Automates and Organises Quality Assurance in Radiation Therapy and Medical Imaging
We imagine, design, develop and market innovative solutions to support and SERVE YOUR PERFORMANCE
in Radiation Therapy and Medical Imaging
QUALIFORMED is a company with joint GERMAN-FRENCH management that strives to develop and provide top quality products dedicated to the QA of Radiation Therapy and Medical Imaging equipment.
Our goal is to improve and maintain, in collaboration with our customers, the high performance and safety of these medical devices.
We thereby contribute actively to improved patient outcome in this complex medical field.
In order to do so, QualiFormeD has developed automatic Quality Assurance software solutions for LINACs, CT scanners, PET and SPECT cameras, MRI and digital radiology installations. QualiFormeD also develops and markets its own specialized phantoms for quality control.
THE MAIN DEVELOPMENT PHASES
2004 - the DNa and the leadership
Stéphane BEAUMONT, QUALIFORMED's current Technical Director, worked for 11 years as medical physicist on the staff of the Radiation Therapy department of the Centre Hospitalier Départemental (CHD), La Roche sur Yon (France). He was passionate about virtual simulation in radiation therapy and IGRT. This led him to participate in several workgroups of the French Medical Physics Association and the French Health Products Safety Agency. At the same time, he co-supervised two Doctoral theses on pertinent topics. The first was that of Eloïse DENIS on automating quality controls (QC) of geometric tools proposed by radiation therapy Treatment Planning Systems (TPS), prepared in partnership with the IRCCyN laboratory of Nantes University. The second was the dissertation of Léone BLAZY on automating QC of TPS dosimetric planning tools prepared in partnership with the Saclay CEA (Atomic Energy Commission).
The two theses gave birth to the notion of an industrial application, which prompted Stéphane BEAUMONT to participate in the competition organized by the French Research and Education Ministry to promote the creation of innovative start-ups. He was prizewinner in the "Emerging firm" category and was awarded financial aid which enabled him to fund a market study on the possibilities of technological transfer of the 2 subjects for which he was thesis advisor.
At the time, Margit VILLING, QUALIFORMED's present Finance and Marketing Director, had been managing DEWIMED, a German company with a staff of 15 which developed and marketed surgical and neurosurgical instruments. Margit gained experience in international health care marketing and sales, including turnkey tender business for medical equipment in risk countries. She administered a sales network extending throughout Latin America, Asia, Far, Middle and Near East as well as Northern Africa. In addition she acted as interface between product development and clinical partners in the field of high-end neurosurgical micro instrumentation and implants.
2005 - THe SEED
Stéphane BEAUMONT, while responsible for the commissioning of 3 VARIAN Clinacs with OBI, CBCT and dynamic IMRT options for the La Roche sur Yon Hospital, began supervision of a new doctoral thesis, once again in partnership with the IRCCyN. The subject of Tarraf TORFEH's dissertation was the automation of QC in IGRT. Stéphane BEAUMONT also obtained a degree in management of an innovative start-up from the Nantes University in parallel.
Over the course of the year, Margit VILLING and Stéphane BEAUMONT drew together in order to create QUALIFORMED (amongst other endeavors !). They once again won a French Research and Education Ministry competition designed to promote the creation of innovative start-ups. This time they took the prize in the "Creation-development" category and were awarded a grant to launch their business.
2006 - THe SPROUT
QUALIFORMED is born with a staff of two, Stéphane BEAUMONT working part-time alongside Taraf TORFEH, PhD student employed by the firm. QUALIFORMED nevertheless lands its first client - and by no means a negligible one - the renowned Montpellier Centre de Lutte Contre le Cancer (CLCC - Cancer Center), whose physicists are convinced of the advantages the QUALIMAGIQ software solution will provide by enabling them to automate the QC of their VARIAN LINACs and GE CT-scanners.
