Andrej Studencan, Chief Executive Officer, STEMI
Life-threatening emergencies such as heart attack, stroke, or severe trauma are just the healthcare sector's everyday affair. However, the regularity of this situation doesn't make it any less sensitive, as every minute that can be saved in these situations can positively impact the immediate chance of a patient's survival, and also the prognosis after the treatment. Despite such supreme importance associated with time in these critical situations, unnecessary delays have always been indigenous part of the process due to the ambiguity of the paramedics and the unpreparedness of the hospitals. More often, patients with acute diagnoses are taken to the local hospitals and then re transported to the specialised hospitals after further examination, because of which in many cases, they either don't make it to the hospitals or get too late. Dr Martin Studencan, M.D, PhD, one of the leading cardiologists in Slovakia, identified the need to virtually connect the paramedics in the field with the specialist cardiologist in the cardiac centres or cath labs during the life-defining acute moments. As the communication barriers present, forces these medical professionals to work in silos, which slows them down, reduces their effectiveness, and makes them take wrong decisions, Dr Martin resolved to develop a simplified communication platform that enables these parties to be connected in the life-defining moments.
Having dedicated more than 30 years of his life both academically and practically as a doctor to the topic of myocardial infarction, Dr Martin had a firm hold in his sector, but he needed a team capable of transforming this revolutionary medical idea into a tangible digital product. At this point of need, Martin Studencan, Jr. and soon after that his brother Andrej with expertise in the field of business and IT joined hands with Dr Martin and founded the company, STEMI Global. With the arrival of an experienced IT architect, Peter Illes, the team became dangerous. The family synergy that combines project management and marketing skills of the brothers with Dr Martin's passion, experience, and expertise formed the simple yet effective smartphone-based namesake digital communication platform for the healthcare sector, STEMI. Based on Einstein’s words “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler”, STEMI developed the platform simple and user friendly to make it effective at the same time powerful for every user, paramedics, and doctors regardless of their age and technical experience. The company further tackles the natural resistance to new technology adaptation through its least requirements to operate such as an internet connection, a regular smartphone, and the willingness to use it in the life-threatening moments.
STEMI bridges communication gap in the healthcare sector by channelising its solution platform through specific stakeholders participating in the live rescue process, enabling them to make right decisions about patient’s health, the hospital to be transported, and also gives sufficient information in advance to the hospital. So the hospital can be prepared upon the arrival of the ambulance by monitoring its position on the map. Andrej Studencan, the current CEO of STEMI, notes, “We have a product for the paramedics in the field, doctors in the specialised hospitals, and regional healthcare management, which are mutually connected, and work together as a system.” In the case of paramedics, STEMI just needs a smartphone or a tablet in the ambulance with their application installed. This app, fine-tuned and optimised with the latest medical guidelines, directs the paramedic crew in the acquisition of the right critical patient data in written, pictorial, or even video form to be sent to the doctors in advance.
We have a product for the paramedics in the field, doctors in the specialised hospitals, and regional healthcare management, which are mutually connected, and work together as a system
The staff then consolidates the data and transfers them to the nearest relevant specialised medical centre, where a doctor in the hospital, responsible for the management of the acute cases, receives the virtual data on their handheld device and alongside their pc.
Based on the data received, the doctor can judge the situation, activate a voice consultation with the paramedic crew and arrive upon the probable ailment of the patient, the best centre to be transported, and so on. If a particular hospital is finalised, the doctor in that hospital can alert the team just in time with a one-touch button and make sure that the resources and operational theatres are prepared on the arrival of the patient. Regarding the regional or national healthcare management, STEMI has a dedicated central management PC dashboard with statistical and analytical data about the calculated time of treatment intervals - first medical contact to PCI or to the performance of the CT with information about the resources involved in the country, and so on.
Andrej remarks, “Even though our primary purpose was to remove unnecessary time delays, our solution is very capable of dealing with Covid-19 issues with the communication channels that already exists between paramedics and doctors in the hospital.” In addition, STEMI focusing on protecting the people standing in the forefront to fight the pandemic supports the healthcare sector by customising the application with many digital tools and solutions. In cases of patients with an acute heart attack are also suspected/ confirmed of the virus, the situation gets serious as the hospital staff are exposed to the virus. STEMI supports the frontend warriors by integrating a special Covid tab in their application, where paramedics can express their suspicion along with the other patient data. Informing the hospitals and particular departments in advance regarding the patient being a Covid suspect, helps the hospitals greatly to stay prepared in advance to take a right anti-epidemiological procedures.
STEMI, having proven its prowess through its tripod attention to the healthcare providers and managers, finds its differentiating factor in a whole new set of features. Andrej highlights his benefits on the time-saving process as, “We keep the communication flow optimised and simple and carry only the data that can make a difference in the decision making process.” The uniqueness of STEMI extends further by being a compact platform that deals with all the basic time-sensitive acute cases such as myocardial infarction, stroke, trauma, and Covid. With such distinguishing elements, STEMI remains the solution that has been implemented in the whole of Slovakia, and all the stroke centres, cardiac centres and EMS companies use it. In addition, with the ability of STEMI in localising the tool into the local language platforms, it customises the workflows and process to copy the local customs in any country. This ability promotes the company to have global ambition.
With such distinct characteristics, Andrej recalls the impact STEMI has brought in the healthcare sector. He mentions, “In 2015, Slovakia had about this 35percent of secondary transportations in case of myocardial infarction with a total ischemic time of 241 minutes in Slovakia. Whereas, after the release of first version of STEMI in 2016 and with just half a year of usage, we managed to decrease the secondary transportations in total by 64 percent, and reduce the total ischemic time by 60 minutes.” This drastic time saving has doubled the chances of patient survival. With such positives in hand, the company prospects to break the national boundaries and increase international activities to benefit other parts of the globe.