Schindellegi, Switzerland, May 23rd, 2022
Zynnon, a Swiss startup developing a solution to detect the risk of respiratory infection transmission in hospitals and health facilities, receives an innovation grant of around CHF800,000 for the project’s implementation from Innosuisse, the Swiss Innovation Agency. Zynnon is working in partnership with Swiss innovation center CSEM and La Source Institute and School of Nursing.
A vital solution to avoid spreading respiratory and hospital-acquired infections
Respiratory infections are the third most common cause of death in the world, accounting for up to 4% of deaths each year. They put a huge financial burden on the health system, amounting to $100 billion a year in the United States alone. People aged 65 and over are the most affected, making up 85% of deaths from respiratory infections.
Hospital-associated respiratory virus infections (HARVI) are an underestimated source of morbidity and mortality. Hospitalized patients, especially older adults with multiple comorbidities, are at increased risk for severe outcomes associated with respiratory virus infections they may contract in confined spaces.
Hospital-acquired infections have long been one of the most serious risks for patients, especially those who stay for weeks or months. But recent data show that more than two years into the pandemic, hospitals still have a long way to go to prevent transmission within their premises. With the highly contagious Omicron variant, up to 20% of hospitalized cases acquired their infection in hospitals.
Airborne transmission is a recognized pathway of contagion of many pathogens such as influenza, tuberculosis, measles and more recently SARS-CoV-2. While medical research focuses on finding cures and remedies to counteract the effects of a virus, research in the engineering area seeks to improve the tools and methods used to assess infection risk, in particular in indoor environments, by modelling the airborne transmission of the virus to develop preventive or curative measures.
Empowering health facilities to improve infection prevention and control
To support Zynnon’s project to improve the real-time monitoring of risks associated with airborne pathogen transmission indoors, the Swiss federal innovation agency, Innosuisse, has awarded our project a grant in the region of CHF800,000. The project will be developed and validated in collaboration with Swiss innovation center CSEM and La Source Institute and School of Nursing over a period of 24 months.
“We are delighted and proud that our project is receiving this support from the Swiss federal innovation agency. This funding from Innosuisse demonstrates the importance of our project, which aims to control and prevent the spread of infectious disease in hospitals and health facilities”, comments Khaled Abousaleh, founder and CEO of Zynnon.
The collaborative partnership plans to build the first system to measure the risk of infection transmission in indoor settings using multimodal contactless sensing and cloud-based artificial intelligence. The proposed system will be developed using a cross-field approach combining engineering, data analytics, and medical expertise. The development process will incorporate inputs from clinicians and domain experts, and a pilot study with clinical experts will form the basis for the system’s functional validation.
Zynnon is now preparing to start the first evaluation in a real-world patient setting at Inselspital, the University Hospital of Bern. The objectives are to collect real-time data in order to build and adjust the artificial intelligence model of transmission risk prediction.
“CSEM is thrilled to support Zynnon in making this innovative healthcare solution possible, leveraging both our extensive experience with medical developments, and our partnerships with the Swiss University Hospitals. The CSEM team on the Insel Campus in Bern will pilot the project and their medical device expertise will be a key asset for future market success”, explains Christophe Verjus, senior project manager at CSEM.
“Through its innovation laboratory (SILAB), La Source Institute and School of Nursing, HES-SO University of Applied Sciences and Arts Western Switzerland, is proud to be a partner in this project and to continue its tradition of contributing to better health and safer working conditions for healthcare professionals”, added Daniel Cefaï, Project leader at Haute Ecole de la Santé La Source.
Zynnon (www.zynnon.com) is a startup focused on improving and protecting people’s health using the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT). Zynnon is developing Lieberty, an innovative non-contact multi-parametric sensor combining health and environmental parameters. It is used to analyse indoor spaces in order to evaluate the risk of respiratory infections. The hardware is used in conjunction with our cloud-based artificial intelligence solution, which generates a Risk of Infection Index and provides alerts as well as recommendations for corrective action.
CSEM S.A., the internationally recognized Swiss innovation center, is a public-private non-profit Swiss R&D Centre and acts as a technology provider for the industrial sector. CSEM develops innovative technology platforms and offers services from contract R&D to the development of solutions for applications including precision manufacturing, energy, security, life sciences, and digital health. CSEM has been active in the (medical) wearable technology domain for 20+ years and its position as a leading innovation center in digital health has been federated by its heritage in the Swiss watchmaking industry. CSEM’s Digital Health research activity is certified ISO 13485 and operates on the Insel-Campus in Bern. It has long-term and widespread competencies in the development of low-power wireless sensors for human-monitoring applications comprising sensor electronics, signal processing and advanced feature extraction at the sensor level or in the cloud, data analytics and machine learning, as well as low-power chip design and wireless communication chipsets.
About La Source Institute and School of Nursing
The first nursing institute in the world, since 1859, La Source School of Nursing, HES-SO University of Applied Sciences and Arts Western Switzerland (La Source), provides high-level training incorporating the human, scientific and technical dimensions of the profession. La Source excels in its missions of training, research and transfer of expertise, actively supporting the development of innovative practices in the health and social fields. La Source belongs to a foundation that also includes a renowned clinic. Located in the heart of Lausanne, La Source welcomes more than 1,000 students yearly. Its laboratory of innovation (SILAB) will be part of this project.
CFO & Investor Relations Manager
+41 79 455 40 30