is currently in the commercialisation phase, they are considering establishing CorFlux as a company. In the meantime, the team is fully taking advantage of the incubator programme’s expert advisors, business services, founder talks, demo days, and regular workshops and webinars which cover a wide range of topics chosen to prepare teams and startups in key business areas like brand building and investment strategies.

The teams get peer to peer support from the other incubator teams with similar interest, as well. With all the support from the program and fellow health innovators, Tero Puustinen expects the transition from research to business to be smooth.

“When the road twists and turns, great coaching and sparring will help you drive much faster.”

To get in touch with the potential next Finnish unicorn, you’ll find the contact information below.

Text: Rita Turpin, Giuliano Didio