Revealing the risk of post-operative cognitive complications in the over-60s.

Post-operative delirium (POD) and post-operative clinical decline (POCD) are conditions that can strike after surgery. Patients experience disorientation, memory loss and speech difficulties. They are conditions you may not have heard of but when combined, POCD and POD incidence is significant – they impact more than one in four patients over the age of 60 following surgery.

Wild Card 2019, PIPRA, short for Pre-interventional Preventative Risk Assessment, is creating a tool that understands the probability of a patient experiencing POD or POCD. They are serious conditions, which can cause lasting damage to cognitive functions and have even been linked to Alzheimer’s disease.

The team behind PIPRA hope that by understanding the patient’s individual risk, medical professionals and patients can make more-informed decisions, and understand the recovery treatment necessary post-op.

The number of patients who experience POD

The number of patients who experience POCD

Developing a powerful app that personalises pre and post-op patient care.

PIPRA is an easy-to-use app that harnesses a machine-learning technology, using an algorithm populated with anonymised published clinical data, which acts as a benchmark. Medical professionals need only input the patient’s clinical history to create an immediate risk score. From this, patients and medical professionals can weigh the risk of surgery against the benefits and consider other treatments if the probability of POC or POCD is high. If an operation is unavoidable, rehabilitation treatments for POD and POCD can be scheduled into the post-surgery care package and prevent lasting damage.

PIPRA is the brainchild of serial entrepreneur John Klepper and managing director Nayeli Schumutz. The pair joined the Wild Card programme with the idea for a solution that would mitigate the incidence of POD and POCD. During the process, they met Dr Benjamin Dodsworth who joined their team, bringing his scientific skillset to complement John’s business experience and Nayeli’s clinical background.

The larger co-founding team pitched successfully for the €2m investment and have since established their newly-formed start-up at an incubator in Zurich, Switzerland. Here, they will grow their business and develop their solution with support from EIT Health for the next 24 months.

Soon, we could see the app being used in-clinic, helping to dramatically improve outcomes for pre and post-op patients over the age of 60 and helping to enhance their quality of life.

“I think we got fantastic support and guidance from people that have so many years of experience. You gain a lot, it is tremendous and pretty unique.”

John Klepper, PIPRA co-founder


     Find out more about Pipra here

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