2020 Wild Card: Women’s Health, Digital Therapeutics

17th December 2019

EIT Health to invest up to €4 million to support the development of promising solutions.

EIT Health’s 2020 Wild Card programme is accepting applications until 9 February 2020 from Europe’s most-promising health innovators, who are being asked to submit stand-out proposals in the areas of women’s health and digital therapeutics.

Now in its third year and with four start-ups already launched, the Wild Card programme seeks to support the most promising individuals and teams to turn their game-changing into businesses. One of the most comprehensive programmes in the European healthcare innovation landscape, Wild Card will first create and then invest up to €2 million into two ventures that push the boundaries in the challenge areas.

About the 2020 challenges

Each year the Wild Card programme carefully selects two challenges that represent a pressing health issue for European citizens. For 2020 the first challenge set is women’s health. Innovators are urged to devise cost-effective, technology-driven solutions to provide specialised care for women.

Commenting on the women’s health challenge, Jorge Fernández García, EIT Health Director of Innovation explains:

“Addressing women’s healthcare is vital. A historical female underrepresentation in research has led to women’s health issues being overlooked or underserved. In Europe, it’s estimated that women spend almost 12 years of their life in ill health, they are more likely to develop adverse reactions to medication, and cardiovascular disease, traditionally considered as a threat to men, is the greatest mortality risk for women in Europe alongside cancer. Women’s health is rich territory for Europe’s health innovators, and we look forward to supporting breakthroughs that can make a real impact here.”

The second challenge is digital therapeutics, which asks innovators to harness the power of digital solutions to prevent, manage and treat medical conditions or diseases. Commenting on the digital therapeutics challenge, EIT Health’s Jorge Fernández García, comments:

“We’re looking for innovators who can create digital therapeutic solutions that enhance the delivery and quality of care. Although it’s a relatively new field, it’s an area that holds great promise to deliver breakthroughs in therapy areas where medicine has so far struggled, as well as tackling the challenge of shifting healthcare towards a more preventative rather than reactive approach. We’re looking for innovation that can show a distinct and measurable benefit for patients and healthcare systems.”

The most promising applicants, who can apply as teams or individuals, will attend a hackathon to build, or complement their team and write their business plan. Up to six teams will then be selected to progress to a 10‑week business model validation phase. They will compete for two-years of support from EIT Health, including up to €2 million in funding and lab space with an incubator.

About the EIT Health Wild Card programme

Since the launch of Wild Card in 2018, EIT Health has invested €8 million in four ventures who put forward game-changing proposals to tackle some of Europe’s most significant health challenges. These include Abtrace, a solution that uses artificial intelligence to tackle antimicrobial resistance (AMR), Pipra, an assessment method for mitigating against pre and post-operative brain and mental health complications, iLoF a solution using photonics and artificial intelligence to empower development of treatments for Alzheimer’s disease and Smart4Diagnostics, solving the problem of pre-analytics by closing the gap between the blood collection and the lab. All four are working with EIT Health to accelerate their products to market.

How to apply

Applications for the 2020 Wild Card close on 9 February 2020, further information about the programme, the challenges and how to apply can be found at

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