"If you have a good idea, just go for it"

It costs a lot of money when approximately 10,000 people need to have blood tests taken three to four times each year at a very specific time to monitor their treatment with lithium. But now, Associate Professor Ole Köhler-Forsberg has an idea that could save millions. Hear how in the next episode of our series on external collaboration at Health.

When people with bipolar disorder are treated with lithium, it is extremely important that their dose is perfectly calibrated. Otherwise, it could lead to a relapse of the disease or chronic organ damage. Ole Köhler-Forsberg from the Department of Clinical Medicine knows this better than most. He has worked with this patient group in psychiatry for many years and a recurring challenge is that patients need to have blood tests taken exactly 12 hours after taking a dose of lithium. This can be difficult to comply with for both the patient and the hospital staff, but it is an absolute necessity to ensure that the patient's lithium dose is correct.

A mathematical formula to ease clinical practice

If Ole Köhler-Forsberg has anything to say about it, the strict time management and rigid administration of blood sample collection will soon be a thing of the past. Using large datasets, he has developed a formula that makes it possible to calculate the so-called 12-hour value of lithium content in the blood regardless of when the blood sample is taken.

Therefore, the associate professor is currently working in collaboration with the private IT company Trustworks to develop a small piece of software named eLi12, which he hopes to integrate into the IT systems of Danish hospitals.

If successful, it will give clinicians across the country the ability to measure lithium levels in blood tests more accurately and thereby do away with a practice that was both unnecessarily resource-intensive and less precise.

Watch the video where Ole Köhler-Forsberg talks about his experience with having an innovative idea – and not least – pursuing it to realization.

Considering starting a business collaboration?

If you are considering starting a spinout company, a research project with a private company, or other types of external collaboration, then get in touch with AU's Technology Transfer Office (TTO).

TTO can assist you with everything from partnership contracts to patenting. Read more at TTO's website.


Associate Professor Ole Köhler-Forsberg
Aarhus University, Department of Clinical Medicine
Aarhus University Hospital, Psychiatry Unit
Phone: (+45) 23 42 06 61
Email: karkoe@rm.dk