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EIT Health Spain recognises the most innovative projects by young talents that contribute to the healthcare system

23rd November 2023

  • The EIT Health Spain “INnovate & INspire” Awards aim to foster entrepreneurship and innovation in health among recent graduates in Biomedical Engineering, recognising projects such as COGNIREAL, a platform for serious games for post-stroke cognitive rehabilitation, and “e-Health platform for the monitoring of the elderly,” a remote monitoring platform for traditional ageing treatments.

 

Barcelona, 23rd November 2023. In Spain, the healthcare industry faces a talent mismatch of 82% (1), the fourth most affected sector. This talent gap is exacerbated by a lack of interest or knowledge of engineering and IT graduates in healthcare companies.

The lack of industrial skills can compromise medical care, equipment, and medications, affecting efficiency and opportunities for innovation. It is essential to invest in attracting and retaining talent, improving skills, and fostering innovation to strengthen Spain’s position, making the sector more attractive, given that the healthcare industry already plays a crucial role in the lives of 450 million European Union citizens.

For this reason, and the third consecutive year, EIT Health Spain, along with the Spanish Society of Biomedical Engineering (SEIB), has celebrated the third edition of the “INnovate & INspire” Award, aimed at promoting entrepreneurship and innovation in health among recent graduates and students of Biomedical Engineering. The award ceremony took place during the Annual Congress of the Spanish Society of Biomedical Engineering (CASEIB 2023) on 23rd November 2023.

Izabel Alfany, Managing Director, and Lorena Gonzalez, Education Lead, both from EIT Health Spain, presented how the organisation supports entrepreneurs throughout the entire innovation journey, from ideation and even before, to business creation and scaling.

In education, EIT Health develops programmes to train innovators and entrepreneurs to do thorough work in identifying needs before proposing an innovative solution and has programmes that support students and future entrepreneurs.

The session featured testimony from Ray Vicente, currently an intensivist at the Dr. Balmis University General Hospital in Alicante. Ray worked for four years in a Cardiac Stimulation Unit, during which time he initiated his project KronoSafe®, a support for pacemakers that facilitates temporary cardiac stimulation, through the start-up ICU Medical Technologies.

The EIT Health Spain “INnovate & INspire” Awards aim to celebrate academic excellence and encourage students to dedicate their future careers to innovation for healthier lives for citizens. Therefore, this year, they awarded projects based on the organisation’s strategic lines: new models of healthcare, digital transformation in the healthcare sector, and the reindustrialisation of Europe.

In the Patient-focused Vision category, the award went to the project by Pablo Moreno de Rosendo, Julia Rubio Martín, Miguel Ángel Valbuena Bueno, and Nicolás Yagüe Novoa; with their proposal COGNIREAL, a solution consisting of the development of a platform of serious games that simulate everyday activities through immersive virtual reality to carry out cognitive rehabilitation for patients who have suffered a stroke. The project has also been awarded in the Audience category, being the most voted by the public in the congress’ social network.

In the Healthcare-Delivery Model category, the project “e-Health platform for the monitoring of the elderly” by Jesús Damián Blasco was awarded. This cloud-based platform helps apply traditional treatments (such as cognitive stimulation exercises or physical condition assessments) and continuously and remotely monitor the results obtained by patients. From the platform, these results can be evaluated by researchers and healthcare professionals involved in the field of ageing, to improve and personalise prescribed therapies, monitor, and evaluate prognoses.

In addition to a monetary prize, EIT Health Spain will provide mentorship and advice to the winning projects.

(1) “Talent Mismatch Report 2023” Manpower Group. https://www.manpowergroup.es/estudios/el-desajuste-de-talento-alcanza-por-segundo-ano-consecutivo-su-maximo-historico

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