Belgian radiologists pioneer distance diagnosis
The Belgian technology business Radiomatix is geared to enter the telemedicine market after its recent 'groundbreaking contract' and now seeks additional capital. Antwerp local Jan Christiaen, who also had a hand in the launch of the online travel agency Connections, last year joined forces with the two radiologists who started Radiomatrix five years ago. Christiaen, the appointed CEO and a shareholder, explains the main focus of the business: “There is a worldwide shortage of thousands of radiologists. Belgium is one of the few exceptions. Nowhere in the world are there as many radiologists per inhabitant as here. His two partner radiologists rounded up 250 Belgian radiographers to form the Belgian Radiology Group BRG and immediately got Radiomatrix off the ground. The business arranges the transmission of radiology images from all over the world to Belgium, where it is analyzed by experts. The result is a clever technological cloud platform. So far they have signed contracts with Russia and the Middle East. This comes as no surprise, as these countries have a serious shortage of radiologists but not a lack of funds. “The people are prepared to pay for a correct diagnosis that is up to European standards,” says Christiaen. BRG currently handles “a few thousand” consultations each year via the Radiomatrix platform. Last month they clinched a contract with the King Abdulaziz University Hospital, the biggest hospital in Saudi Arabia. “I call that a breakthrough contract. A deal that will deliver 1 million euros each year. And we are in talks with the ministry of healthcare to roll out the technology throughout the country.” The future of the company is equally rosy in Europe. “We are the answer to night services. Hospitals currently have their own radiologist on duty, but with our technology you could effectively start a pool.” Teleradiology, as it is applied by Radiomatrix, is the first real far-reaching application of medicine without borders.