About us

Our organization

Prolira was founded in 2015 as a medical technological startup (spin-off) from the University Medical Center Utrecht (UMC Utrecht). Prolira’s DeltaScan, a CE certified medical device, was developed as a result of the clinical need to detect delirium better and earlier. It is based on cutting-edge clinical research led by neurologist intensivist Prof. Arjen Slooter and his ‘Brain at Risk’ research group.

Prolira now has a team of more than fifteen experienced professionals. Our team is committed to better detection & monitoring for delirium to help healthcare providers deliver the best possible delirium care to their patients.

Prolira is supported by professional Venture Capital funds which are familiar with innovations in healthcare and by the EU Horizon 2020 program for promising innovations.

Management team

General Management & Technology

  Rutger van Merkerk, PhD, MSc. 

CEO, founder

Rutger has a wealth of experience in the medical device market. In early-stage business development of academic inventions, he brought various medical (monitoring) devices from idea to market. In startup management, he successfully closed VC investments with milestones for device development, clinical studies, CE & EU MDR certification and market development. Rutger enjoys company building and company strategy.

Business Development, Market Access & Public Relations

  Annemarie Willems, MSc.

Chief Business Development, founder

Has over 25 years of marketing and sales experience in the international medical device market, always involved in realisation of innovative medical devices. Her background is Industrial Design Engineering (Technical University Delft). With particularly long experience in planning/quoting and realization of concepts into fullscale manufactured single use products (Medisize), entrepreneurship and realization of innovative medical devices (Mount Medical, Academic Medical Center Amsterdam Technology Transfer Office). Scouting for and closing strategic partnership are important to grow Prolira’s business.  

Annemarie Willems

+ 31 6 22 97 89 72

Sales & Marketing

 Sjoerd Kruijff, MSc.

Chief Sales & Marketing 

Sjoerd is a strong health care professional with an over 15-year proven track record in Commercial Innovation, Corporate Venturing, and regular commercial activities such as marketing and sales. Sjoerd ‘s core capabilities are commercial strategy development (marketing and sales, Innovation), perfect execution: ability to convert strategy to business growth and market share. Sjoerd is a pure team player with a high energy level and innovative thinker who motivates teams and partners.

Sjoerd Kruijff

+ 31 6 38 29 41 47

 Tjeerd de Boorder, PhD

Chief Clinical Officer

Tjeerd has a background in biotechnology and zoology and has 6 years of experience as OR technician. He then worked for thirteen years at the department of medical technology and clinical physics of the University Medical Center Utrecht. A.o. he has provided technical support to patients with left ventricular assist device (LVAD). He has also gained a great deal of experience in researching and implementing innovative medical technology. In 2018 he obtained his PhD on “new laser systems for surgery: physical aspects and implementation in the clinic” joined Prolira as Chief Clinical Officer.

Clinical implementation / Research

 Erik Tio

Clinical specialist

Erik started working in the medical industry using his background as a surgical nurse, and has years of experience with the introduction and guidance of new high-end products and technologies for use in the intensive care unit, thoracic surgery and / or anaesthesiology. His goal is to support the healthcare professionals with the best, most efficient and safe products for the patient, at ultimately lower costs for the hospital. He has been a DeltaScan Clinical Specialist at Prolira since April 2021 and provides DeltaScan introductory training and guidance in the clinical use of DeltaScan.

+31 6 48 06 24 36

 Jolien van Leijen

Clinical specialist

Jolien is trained as a nurse and has worked in various hospital departments for years. She subsequently worked on positioning pharmaceutical products among medical specialists and nurses and on the market introduction of a new test system at Dutch hospitals. Clear transmission of clinically relevant information has proven important in all of these functions. Since November 2019, Jolien has joined Prolira’s clinical application team.

Market introduction team

Prolira’s market introduction team first focus is N-European hospitals. The team is supported by international industry advisors with a wealth of experience in the hospital vital signs monitoring market.

 Robin Benthem

Account manager Netherlands

Robin is sales professional with 16 years of sales experience in hospitals, clinics, and pharmacies. Robin has worked with a various set of stakeholders and has a proven track record in this field of expertise. Because of his extended sales experience and his technical background – combined with his enthusiasm and drive – customers see Robin as a partner rather than just a salesperson.

+31 6 14 72 17 58

 Arno Theunisse

Account manager Netherlands

Arno has been working in the medical industry all his life, with various solutions he has been able to help many hospitals and patients. His goal is to enable more hospitals to deal more efficiently with acute encephalopathy and delirium care so that more healthcare professionals and patients can benefit from this. Arno is enthusiastic about introducing The Netherlands to DeltaScan.

Technical team

Prolira’s technical team consists of international EEG experts / algorithm developers / software specialists from Canada and the Netherlands.

Advisory board

  Prof. Dr. Arjen Slooter

Medical Advisor

Arjen Slooter is Professor of Intensive Care Neuropsychiatry at University Medical Center Utrecht the Netherlands, chairman of the delirium section of the American Society of Critical Care Medicine guideline committee, and president elect of the European Delirium Association since 2017. His research activities focus on delirium and on long-term neuropsychiatric outcome after critical illness or anesthesia and surgery. In his research he uses both epidemiological and neuroscientific (EEG, MRI) tools. He is a clinical advisor to Prolira without any financial personal interest in the company. Any (future) profits from EEG-based delirium monitoring will be used for scientific research only.

  Dr. Frans Leijten

EEG expert

Frans Leijten, MD, PhD, is neurologist and clinical neurophysiologist with valuable clinical and EEG expertise. Working most of his career with EEG based epilepsy diagnosis and epileptic surgery. He is head of the EEG department and the monitoring unit for invasive EEG recordings at the University Medical Center Utrecht. Frans Leijten has a special interest in innovative medical companies, and he contributes with his wealth of knowledge for the benefit of Prolira’s DeltaScan.

  Boudewijn Bollen

Medical Monitoring Industry expert

Boudewijn Bollen is advisor to Prolira. As a former senior board member of American medical monitoring device companies, he is specialized in European market introduction and market growth for novel medical monitoring parameters and devices. He has made a major contribution to the market success of, among others:
– Aspect Medical, the company that has developed and marketed the BIS monitor (BIS monitor is a device that measures the depth of anesthesia during an operation using EEG). In 2009, Aspect Medical was sold to Covidien, now Medtronic;
– the Nellcor SpO2 sensor (the world’s first disposable oxygen saturation sensor, which nowadays is part of standard vital signs monitoring in every hospital).

  Dominic Spadafore 

Medical Monitoring Industry expert

Has spent over 25 years helping to commercialize a diverse collection of medical devices contributing to improved patient care both domestically in the U.S. and internationally. 

For the last 17 years his focus has been on early stage technologies.  Leading commercial teams to the point of acquisition for U.S. based Somanetics Corporation, where he introduced a new hemodynamic vital sign used to assure adequate tissue perfusion and Bmeye BV, a novel non-invasive cardiac output device developed in the Netherlands.  

Most recently he held the position of U.S. President of The Surgical Company, a Dutch holding company comprised of several distribution and manufacturing businesses.

Revision number: 2

Prolira BV
IJsselburcht 3
6825BS Arnhem
The Netherlands


Visiting address:
Padualaan 8
3584CH Utrecht
The Netherlands


T. +31 (0)85 06 01 656
E.  Info@prolira.com
W. www.prolira.com

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