Eleven innovations have been chosen to receive support through the EIT Health RIS Innovation Call 2021, a unique programme to assist proof-of-concept projects in emerging European regions.
The consortia behind these innovations will be granted funding of up to EUR 75 000 for further development of their breakthrough product or solution, mentoring, a place at a bootcamp, and access to potential investors and partners through EIT Health, the biggest network of top tier healthcare players in Europe.
Now in its third year, this edition of the EIT Health RIS Innovation Call drew more than 100 submissions, a 29% increase over 2020. The quality of the submissions also showed improvement.
“It is great to see that the quality of proposals we receive is higher each year. This is a sign of a clear development in the EIT Health RIS regions. Every year, we see interesting patterns regarding what the most pressing healthcare challenges might be from the perspective of researchers: in this edition of the programme 46% focus on bringing care home solutions, 36% on fostering healthier lives and 18% on health in the workplace.”
Mónika Tóth, EIT Health InnoStars RIS Programme Manager
The chosen projects
The 11 projects that will be supported by EIT Health RIS Innovation Call 2021 are:
- Continuous “at home” monitoring for acute and chronic cardiorespiratory disease patients (Greece): a wearable device allows monitoring of vital signs, paired with a customised physician-facing portal and a patient app, augmented with artificial intelligence.
- CryoHolder (Slovenia): a unique tool that enables quick, more efficient, and safe transfer of frozen cryovials. It can work with liquid nitrogen and also handle sterilisation in an autoclave at 121°C.
- ESAIA – Early Stage Ear Infection Assessment (Portugal): a non-invasive medical device, called Otitest, evaluates the colour of the inner ear and eardrum, using an RGB sensor, for early-stage ear infection assessment.
- FRoom (Slovenia): an all-in-one solution for home physiotherapy exercise programmes combining innovative technologies and expert design.
- Hermes (Italy): a wearable device provides a near hermetic seal in an ergonomic system with battery operated filters, to give individual protection against exposure to contaminated droplets.
- Koatum (Latvia): a multiple-layer hybrid coating for medical implants with the ability of drug delivery. The three layers of the coating provide metal isolation, bioactive properties and delivery of a drug with antibacterial properties to promote the body’s acceptance of the implant.
- Laboratory diagnostics from the patient’s home with a doctor’s remote consultation (Slovenia): an online diagnostic platform for testing sexually transmitted infections allows patients to order the tests, take their own urine, swab or finger-prick sample, and send it in for analysis, followed by remote consultation if needed.
- Mindaux (MAX) (Portugal): a digital therapeutics social platform to create healthier workplaces, using personalised electronic cognitive behavioural therapy.
- O2-CPAP add-on (Latvia): an add-on module for CPAP devices that helps patients with obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) by controlling the oxygen concentration, enabling oxygen supplies to be adjusted while monitoring the patient.
- Remote monitoring of patients with cardiovascular diseases and SARS-CoV-2 (Slovakia): telemonitoring solution for patients with hypertension, dyslipidaemia, obesity, and/or high cardiovascular risk, and a SARS-CoV-2 positive test. The solution supports reduction of interventions or visits to the doctor.
- Stuey (Croatia): an assistive technology solution that helps people who stutter make phone calls with pre-recorded lines that are transmitted to the call with a high level of speech reality.
About the EIT Health RIS Innovation Call
The EIT Health RIS Innovation Call is one of the key programmes of EIT Health InnoStars. It supports the development of local innovative healthcare projects based in progressing European regions. Its aim is to bridge the funding gap in EIT RIS regions and to support the proof-of-concept phase of local innovation projects, as well as to help teams in their EIT Health innovation journey.
Projects are supported by funding, mentoring and training services, and further strengthened by networking opportunities. Additionally, participants are given the chance to be matched with EIT Health partners, to apply to the EIT Health Amplifier Programme and to prepare teams to be scouted for EIT Health Business Plan Innovation Calls.
Impact of past EIT Health RIS Innovation Calls
Since it began three years ago, the EIT Health RIS Innovation Call has supported a number of success stories. Just one example is STEMI, an innovation to save critical time diagnosing cardiovascular diseases. The Slovak project supported in 2019 won the 2021 EIT Health Bridgehead Global. It also reached the top at the House of Med Tech Luxembourg Call as well as at the Central European Initiative (CEI) “Early response COVID 19” category – and ranked fifth in the GLOBAL Unicorn Cup in 2020.
Another 2019 winner was DocuMental, with an innovation to improve diagnostic and treatment reliability in mental health. According to DocuMental CEO Eduard Maron: “People from EIT Health look at your project as a whole: how comprehensive it is, how well it is designed from a scientific perspective, as well as how it will be disseminated. I have learned how we need to change our concept. We would all like to help patients; that’s not the question. The question is how to make it realistic, and how to make it successful. This is what we have learnt from EIT Health.”