15th February 2022
Last week, EIT Health i-Day winning team, Formula AI, met with the Croatian President, Zoran Milanović, and Commissioner of the President for Sports, Željko Jovanović. During the meeting they showcased their innovative digital communicator for patients with the language disorder aphasia, resulting from a stroke.
Each year, more than 13 million people experience strokes and aphasia is estimated to affect up to 38% of acute stroke patients. If successfully developed, Formula AI’s digital solution, TONGUEO, will help people with aphasia to communicate effectively with others. Aphasia is a language disorder caused by damage in a specific area of the brain that controls language expression and comprehension.
The University of Zagreb Formula AI team, represented by students Paola Danjek and Barbara Bilić, recently won the Croatian i-Day. They went on to come third in the i-Days Winners’ Event, out of 32 teams from 20 European countries, before being invited to meet with the President.
EIT Health i-Days is a student competition to tackle health challenges, which promotes health innovation among university students across Europe. Undergraduate and postgraduate students receive expert support, practical knowledge about health innovation, and tools to compete in teams, tackling Europe’s biggest health challenges.
EIT Health has been supporting healthcare innovation in Croatia since 2019, through the EIT Regional Innovation Scheme (EIT RIS) which is coordinated by EIT Health InnoStars. The EIT RIS exists to close the gap between regions that are leaders in innovation and those ones which are still progressing.
Vlatka Petrović, Coordinator of the EIT Health Hub Croatia, shared her thoughts on the recent meeting: “The meeting with the President of the Republic of Croatia serves as a testimony of the exceptional promise of the Formula AI team and their solution, and the care that the President gives to health innovation and entrepreneurial talents. It is also a demonstration of the power of ecosystems and the role that EIT Health has had in strengthening the health ecosystem in Croatia.”
World-stroke.org. 2022. [online] Available at: https://www.world-stroke.org/assets/downloads/WSO_Fact-sheet_15.01.2020.pdf [Accessed 15 February 2022].
Allen L, Mehta S, McClure JA, Teasell R. 2012. Therapeutic interventions for aphasia initiated more than six months post stroke: a review of the evidence. Top Stroke Rehabilitation. 19(6):523-35. Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23192717/ [Accessed 15 February 2022].
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