When it comes to organ transplants, each and every step is of considerable importance, and must be conducted with the utmost quality. People’s lives depend on it. To improve how human livers are evaluated for transplantation, the startup Stella Surgical has developed a new technology: the e-Stella smartphone application.
Powered by artificial intelligence, the app uses a single photo and image processing and predication algorithms to accurately gauge the level of fatty build-up in a liver. By lending a hand to surgeons, who only have their own visual analyses to go by (which are necessarily slower and less precise), this disruptive innovation will help increase the number of viable organ transplants. And the target we’ve set for ourselves is as promising as it is ambitious: eliminating all deaths due to a lack of donors by 2024. An exciting challenge!
Our eight-member team—a sales engineer, an industrialisation engineer, a business developer specialised in medical devices, and multiple surgeons—have chosen to dedicate their skills to a noble cause: saving human lives.
Stella Surgical was founded when Clément Labiche and Céline Woehrle—co-founders of the company SMICES, which was created to design, manufacture and sell inventive and effective medical devices for operating rooms—crossed paths with Dr Manuela Cesaretti, who had already been working for five years on a way to evaluate fatty liver disease. Since we shared the same values, we decided to launched a research project together, which ended up becoming our startup, Stella Surgical.
Any recent good news?
Yes, we’ve just recently won several awards: two awards at the annual congress of the International Liver Transplantation Society (ILTS) in Toronto ; the Innovation Award at the French Surgery Association (AFC) congress ; top prize at the “e-Health University” forum.
What is the most unexpected thing that your startup has made you do?
We got the chance to shadow a transplant team, from the first call to the operation. We even boarded a private jet in order to go sample the donor’s liver. It was an emotional day where we were able to put ourselves in the shoes of a surgeon. That rush of adrenaline is what gets us up every morning.
In what way does your project revolutionise your category?
Our e-Stella solution is the only disruptive technology that uses artificial intelligence to measure the level of fatty build-up in a liver with a single smartphone photo. With this application, we can increase the number of transplants per year, and thereby save human lives.