2007 - THe sHOOT
QUALIFORMED develops QUALIMAGIQ for other LINAC brands (ELEKTA, SIEMENS) and CT-scanners (PHILIPS, SIEMENS, TOSHIBA). The firm now boasts 5 employees, 4 of which are R & D software engineers.
Léone BLAZY defends her PhD thesis in medical physics.
2008 - THe SeEDlInG
Eloïse DENIS defends her PhD thesis in computer science in April and Tarraf TORFEH finishes it in December. They are both hired as R&D Project leaders by QUALIFORMED, Tarraf to supervise the development of QUALIMAGIQ and Eloise to transfer her thesis work into DIGIBOX, a new software platform to automate TPS QC using DIGIPHAN, digital test objects created for the application.
A new doctoral thesis partnership is initiated with Yassine BEN'HDECH, accompanied by the acquisition of a power calculation cluster. The goal is to reproduce, consolidate and enhance the work done by Léone BLAZY concerning the QC of TPS dosimetric planning tools.
The R&D team is now staffed by 7 engineers.
2009 - THE GROWTH SPURT
50 health care centers have entrusted QUALIFORMED with QC solutions for their radiation therapy and medical imaging installations.
Together with the CLCC of Angers and the IRCCyN laboratory of Nantes University QUALIFORMED launches development of QUALINAX, an innovative software platform for total, paperless management of QC and maintenance operations on LINACs. This one of a kind R&D program is endorsed by OSEO and the Région Pays de Loire (Loire Regional Commission) within the framework of the interregional high tech competitiveness pole, Images and Networks.
QUALIFORMED markets the breakaway solutions to automate TPS CQ, DIGIBOX and DIGIPHAN.
2010 - THE BURGEONING
QUALIFORMED, now staffed by 13 employees, reaches out to other European countries by setting up a distribution network.
QUALIFORMED rounds out its software offer by proposing new QUALIMAGIQ modules capable of handling MRI and conventional radiology CQ.
2011 - BRANCHING OUT INTERNATIONALLY
QUALIFORMED enhances the QUALIMAGIQ product offer by extending its software to cover QC of nuclear medecine installations (PET and SPECT cameras).
QUALINAX version 1.0 is launched on the market as Yassine BEN'HDECH defends his doctoral thesis in medical physics.
QUALIFORMED signs its first contracts with clients outside of France. A prestigious German client, Universitätsklinikum Göttingen, entrusts QUALIFORMED with its radiation therapy QA.
QUALIFORMED is a prizewinner of the FAST 50 competition organized by DELOITTE. This contest rewards the top 50 French firms in terms of growth over 5 years.
2012 - EXPANDING WITH VMAT, TOMOTHERAPY® & FREE
QUALIFORMED with its staff of 15 employees pursues its sales growth and becomes the partner of such esteemed institutions as Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen and Stockholm's Karolinska University Hospital. QUALIFORMED branches out to Cologne (Germany) with a satellite sales office. 40 % of French radiation therapy departments and 55% of Swiss counterparts opt to work with QUALIFORMED.
During this same period QUALIFORMED enriches its QUALIMAGIQ product offer with complementary modules such as MLCdyn for QC of MLCs used in dynamic mode (VMAT) and TOMOT to automate QC of TOMOTHERAPY® installations. QUALINAX is reinforced with the FREE module designed to handle "homemade" QCs.
2013 - FURTHER GROWTH WITH LINACWATCH & DOSE-A
QUALIFORMED develops a new software product, LINACWATCH, to automatically control each IMRT treatment session in real time.
QUALINAX expands to include a new module, DOSE-A, for QC of Monitor Units.
2014 - LEADER IN europe
QUALIFORMED LAUNCHES LINACWATCH version 1 on the market.
The company has a client roster of 250 health institutions in Europe and 16 employees, half of which staff the R&D team.
A comprehensive software product offer is proposed (four platforms and over 50 different modules), as well as associated test objects (more than 15 models), four of which boast international patents.
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